Lowry, L. (1993). The giver. New York, NY: Laurel Leaf Books. 179pp. (Grade Level: 5-8).
Jonas lives in a town that is very well organized and efficient. Once a child turns 12, like Jonas does in the book, they are assigned a job in the town. Jonas is assigned the task of receiving the memories of the world, a daunting task no one has successfully been given in many, many years. Things take a striking turn when Jonas learns about some of the town's secrets, and he along with the Giver, decide to take matters into their own hands to try and change the people and make the town a better place.
I understand why The Giver received a Newbery medal. It is very well written, and takes the reader in for an interesting ride. It is interesting to read memories that Jonas is given for the first time, both the good and the bad, and it would be even more interesting to have students write memories in this way. A discussion topic to use in class would be about how the city is run, and organized, and if students think this is positive or negative and why, and if they would like to live in a place like this. Another thing to talk about would be the lack of color in their world, and what consequences they could think of that would go along with that, and how different life would be. And then there is the ending. I felt that the Lowry left her readers waiting, and that the ending was anticlimactic and not satisfactory. In my classroom, I would have students write their own ending, a sort of epilogue, to what happened to Jonas and his little friend, as well as to all the people back in his home town."