If you missed our other discussions, please make sure to go back to Weeks 2 and 3 and see what we have already talked about this month.
This last section was incredibly disturbing. Were you able to make it through until the very end, or was the book too hard to get through?
In case you didn’t know, The Giver comes in at number 11 on the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books from 1990–1999. The most common complaint is that the book is too violent, and the subject matter is unsuitable for young adults. If you want to read more about the book as a challenged book, check out this article. I think that most people would find that this last section is the one that is most unsuitable for children. I am a grown adult, and I find it hard to read the section about how Jonas’ dad kills the baby that he feels will not thrive as well as its twin. We also find out that the elderly are killed during their release ceremony.
To me, this section of the book makes the entire book turn sinister. Before this point, we know that the society is restrictive, and we can see how that harms the people, but after this point, we see that there were some really dangerous decisions made when this town was created.
The ending of this book is really vague. Jonas and Gabe are able to escape, but they are soon cold, hungry, and desperate. At the end of the book, it seems like they are about to find safety, but then, Lowry adds that line, “But perhaps it was only an echo,” suggesting that Jonas might not really be heading towards anything except an elaborate memory. What are your thoughts? Do you think they made it to safety, or was Jonas just hallucinating?
Did you enjoy the book? I know parts of it are really disturbing, but I do think it raises some interesting thoughts, so I still feel like it’s a worthwhile read.
Do you feel like this book is appropriate for young adults? Would you share it with any children in your life?
If you really enjoyed this book, you might enjoy the other books in The Giver series. The books might serve to clear up a little ambiguity from the ending of this book.
I hope you did enjoy reading the book, and I hope you’ll join with us again next month as we read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes!