~post by Consuelo
Confession: I did not read The Giver when I was a kid. Somehow, the endless amounts of Baby-Sitter’s Club and Boxcar Children books that were available in the books section of my small-town video store in the early ‘90’s kept me satisfied. And even as an adult, although I knew it was in the wheelhouse of things I like to read, I did not make reading The Giver a priority until I knew that Lois Lowry will be visiting BookPeople for the final release in the quartet, Son. Boy, had I been missing out.
In the world that Lowry has created, everyone in The Community has their specific duty to fulfill. Everything is safe. Everyone has a purpose. Twelve-year-old Jonas is chosen as the new Receiver of memory – to protect society from the knowledge of all the pain and suffering that came Before. But Jonas comes to realize that though The Community may be free of hardships, they are also denied color, music, sunshine, and most importantly, love. All the things that make life worth living.
There has been an onslaught of dystopian fiction for young readers in recent years. I have read my fair share of it. Each has its own hook or gimmick that makes it unique. They are mostly all adventurous and action-packed. But none of them can match The Giver in terms of its honesty. It deals less with plotting to save the world and focuses more on the human aspects (or lack of humanity) involved in such a society. It hit me straight in the heart and is a wake up call for the soul. I can imagine that reading it as a child can greatly influence one’s worldview. That’s a beautiful thing – books SHOULD influence people, especially when they are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as The Giver.
Lois Lowry will speak about & sign Son, the finale to The Giver quartet, here at BookPeople on Monday, October 15 at 6pm. The speaking portion of the event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for the signing portion of the event. Visit www.bookpeople.com for more info and to order signed copies of Son. We ship internationally.