I was born a little early for this book. It was published in 1993. I had graduated High School by then and should have graduated college. But since then, the book has become a part of the cannon. My son’s teacher read it to the class last year and this year's teacher is reading it to him again. But I missed out on those opportunities, and I just got to it now.
I didn’t decide to read this book until last year during the Battle of the Books. It wasn’t that I wasn’t compelled by the acres of praise the thing got, or the marvelous cover (how can a picture of a bearded old man be so compelling? Beards are magic, you say!) but there are just so many things to read. Instead I was compelled by Ms. Lois Lowry’s brilliant self in action. Just read as she weighs in on the battle between MT Anderson’s Octavian Nothing and Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games in last year’s School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kid’s Books. This is the Big Kahuna Round where Ms. Lowry decided the winner in an essay entitled "Cop-Out." Make sure you read through the comments as well. MT himself chimes in, then Suzanne Collins, Jane Yolen and John Green all speak up. As one commenter declared, the point of the battle was not so much to choose a winner as to listen to these champs weigh in on the best books and the silliness was a blast.
Here paste this into your reader: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/SchoolLibraryJournal-BattleOfTheKidsBooks, then you will be ready when the 2010 battle commences.
The Giver WAS was amazing, Lowry's world building so careful and precise. Not dumbed down for kids and yet clearly appropriate. No fluff. Not that it would fit in before Jonas gets his assignment. And after, well she fits in just enough. So I have been wondering what did I learn from Ms. Lois Lowry?
She did a perfect job, lining up the rules and the rituals in the community, keeping them completely in the camp of what Jonas understands, and what Jonas must learn.
POV. Lowry did it so well I barely noticed it. I must go back to and find the seam, Jonas perspective and the thing that made her book such a commentary on sameness. Sometimes brilliant books are much harder to learn from.
I admire the book very much.
In a totally separate note, have you heard tell of people taking February off from blogging. I just read it somewhere, way too late for it to have an effect on me and my plans, but I wondered if any of you out there had heard of it. What do you think?
As Always (time for the kiddos to come home),