Originally a phenomena when published in 1993, The Giver (the first of a loosely bound trilogy) has continued to enthrall subsequent generations. Written by famed children’s author Lois Lowry, published by Houghton Mifflin and winner of the 1994 Newbery award; this is a timeless piece of literature that not only weaves an intricate story, but addresses topics so innately central to humanity that it will never lose relevance.
Banned in certain parts of the U.S. and heatedly debated in others, this story does exactly what the author intended; it makes people think.
The story centers on a twelve-year-old boy named Jonas who lives in a utopian society that by all accounts is the perfect place to grow up, complete with “perfectly assigned careers” based on your skill set and things that you enjoy. But as he steps further and further into his “assigned job” his eyes are opened to the true underlying horror that drives the place in which he once felt so secure and at home.
Throughout the chapters you are faced with a growing sense of unease and foreboding as more and more people are happily “released” from the community, but to where? No one knows, or questions; that is simply what happens when an adult gets older, when a child acts up in school, or twins are born, one is kept, one is “released.”
Faced with the reality of life itself he must make a decision: continue to ignore the cracks in the façade of perfection that has existed so long, or do the unthinkable; make a resolution to step outside of the lines and never look back.
The utopian front and yet dystopian reality is reminiscent of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, providing an enthralling and thought-provoking read.