Annotation: In a futuristic fantasy world, where many of the contemporary world’s problems have been done away with, one boy is selected to take on an unbearable burden and learns the cost of his community’s supposed “utopia.”
Jonas grew up in a community where everything was easy and nothing ever hurt. He and his family unit follow all the rules, and all of their needs are taken care of. Like the other kids in his age group, Jonas has put in volunteer hours at different jobs and anticipates the ceremony where they will all be assigned permanent positions within the community. Though his parents assure him that the community’s leaders will choose a role that he is best suited for, he can’t help but be nervous. When the day of the ceremony arrives, Jonas watches as each of his friends is assigned a role that really does suit them. Until it all goes horribly awry. Jonas never could have predicted, or even imagined, this. Now, nothing will be easy for Jonas ever again and everything he always trusted and believed about his community is about to change.
“Jonas did not want to go back. He didn’t want the memories, didn’t want the honor, didn’t want the wisdom, didn’t want the pain. He wanted his childhood again, his scraped knees and ball games. He sat in his dwelling alone, watching through the window, seeing children at play, citizens bicycling home from uneventful days at work, ordinary lives free of anguish because he had been selected, as others before him had, to bear their burden.”
- ALA “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000”
- ALA “Best Book for Young Adults”
- ALA “Notable Children’s Book”
- Booklist “Editor’s Choice”
- Boston Globe-Horn Honor Book 1993
- Buckeye Children’s Book Award 1997
- Heartland Award for Excellence 1997
- Newbery Medal 1994
- School Library Journal “Best Book of the Year”
- William Allen White Award 1996
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York: Delacorte, 1993. Print.
Image courtesy of http://www.loislowry.com/