The Giver is the story of a young boy, Jonas, who is just coming of age in a society highly regulated by the government. The council controls every aspect of the inhabitant’s lives, including assigning jobs and controlling emotions, all under the guise of equality. Jonas has the startling assignment of receiver, a position that is shrouded in mystery. Under the wise direction of the Giver, Jonas begins to understand the implications the society’s rules have on its inhabitants.
The Giver is a well thought out and intriguing novel. Lowry’s first installment of The Giver quartet will leave the reader pondering the benefits and downsides to total government control. Jonas’ struggle to overcome a system that has shaped his entire life is both engaging and heart wrenching. This book is suited for upper elementary school kids and junior high students.