The Giver

I finally read Lois Lowry's The Giver last weekend. The book was recommended to me by one of my 8th grade students, back when I was teaching. He was a good kid, kind of big and goofy and immature for his age, but earnest and happy most of the time. He'd just moved to the community and didn't fit in yet. And he was way behind the other kids academically. Didn't like to read much. Probably had ADD. None of that seemed to bother him much.

He was totally obsessed with this book. He must have described the plot to me 100 times. He must have told me a million times how much he loved reading it. He asked me almost daily if I'd read it yet, if I was going to read it. I don't know why I never did. So when I saw a copy for a dollar at a library book sale, I bought it, took it home, and read it in a single day.

I enjoyed it a lot even though I'm not completely certain I understood it all.

The book--the 1994 Newbery Medal winner--raises more questions than it answers. It's written in a deceptively simple style and I'm sure it is full of symbolism and deeper meaning. Lofty messages about society and the danger of group think and conformity. The value of free will. And holy crap does it have an ambiguous ending. A week later, and I'm still thinking about what what it all meant.

Interesting, that this book had such a champion in that 8th grade goofball. I wish I had read it when he first recommended it to me. I would have liked to have talked to him about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i read that some months back too, when i found it on the street left by some bookcrosser. storywise i hardly could believe it's a kids/teensbook, i thought it was kinda disturbing in parts. especially that end. but then, people can usually take more than you think...

would love to see you around more, btw!