Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

The Giver et al

I have rediscovered The Giver. 


sometimes the movie reminds the reader the greatness of the book image:

When it arrived on the scene in 1993 I was not an impressionable YA reader. No, I was a thirtysomething wife/mom/librarian and read books no matter what age they were intended for. Hmm. the only thing that’s changed is my age and the fact that I’m a librarian at heart while teaching English.

Like most readers, I felt a bit cheated at the ending. It was not neatly wrapped up and presented as a conclusion of satisfaction. Ambiguity can be quite frustrating, yet that’s one reason why The Giver is so memorable. We all want to know what happened to Jonas. Having rediscovered The Giver through watching the 2014 film led me to discover the other books in the series: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. And here I thought all these years that the story ended with that famous sled ride.

Apparently it took twenty years for the book to become adapted to the screen. Jeff Bridges bought the rights and had originally wanted his father Lloyd to play the part of Giver. It didn’t happen, but viewers can watch a family reading of The Giver as one of the special features selections on the released DVD. Having finished reading the entire quartet I am smitten with the entire story. I hope there is a continuation of the series since each adds to the overall understanding of Jonas’s world.

An added bonus to rediscovering The Giver was reading the latest edition which contains author Lois Lowry’s twenty year reflection of The Giver’s impact.

A goal for this year: revisiting novels, particularly juvenile and YA novels, to gain a different perspective and insight.

Anyone interested in doing the same?


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21 thoughts on “The Giver et al

  1. I have been re-reading books I have not read in a long time. I recently re-read All-of-a-Kind Family by Taylor. It taught me so much about Jewish traditions as well as New York at the turn of the century when I first read it as a 5th grader. It did not disappoint when I read it again.

  2. I haven’t read the books, but my son and I saw the movie, and I was pleasantly surprised. Very enjoyable.

  3. I loved The Giver as an adolescent and again as an adult–for the same reasons! It isn’t always that I love a book the same way years later. That’s what makes some writers (like Lois Lowry in this case) special to me.

    Did you read the rest of the series yet? How were they? Did they fit the style/tone of the first book?

    I revisited children’s books a few years ago and wrote about them over at my blog. There were some oldies and some new selections. I highly recommend exploring a few children’s authors. =D

    • I read the whole series at one time and enjoyed that experience of not having to wait in the gap for the next book. Messenger made me cry! I’d like to see that one as a film adapt.

  4. i love re-reading my favorite books. it feels like such an indulgence. i’d love to re-read this series, especially since i haven’t read the final book , SON. this is still one of my favorite books by lowry.

  5. Sadly, I never read YA books in my youth. My family was not a family of readers (or ones allowed to spend time reading–I grew up on a farm), so as much as I loved books, I didn’t read many written for my age group, only those called for in my English classes. I missed out on so much. I don’t know if I have time to catch up.

    • Listen to them in the car! I’ll check out juvie and YA audios for trips because they are short and mostly uplifting.

      • Hmmmm, I could do that. I’ll have to plan it well. I usually have short car trips with son in tow in the city. And when we go out of town, my son is reading in the back seat. Neither he nor I can read while there is any kind of conversation/music with words in the background. So I’ll have to find some YA that would be appropriate for him to listen to along with me. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Have fun with creating your list, Some great discussions could happen from this!

  6. One of my favorite books that was ruined by the movie version.

  7. I just watched the movie yesterday, a funny coincidence. I don’t normally like dystopic stories but I enjoyed the movie. I didn’t know it was based on a book, darn, I would have read that first.

  8. I actually loved the ending of The Giver. I loved knowing that there really was an Elsewhere and that Jonas had an opportunity to see it.

    I, too, thought the story ended with the sled ride — and was surprised and delighted to discover the three other novels on a display at B&N after the movie was released.

    All three Giver sequels have since been added to my too-damn-large reading pile. (Perhaps I might just move ’em to the top…)

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