The Giver – a book review

1994 Newbery Medal Winner

In a community of Sameness there is no history, no memories, color, pain, laughter, love or sadness. Everyone is polite. As a child, you are your age. No birthdays or holidays. Your name is assigned at 1’s, your life’s work is assigned by the Elders at 12’s. At the celebration of 12’s, Jonas is assigned to replace the Receiver of Memories, only one in the Community exists and he is old. Soon to be released, he must transfer his memories to Jonas; he becomes The Giver. As Jonas learns these secret memories he realizes the complications, sadness and conflicts of a world with memories.

At the end of this book, Ms. Lowry describes how she used her life’s lessons and experiences to develop and create this haunting story that seems as pertinent today as ever, if not more so.

As we tear down statues and try of wipe out history, not offend anyone for anything, confront racism the question might be, “Would the World be a better place with Sameness?” Shouldn’t we be embracing our differences, learning from history and using our memories and knowledge to address the issues and make a better life for ourselves, our children and their children, our friends and neighbors? I believe so.

This is an excellent story that has been recommended reading in schools over the years. I recommend it for anyone; and if you have children, read it and discuss as a family. There are many lessons to be learned and interpretations to be made along the way.

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