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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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More copies of this ISBN

The Giver

by

The Giver Cover

 

 

Author Q & A

A CONVERSATION WITH LOIS LOWRY ABOUT THE GIVER

Q. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

A. I cannot remember ever not wanting to be a writer.

Q. What inspired you to write The Giver?

A. Kids always ask what inspired me to write a particular book or how did I get an idea for a particular book, and often it’s very easy to answer that because books like the Anastasia books come from a specific thing; some little event triggers an idea. But a book like The Giver is a much more complicated book, and therefore it comes from much more complicated places—and many of them are probably things that I don’t even recognize myself anymore, if I ever did. So it’s not an easy question to answer.

I will say that the whole concept of memory is one that interests me a great deal. I’m not sure why that is, but I’ve always been fascinated by the thought of what memory is and what it does and how it works and what we learn from it. And so I think probably that interest of my own and that particular subject was the origin, one of many, of The Giver.

Q. How did you decide what Jonas should take on his journey?

A. Why does Jonas take what he does on his journey? He doesn’t have much time when he sets out. He originally plans to make the trip farther along in time, and he plans to prepare for it better. But then, because of circumstances, he has to set out in a very hasty fashion. So what he chooses is out of necessity. He takes food because he needs to survive. He takes the bicycle because he needs to hurry and the bike is faster than legs. And he takes the baby because he is going out to create a future. And babies always represent the future in the same way children represent the future to adults. And so Jonas takes the baby so the baby’s life will be saved, but he takes the baby also in order to begin again with a new life.

Q. When you wrote the ending, were you afraid some readers would want more details or did you want to leave the ending open to individual interpretation?

A. Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don’t do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don’t want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds.

Q. Is it an optimistic ending? Does Jonas survive?

A. I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I’m always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think the boy and the baby just die. I don’t think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending. I think they’re out there somewhere and I think that their life has changed and their life is happy, and I would like to think that’s true for the people they left behind as well.

Q. In what way is your book Gathering Blue a companion to The Giver?

A. Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, one that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as the world of The Giver has. It was fascinating to explore the savagery of such a world. I began to feel that maybe it coexisted with Jonas’s world . . . and that therefore Jonas could be a part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes at the end of Gathering Blue. He can be Jonas or not, as you wish.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 19 comments:

Yuin, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by Yuin)
This book is great, it makes me want to read the quartet. Love the writing style, and can't wait to read more!
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Yuin, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by Yuin)
This book is great, it makes me want to read the quartet. Love the writing style, and can't wait to read more!
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
BookwormBaker, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by BookwormBaker)
I loved this book! It was well written and Lois Lowry did an incredible job with sinking your imagination to a whole new world. I felt like I was in the Community.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780440237686
Author:
Lowry, Lois
Publisher:
Laurel Leaf Library
Author:
Lowry, Lois
Author:
Ward, David
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Ethics
Subject:
Social Situations - Values
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Science Fiction
Subject:
Control
Subject:
Euthanasia
Subject:
Social control
Subject:
Ciencia-ficciâon
Subject:
Etica
Subject:
Control social
Subject:
Social Issues - Values
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Coming of age
Subject:
Situations / General
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Readers Circle
Series Volume:
27
Publication Date:
20020931
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
6.91x4.22x.53 in. .22 lbs.
Age Level:
12-17

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Related Subjects


Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
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Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » Books to Movies
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Values and Virtues
Young Adult » General

The Giver New Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.99 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Laurel Leaf Library - English 9780440237686 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A powerful and provocative novel."
"Review" by , "Lowry is once again in top form... unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers."
"Review" by , "This is a stunning, provocative science fiction story that will inspire discussion."
"Review" by , "Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, Lowry's thought-provoking fantasy challenges adolescents to explore important social and political issues. The Giver trains twelve-year-old Jonas as the next Receiver of Memory, the community's receptacle of past memories. This seemingly utopian society (without pain, poverty, unemployment, or disorder) is actually a body- and mind-controlling dystopia (without love, colors, sexual feelings, or memories of the past). In an exciting plot twist, Jonas courageously resolves his moral dilemma and affirms the human spirit's power to prevail, to celebrate love, and to transmit memories. From the book jacket's evocative photographic images — The Giver in black and white; trees in blazing color — to the suspenseful conclusion, this book is first-rate. Just as Lowry's Number the Stars (which received the 1990 Newbery Medal) portrays the Danish people's triumph over Nazi persecution, The Giver engages the reader in an equally inspiring victory over totalitarian inhumanity."
"Review" by , "In a complete departure from her other novels, Lowry has written an intriguing story set in a society that is uniformly run by a Committee of Elders. Twelve-year-old Jonas's confidence in his comfortable 'normal' existence as a member of this well-ordered community is shaken when he is assigned his life's work as the Receiver. The Giver, who passes on to Jonas the burden of being the holder for the community of all memory 'back and back and back,' teaches him the cost of living in an environment that is 'without color, pain, or past.' The tension leading up to the Ceremony, in which children are promoted not to another grade but to another stage in their life, and the drama and responsibility of the sessions with The Giver are gripping. The final flight for survival is as riveting as it is inevitable. The author makes real abstract concepts, such as the meaning of a life in which there are virtually no choices to be made and no experiences with deep feelings. This tightly plotted story and its believable characters will stay with readers for a long time."
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