Lois Lowry is an American writer who has written more than thirty books for young adults the most popular being The Giver quartet. Subsequent books in the series include “Gathering Blue”, “Messenger” and “Son.” The movie adaptation of “The Giver” hits theaters on Friday August 15, 2014.
“The Giver” is set in a society that at first is seen as utopian but it turns out to be dystopian. In this “perfect” world there is no war, disease or suffering because the community practices “Sameness” in which everyone and everything is the same. Emotional depth has been eradicated and to help the community function properly everyone is assigned a position. The Receiver of Memories is someone who stores all the memories before the Sameness took effect in case they are needed to aid in the decision making process.
Twelve year old Jonas has been selected as the new Receiver of Memories and only the Giver knows the memories of the past and now he must passed them on to him. For the first time Jonas experiences the good things like happiness and love but then he is given the painful memories that include war, pain and death. Jonas and the Giver feel that the community has lost its way and they must have their memories returned but in order for that to happen Jonas must leave. The Giver insists on staying behind because only he can guide the people once the memories start flooding back but helps Jonas escape to Elsewhere.
Lois Lowry grew up in New York and wrote her first novel “A Summer to Die” in 1977. She is known for writing about difficult subjects including terminal illness and murder. In 2007 she received the Margaret Edwards Award for her work in writing for teens. Even though “The Giver” won the 1994 Newbery Medal, has sold millions of copies and is included in some schools' curriculum it is also one of the most challenged books according to the American Library Association.