You might be asking yourself the question: Is Lois Lowry book, The Giver a good book? That’s a great question. I suppose it all comes down to preferences.
If you like dystonian novels with young central characters and an intriguing plot, the answer is … Yes, this is a darn good novel.
It was a Newbery Medal winner in 1994 and sold over 10 million copies (1) Its popularity in one testament to the answer.
You can learn more about utopian and dystopian novels here.
The Giver: Does this summary sound good?
At first, the reader sees the society as utopian. All appears well in the scientifically controlled environment. Jonas, the twelve year old, central character, live a life where pain and disappointment is neutralized.
Emotions have been eradicated. In a society where life roles are assigned at the age of 12, Jonas learns he has been selected to inherit the important role of the Receiver of Memories.
Jonas must be the keeper of all memories before ‘sameness’ when people made independent decisions about pleasure and pain, and good and evil. He even sees color for the first time.
It will be his job to offer counsel to the community with all the wisdom he will acquire.
Jonas Faces an Internal Struggle
But, there’s a problem. Jonas is challenged by the new emotions imparted on him and struggles between the concepts of good and evil. After all, how can there be one without the other?
His little sister, a young naive character, offers the reader insight as to how their society operates. She asks questions and shares observation. Jonas’ parents give her answers reminding her about the way things are and what’s expected with a “just because it’s the way it is” sort of approach.
Jonas has difficulty accepting the constraints of this community: colorless, emotionless, and compliant.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry, takes you on Jonas’ introspective journey as he battles the morality of the seemingly utopian society. It leads him to question: Does the means justify the end? Along the way, it’s revealed the society is not a utopia, but rather a dystopia.
Listen to Chapter 1 of Lois Lowry’s: The Giver and you can decide if The Giver is a book you think is good enough to put on your reading list!
The Giver, Chapter 1, By Lois Lowry
Is The Giver, by Lois Lowry Worth a Read?
The book won a few awards:
I suppose you have to dive in a see what you think about the writer’s craft before you can make a judgement against it, but according to its history and how it was received by young adults, it look like this one is a winner!
If you already read The Giver, by Lois Lowry, and you liked it, it may want to consider three other novels:
Together, with The Giver, these four books make up The Giver Quartet. Are you brave enough to tackle four novels?