Published in 2000
In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.Gathering Blue is the second installment of the Giver Quartet, a classic series that was finally wrapped up about a year ago. This is my second time reading this one, and it was just as great as I remembered.
Set in a society very similar to that which we saw in The Giver, people are assigned task and such in life and must abide by a certain set of rules. For most people there is no technology or running water. The society is out in the woods, set off from the rest of the world and is more like a village you would have found in times past.
Kira was a great character, someone who beat the odds from the time she was born. She's crippled, not able to perform hard manual labor. In most cases these people are banned from the village, but her mother fights for her and she is allowed to remain. As time goes on she proves her worth with her extraordinary weaving skills; something very important in a society like hers.
Many secrets are kept from the general populace and slowly Kira discovers these and thinks about straying. There is a huge secret revealed at the very end that I hadn't seen coming when I first read the book, but of course knew about this time around. Lois Lowry does a good job of keeping you on your toes, wondering what corrupt part of society you're going to learn about next.
A classic tale that I'll be sure to read to my children (age 3 currently, due in 9 weeks with #2!), over and over again, the Giver quartet is a timeless tale of bravery and beating the odds.