Jonas’ world sounds perfect. Everyone realizes when they’ve given offense, and apologizes. Those who’ve been offended always accept the apology. Each evening over dinner, Jonas’ family discuss their feelings, and every morning over breakfast, they discuss their dreams.
Their lives are regimented. Controlled. Everyone does what he or she is supposed to do. Jonas knows no different.
Until he’s chosen as the next Receiver. Jonas is nervous, wondering what exactly that means.
And he starts spending time with the Giver.
Then Jonas’ world changes forever.
The Giver by Lois Lowry is a small book. It’s not all that many pages. But I had to marinate in this book for several days before I could write a review. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first – and I for sure didn’t like the ending.
But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. And after re-reading the ending, I realized I couldn’t imagine a different ending.
I would consider The Giver a parable about the meaning of pain, of feelings, of emotion. It’s certainly not for young readers. And I would recommend reading it with a book group or as a family, as it will raise many issues for discussion.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.