The Giver by Lois Lowry

81%

45 Critic Reviews

I expected a poignant and provocative story, but I was surprised by the intricacies of the story world she created in The Giver.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

This ebook includes a sample chapter of sequel Gathering Blue.

 

About Lois Lowry

See more books from this Author
Lois Lowry is an award-winning author who has written many popular books for young adults. She was twice the recipient of the Newbery Medal, for Number the Stars and for The Giver. The author lives in Cambridge, MA.
 
Published April 26, 1993 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 204 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Giver
All: 45 | Positive: 40 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 01 1993

Wrought with admirable skill--the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Lifeissweetinbooks on Nov 06 2014

I really enjoyed this book, it made me think about the world around me, how grey it is and how much it is in need of more colours. The characters are also relatable. Finally, the vocabulary in this book is amazing...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by imaginaryunicorn on Oct 05 2014

I really, truly enjoyed this book. It's quite difficult to explain the world in which it is set in, without spoiling it, but it makes sense once you begin!

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Laurenthereader on Sep 06 2014

This book was easily read in a couple of hours because of its simple but gripping storyline and its interesting characters. The Giver was so powerful because it's one of a rare few young adult books which leaves the ending up to you.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by silvercrab on Aug 23 2013

Overall, this is a great book. It shows how important it is for us as humans to 'feel'. Humans do cause wars and chaos but the book gives an idea of a society where no one 'feels anything' and how that can only makes us like robots, it is not the right solution to the problems of chaos and destruction that we face in our world today.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Apr 26 1993

Lowry is once again in top form--raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica Lada on May 06 2010

I expected a poignant and provocative story, but I was surprised by the intricacies of the story world she created in The Giver.

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Lisa Westerfield on Feb 07 2015

My favorite part of The Giver was not the story but the introduction Lowry wrote reflecting back on the genesis of her novel...I do not recommend The Giver for readers already familiar with this genre. It will feel familiar but without the element of hope that I feel fuels other novels of this nature toward popularity.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie Urso on Nov 14 2014

The descriptions of the memories in this book is beautifully worked. Vivid and detailed and wrought with emotion...The best part of this book is Jonas receiving the memories and his honest reactions to them...The best part of this book is Jonas receiving the memories and his honest reactions to them.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Christina Durner on Jan 25 2013

I absolutely loved this book...Everything about this book is perfection: the characters, the plot, the setting, the sequence of events, the descriptions. I would highly recommend this book to both adults and young adult readers.

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AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Jul 09 2012

Lois Lowry’s The Giver was a YA dystopia before they were cool—or violent

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Ilene Cooper on Jan 01 2001

Sameness versus freedom, happiness at the risk of pain. Something to talk about.

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The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by Zoe Page on Mar 31 2014

Jonas is a strong lead and I liked his inquisitive nature and his desire to think beyond the rules, from why he should take medicine to reduce his ‘stirrings’ to questioning what happened when people were ‘released’ from the community...This is a wonderful book that makes you challenge what you know and accept to be true and proper in the world,

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Common Sense Media

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Jan 01 2001

It is this fairness that makes THE GIVER so riveting and thought-provoking, and so perfect for triggering discussions.

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About.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer Kendall on Jan 01 2001

Don’t be deceived by the slimness of this book; it is a deep and thoughtful read.

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SciFi Mafia

Excellent
Reviewed by Jess Orso on May 05 2014

If you’ve been avoiding The Giver for any reason, I assure you that you are doing yourself a disservice. It is a fabulous book about life after society is completely and totally overhauled by the government creating a utopia that is only surface deep, and wouldn’t you know, it is (shocker) completely deserving of its Newbery Medal.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by SpeakOutStandOut on Mar 29 2015

It is a beautifully and excellently written book, Lowry writes with skill and precision...Giver is one of those books that draw you in slowly, teasingly, effectively,..What a beautiful thing this book is – I realised how important our freedom is, our choices...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Cameron_Canda on Mar 29 2015

Honestly, I don't read many books and mostly because they don’t spark my interest. But I'd have to say, this book was really good. It has a great storyline and written in great detail. I found myself fully interested with this book. I suggest that you take a look at the book and perhaps you will end up reading and enjoying it as much as I did.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Anemonemmy12 on Mar 29 2015

In the beginning of The Giver, the voice of the story was bland, but as it progressed, the voice became more filled with emotion...Something that I liked in The Giver was how everything was set up. Lois Lowry did a fantastic job organizing the way the plot flowed easily...I recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique story.

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Teen Ink

Below average
on Mar 29 2015

The Giver was a good story but it was poorly written. The time wasn’t even at most points of the book. The characters weren’t very well thought out and dialoged was choppy. I wouldn’t recommend The Giver to anyone.

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by juliaa on Mar 29 2015

...it is a book that does not deserve all the praise it receives for being such a “suspenseful” novel. For as much hype as the book gets for being “not like stereotypical science fiction”, I was deeply disappointed when I read the book myself.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Hope B on Mar 29 2015

I think that Lois Lowry writing style is very polished and good. I personally really like it because she includes a tremendous amounts of detail...The Giver really pulled me in. My initial reaction was wow and oh my gosh because of all the action...I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by CookingPan123 on Mar 29 2015

I thought that the book The Giver was a very entertaining book. One thing is that you do have to get a little bit far in the book until it gets enjoyable in my opinion. The Giver is not a very funny book or intense or anything but somehow its still fun to read. I enjoyed reading this book. I highly recommend this book.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by NatalieZhu on Mar 28 2015

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a suspenseful science-fiction novel about a futuristic society that seems to have everything under control...This book filled me with emotions from anxiety to joy. Be prepared to get sucked into this futuristic society.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by TheDoubtMachine on Mar 28 2015

In The Giver, Jonas choses to feel, to live. Mrs.Lowry, has not only emphasized on the importance of memories but on the vitality of our senses. You have made me realise that with good comes the bad. It is complementary. However, we must not forget that good still exists.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by yummixox3 on Mar 29 2015

I think The Giver was an amazing book. It helped me realize feelings, good or bad, make our world ours...The author's style of writing is perfect and easy for me to understand...I'd definitely recommend this book to other students. Overall I think this book is fantastic and a perfect pick for summer reading.

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 01 2001

After reading The Giver, I was left confused and disappointed.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Aug 30 2010

This winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal raises so many questions about feelings and relationships and society and government that it is hard to imagine a better teaching tool...Ah, here’s the rub. I was loving this book all the way until the end, when the author neglected to tie up the plot into a neat box with a ribbon for me.

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Story Snoops on Jan 01 2001

This award-winner is compelling, thought-provoking, and rich with discussion material.

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Lit Stack

Good
Reviewed by Kira Apple on Oct 10 2012

Ostensibly a novel for adolescents, this moving story has something for readers of any age...The memories that the Giver bestows on Jonas are not just a history, they are a legacy...A true masterpiece of children’s literature, The Giver speaks to the need for community, learning, and understanding within us all.

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The Literary Omnivore

Good
Reviewed by Ron Rifkin on Nov 13 2013

The Giver, on its own, is remarkably self-contained. Its worldbuilding is briefly but expertly sketched...During this reading, I especially noticed how isolated the members of Jonas’ community really are...A lean and essential piece of dystopian fiction. Well worth a read.

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Reading for Sanity

Excellent
Reviewed by MindySue on Aug 25 2009

I can’t explain the many ways that I simply love this book. It is enchanting and eery at its' very center and there are moments of revelation that stun me each time I read its' pages. Lowry’s writing is masterful but simplistic—a single turn of phrase is so full of meaning and not a word is wasted...A fantastic read!

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Sarah Reads Too Much

Good
Reviewed by Sarah on Sep 15 2014

I think this is a brilliantly constructed dystopian world. It really didn't take me long to fall into it, and figure out Jonas...The story itself opens up room for discussion about the power of choice...And it is a really short and fast read, that will also appeal to even reluctant readers.

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http://goodbooksandgoodwine.com

Above average
Reviewed by Allison on Dec 21 2012

For me, The Giver is a timeless story. The way that it is crafted will always take my breath away. Lois Lowry faces the themes of choice, life, and death head on, and makes the journey completely worthwhile.

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Literary Treats

Good
Reviewed by Jaclyn on Nov 15 2011

Giver doesn’t have the action or thrills of Hunger Games or Divergent. It’s a quieter, more contemplative and philosophical book. It’s also absolutely brilliant, a great book for anyone from eight years old up...Overall, The Giver (Gift Edition) is a beautiful, fitting tribute to a mind-blowing classic.

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Annette's Book Spot

Excellent
Reviewed by Annette Mills on Oct 24 2012

The Giver is a relatively quick read that is powerful and moves quickly. It is interesting that we are introduced to this society so quickly that the reader really doesn't have time to think...You really barely catch your breath from the first page to the last. And, the last page leaves many questions as well.

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Caroline Bookbinder

Above average
Reviewed by Carin Siegfried on Oct 03 2012

Jonas is a very appealing character, if a little bland (presumably that's partially imposed by the hyper-conformity of the community) and easily relatable. It was smoothly written and I whipped through it in just a few hours. It's powerful and the questions it raises about tradeoffs and costs are ones adults should ponder as well.

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Good
Reviewed by Reading Matters on Jan 01 1993

This is an excellent book and will give you plenty to think about.

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Giraffe Days

Above average
Reviewed by Shannon on Apr 02 2010

It’s safe to say that I loved this book – it’s only the ending that let it down. Lowry had a great premise, and the slowly unfolding Community is fascinating and superbly thought-out. It continues strongly until the last few chapters, when Lowry seemed not to know how to end it...

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Speculiction

Above average
Reviewed by Jesse on Oct 15 2013

In the end, The Giver is a work of YA fiction that confirms the tradition of political dystopias in science fiction, but lacks the cohesion of the greats...Readers who enjoyed the similarly value-confirming Little Brother by Cory Doctorow will undoubtedly enjoy Lowry’s likewise less-than-challenging novel of government control.

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http://www.heraldguide.com

Good
Reviewed by Austin Reyes on Dec 26 2013

I think The Giver is a great read. In this classic, there are many twists and turns and a lot of moments that will make the reader stop and think. The Giver is a very easy novel to read, but it also has a lot of great symbols and underlying meanings in it. I recommend everyone read this book.

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Ringo the Cat

Above average
on Oct 08 2013

I can’t shake the impression that there was more to be done with this book. It’s true that the picture that is painted here is very black and white...and doesn’t really all...but as far as dystopian MG/YA novels go, there are series out now that far surpass Lowry’s The Giver!

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https://www.worldswithoutend.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Badseedgirl on Oct 06 2013

The thing that makes The Giver truly stand out from this pack is "The Scene", and a very ambiguous ending, that leaves the reader scratching their head... am giving this book my highest rating 5 stars, not because it is the best written book I have ever read, but because I have never been more shocked by a book.

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Making It Up

Excellent
Reviewed by Jax Blunt on Oct 14 2014

I highly recommend you read it. If you like dystopia, although it’s somehow not very dystopian. If you like fiction that raises questions, that worms its way into your head, that stays with you long after the last page is finished, this is a book you will value.

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http://youbookmeallnightlong.wordpress.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Christina on Feb 12 2014

But Lowry does such an amazing job of peeling back the seemingly perfect facade of the Community bit by bit, slowly revealing surprising tidbits of this allegedly ideal world. I also really loved the character of Jonas... I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian novels!

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Reader Rating for The Giver
85%

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