Many of you are familiar with the book, and more recently movie, The Giver. Not as many know that The Giver is actually a four-part series.
The whole story world takes place after a worldwide catastrophe called “The Ruin.” Everyone was left to recover on their own. They all formed different societies, some of which we see in these books.
Warning: Some plot summaries may contain spoilers.
The Giver is the first of these four books. We meet Jonas, a twelve-year-old boy awaiting his assignment. The day finally comes, and he is selected to become the Receiver of Memory. He begins to visit the Giver, who gives him all of the memories of the world before the Ruin. This is all well and good, but Jonas begins to realize that his entire world is not at all as it seems. Jonas’s father has been bringing home a little boy named Gabe for the night, as the little one has not been doing well. Jonas learns that Gabe is going to be released, and decides to take him and leave the community.
The story of this book held me captivated the entire time. It was fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the way this story shows such a young boy working to make a difference and fix things. It carries the “you’re never too young” theme that so many people need.
I also love that Jonas thinks that the babies are so important. These days, people will kill them without a second thought. This was happening in the story, too. Jonas stood in the midst of it all and tried to change it. He risked his life to save the life of one, seemingly insignificant child. Would you do the same?
At first glance, the title of this book may seem a bit odd. If you look carefully, you will notice that there is a needle on the cover and the wisps are akin to thread. This is because Kira is a seamstress. She dyes her own thread, but has no way to make the color blue. Kira was not always like this, though. The book begins with her sitting by her mother’s grave. Her house has been burned down to keep her mother’s disease from spreading. Kira plans to rebuild her home, but the women of the town have other ideas. Kira ends up being taken in by the upper class. She lives with them, and is given a very special task to complete. She works constantly and makes a new friend along the way. Near the end, Kira is presented with the option to leave her community and live with a loved one, or stay where she is and make things better. Which do you think she chose?
Kira shows great strength (especially since she is physically disabled) and perseverance through her extraordinary story. She is willing to work for what she needs, and has the wisdom to discern which choices are best for everyone.
Kira is also very loving accepting of others. She is quick to make friends and always kind to them. She encourages these friends to do the right thing, but is gentle in doing so.
Messenger is about Kira’s little friend Matty. Matty now lives in a separate community, but occasionally visits Kira. He takes messages to and fro between the communities. When his community decides to close itself off, Matty must tell the other communities before it is too late. He also must retrieve Kira now that her community has been made better. On the way through the forest, something goes terribly wrong. The woods actually begin to attack them. In the end, Matty makes a choice. To leave the limping Kira behind and get home, or make the ultimate sacrifice to help his friends.
Matty shows extraordinary courage in this book. He is willing to put his needs aside to help others. He is very loyal as well. He is the kind of man we need more of.
In addition, Matty does not hesitate to obey the leader of the community, who came to them as a boy on a little red sled.
Son is my favorite installment of The Giver Quartet. It is also the longest. I literally could not put this book down. Not even school could stop me from burying my nose into the pages of the thrilling conclusion to The Giver.
Son begins with a birth. Claire lives in the same community as Jonas and is assigned as a birth mother. After all of the preparations and months of waiting, she is finally giving birth to her first child. Something goes wrong, though. In the end, she is left with a large scar across her abdomen. Because of this scar, Claire has become unable to have any more children. She is sent to work at the fish hatchery. Claire is very different from the others, though. She misses her child. After nine months of carrying it, she wants to see it. Maybe even hold it.
So, Claire visits the Nurturing Center knowing only the gender (Male) and birth number (36) of her child. She is given a small tour and visits the 31-40 age-group. A little one begins to cry, and she is told to hold him. The little troublemaker is none other than number 36.
Claire keeps up her job and periodically visits her son. All seems well. But one night he is taken. Claire is hysterical but cannot do anything to save him.
Next thing we know, Claire has washed up on the shore of another community. She doesn’t remember any of her past. The memories eventually come back, though. Claire becomes more determined then ever to find her son. She trains constantly, for the only way out of this valley is to climb a sheer cliff.
After a very long time, Claire is finally ready. She makes her way up the cliff. When she reaches the top, she meets someone. This someone offers her a trade. If she gives him…. Then he will take her to her son.
Claire winds up in the same community as her son, Gabe. After a long while, she finally tells the leader, Jonas, her whole story. In the end, it is up to Gabe to save the day. Does he succeed and find out who Claire really is?
One of the reasons I love this book so much is how attached I became to Claire. I really, really love children and hope to have a few of my own some day, so I can only imagine what it would be like to lose one. It would be horrible. As I mentioned before, the book kept me riveted the entire time. Son left me an emotional wreck for quite a while after reading it. Words cannot describe how attached I was to the characters and what a great lasting affect they left on me.
Claire shows amazing perseverance throughout the entire story. She stops at nothing to find her son. She is willing to wait as long as it takes to unite with him.
She is definitely the kind of person I would look up to. She exhibits great love, perseverance, courage, and never complains about her situation, whatever it may be. She never ever gives up, no matter what.
Over all, The Giver Quartet was a fun read with great messages. From standing up for what’s right to never giving up, Lowry’s characters are truly amazing people. These books never had a dull moment. They are definitely the kind of books that I could read over and over again.