The Giver, Book 1

Book review by Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The Giver, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Riveting, expertly crafted novel shows utopia's flaws.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 136 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 409 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

A book every Young teen should read

The irony of some or the parents comments is not lost on me. The whole idea of the Giver is to let people experience life and make their own judgements of right and wrong. The book does not encourage infanticide. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your 11 year old will be able to relate to wanting to take a bath with the opposite sex. These are important concepts, and this book was crucial developing my understanding of the world when I read it in middle school. Its so ironic that the very ideas the author presents that the society deems “dangerous” are the same ones parents today want banned from their child’s mind. I highly encourage parents to give this book to their kids at 11-12. I will be doing so to mine one day.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 14+

Amazing book!

This book is an amazing book, but it's definitely not for children. I disagree with the statements that it encourages the society in, however, it is quite vulgar. However, if your child is mature enough to deal with the vulgarity, the book encourages critical thinking and my son must have had at least 10 conversations with me about it.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    Friendship
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of the side profile of a boy
    Great Boy Role Models
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate