Lois Lowry was born in Hawaii in 1937. She is an American author of young adult and children's fiction. Lowry is known for writing about difficult subjects such as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust. In The Giver Quartet she explored controversial issues around the questioning of authority. The Giver has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America, some schools have adopted it as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have banned the book from use in literature studies. In 1994 Lowry won the Newbery Medal for The Giver.
The Giver is a dystopian novel. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses.
The society has taken away pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan that has also erased emotional depth from their lives.
In this society, everybody has their own place and are given a job based on their individual traits. The Receiver of Memory is the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, as there may be times where the society must draw upon the wisdom gained from history to aid the community's decision making. This allows everyone else to live free of the memories of war, pain and grief.
Jonas, a 12-year-old boy, lives in a community where everybody is equal and the concept of poverty or fear doesn't exist. At the annual Ceremony of Twelve Jonas is assigned his role in the community. He is selected to become the next Receiver of Memory, and is to be trained by the current one, called The Giver. Once he begins his training, Jonas starts to understand what his unique role entails. The Receiver of Memory is the person who bears the burden of the memories from all of history, and who is the only one allowed access to the old knowledge.
Jonas struggles with all the new emotions and things introduced to him by The Giver. The more memories he recieves the more he starts to question whether the community is actually right and good and equal.
Jonas - the main protagonist, lives with his assigned mother and father and younger sister Lily. Jonas is the same as everyone else in his community, except for his unusually light eyes.
Asher and Fiona are Jonas' best friends.
The Giver is a respected member of the Council of Elders. He is the one who will train Jonas in becoming the new Reciever of Memory.
Gabriel - an infant who Jonas's father, who works as a nurturer of the newborn babies, decides to nurture at home.
We read for approximately 15 minutes, then take a short break and talk about the text, then we read for another 15 minutes.
During this time we listen respectfully. If you have to leave to use the bathroom etc, do it quietly. Don't disturb the rest of the group.
If there are words or sentences that you don't understand in the text, let us know so we can figure them out together.