– From Wikipedia
The Giver is a children’s novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness,” a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives.
Jonas is selected to inherit the position of “Receiver of Memory,” the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. When Jonas meets the previous receiver—The “Giver”—he is confused in many ways. Additionally, the Giver is able to break some rules, such as turning off the speaker that listens to peoples’ conversations in their homes, and lying to people of the community. As Jonas receives the memories from the Giver, he discovers the power of knowledge. The people in his community are happy because they do not know of a better life, and the knowledge of what they are missing out on could create major chaos. He faces a dilemma: Should he stay with the community and the safe, consistent but shallow life it offers, or should he run away in pursuit of a life full of love, color, choices, and knowledge, but also potentially full of danger?
Despite controversy and criticism that the book’s subject material is inappropriate for young children, The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 5.3 million copies. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, it is a part of many middle school reading lists, but it is also on many challenged book lists and appeared on the American Library Association‘s list of most challenged books of the 1990s.
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