Friday, September 17, 2010

Guest Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

For those of you who missed the post, we here at the Blue Bookcase are looking to expand our horizons and add a new writer! (Or more than one, perhaps) This continues our session of "test-runs" for writers who look promising, so let's give a warm welcome to guest reviewer/aspiring BB writer, Katie! Be sure to comment and tell us what you think! (And for other interested writers, it's not too late to apply! Check out this post for more details)

My name is Katie and a soon to be graduate of college majoring in English.  What's a girl to do now that there are no more English classes to read for?  Pick my own books of course!  And maybe go for a Master's degree in English next Fall? Sure, why not?

Published: 1993

It's about: A young boy, named Jonas,  growing up in a place called "The Community."  There are many rules and "understandings" within the "Community" that are not questioned, only accepted, taught to children and upheld by adults.  When we are introduced to Jonas we discover along with him that the things that he has been conditioned to learn, uphold, and respect are not the whole truth.  As Jonas figures out little by little, he begins to think that perhaps there is a way to transform the ways of doing that everyone has been conditioned to be afraid of changing.

I thought:  This book progressed perfectly.  We, as the reader, grow with Jonas as he grows.  Lowry helps us to feel the same emotions that Jonas feels through the detailed imagery of the memories that he receives.  I thought for sure that there would be a huge twist at the end of the story (mostly because Jonas is not the narrator, I thought for sure the story was being told by another "giver").  Because of it, I was unfulfilled with the ending.  But thinking back on it, I can see why it didn't end with another "giver." 

Verdict: I would borrow this book from a friend.  Also, I wouldn't be too worried to lend out my copy to a friend either! 
Reading Recommendations: If you are looking for a quick read this is a good book to pick up.  The chapters are short and perfect for reading in the small down time you might have throughout the day (I hate having to stop in the middle of a chapter!).  A ten minute break at work?  Bring out this book!

Warnings:  I don't think there are any warnings really.  But I did research that this was a banned book  (for middle schoolers at least) because of the talk of "releasing" (assisted suicide) and "stirrings" (sexual feelings). 

Favorite Excerpts: "'It's as if...' The man paused, seeming to search his mind for the right words of description. 'It's like going downhill through deep snow on a sled,' he said, finally.  'At first it's exhilarating: the speed; the sharp, clear air; but then the snow accumulates, builds up on the runners, and you slow, you have to push hard to keep going...'"