The Giver, by Lois Lowry is one of my favorite books of all time. I love it so much, in fact, that I wrote my college application essay about it.
The main point of that essay was that Lois Lowry changed my life by writing that book. It made me realize that I wanted to be an author someday, because I wanted to evoke the same kind of emotion in people that Lowry evoked in me.
About The Giver
The book follows the life of Jonas, a boy that lives in a world devoid of extremes. There is no great sadness, no great joy, just a lukewarm, stagnant spectrum of emotions and experiences meant to protect the citizens of the community.
But when Jonas goes through the ceremony of 12, where he learns what his profession in the community will be, he discovers that he has been chosen as the new Receiver of Memory, an extremely respected position in the community. Because, as Jonas soon discovers, the Receiver of Memory takes on all the memories of the past, all of the emotions and experiences, both joyful and horrifying, that are so alien to their way of living.
The old Receiver, who asks Jonas to call him The Giver, transfers his knowledge to the youth, and as he does so Jonas’ life is irrevocably changed. Things will never be the same for him. The question is, can things ever be the same for everyone else in his community?
A Young Adult Book with Hefty Social Themes
For a book marketed to young adults, The Giver tackles some pretty hefty philosophical themes. I think that’s good though. It’s almost a perfect transition book for kids reading nonsensical books with simplistic messages to more mature and challenging works. And adults will enjoy it because it’s an engaging yet easy read that they can probably get through in a day or two.
If you see The Giver somewhere, don’t miss your opportunity to grab it. You’ll be sorry if you miss the opportunity.