Published January 1st, 1993
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.I first read the giver all the way back in 6th grade for my English class, and even back then it captivated me and became my favorite book of all time. I remember searching for more books like it, not yet knowing this was a dystopian - still my favorite book genre, and probably always will be.
Jonas is a member of this society, but he's a little bit different than everyone else. He asks more questions, has more doubts and is generally more curious than other kids in his year, year 11. He also has something called "the sight" that enables him to see things others in his society can't - like colors. I just can't imagine a world without color, it would be so dull that I would go totally insane.
I liked how Jonas was different from everyone else. I remember, even back when I was 12 and reading this for the first time, how upset I felt about everyone in the community being so passive. No one cared or did anything to stop certain things from transpiring - they simple didn't care or question everything. While I know this is how their society has affected them, it still peeves me off just a wee bit.
The Giver was awesome - old and noble, but full of so much pain. I felt so sorry for her, bearing the burden for everybody, when they shouldn't have been expected one frail man to take on all that grief and horror. I also fell in love with baby Gabriel, who was different from the start. I feared for his life at times, especially near the end.
This book is right up there with Harry Potter for me - fantastic and full of everything I like in a story. I have the 20th anniversary set in hardcover that now sits proudly on my shelf for my kids to read once they get a bit older. The daughter is only 3.5 and my son won't come till January - I have a while that I can treasure it as all my own yet. :)