Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Delacorte Books (March 29, 1993)
Source: My Choice
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
The Giver is the book that changed everything for me. I didn't read it until I was a junior in college, but that didn't matter. In just a few pages, Lois Lowry created a world I had never really experienced - a dystopian fantasy in which the common good isn't really all that good. And, with The Giver, Lowry changed the face of young adult literature for me forever.
The Giver showed me that there is value in everything in life. From the best moments to the worst, the experience is what matters. When we try and create a utopian society, all we do is create a world that is destined to cave in on itself. For, no matter how perfectly you think you've created the world, there will always be people like Jonas, people who are different and unwilling to settle for just being part of the world.
Jonas doesn't set out to change his world, but that is exactly what happens. When Jonas first experiences color, I remember experiencing that red in a whole new way, too. When Jonas feels joy at the falling snow, I remember being a child loving those flakes covering the barren earth. And, when Jonas feels pain, I remember losing those I love, scraping my knees and feeling sadness.
Lowry captures in the character of The Keeper the most important part of our humanity; the ability to experience and remember the things that shape our lives. And, in Jonas, she reveals to the reader that it is so important for us to be the Keeper of our own memories - as well as the collective memories of humanity.
The Giver is a book I read at least twice a year. It is a book that, although not long, affect me differently every time. If you haven't read this Newbery winner, pick up a copy today. And, experience life for the first time through Jonas' eyes. I am willing to bet it leaves you changed.
Final Thoughts: Own It. Own several copies. Share the love.