Kid reviews for The Giver, Book 1

Common Sense says

Riveting, expertly crafted novel shows utopia's flaws.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 122 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 347 reviews
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnanya Goel February 23, 2017

Can't resist reading!!! An Excellent and exceptional book!

The Giver is an excellent, exceptional, utopian fiction book by Lois Lowry. The book is quite intriguing so the reader can’t stop before completing the book in a single go. The author made sure that no part of the book is left boring. The storyline is quite complex and though meant for young adults, this book grasps the attention of adults also. The author has left the ending equivocal and the reader envisages the situation and thinks of possibilities. I think it is a virtuous technique to mesmerize the readers. I purely loved this book…
Teen, 17 years old Written bywereallmadhere May 25, 2011

this novel is amazing and if you disagree, you don't understand the book

first of all, if you have not read this book entirely, you shouldn't have an opinion about it. this book is simple and direct. the storyline is that you need to find out the truth and make your own decisions. freedom is prohibited in Jonas's society which is why he runs away at the end. HE RUNS AWAY. the book does NOT glorify the slightly communistic dystopian ways of the society. the whole point is to reject the mechanical and heartless world that is portrayed. yes, Jonas has somewhat sexual dreams, but that is natural for everyone and the society gives him pills to suppress the urges which adds to the inhuman methods that rule the community. and yes they kill a baby by lethal injection. this is the last straw for Jonas and the main reason he decides to leave the only place he has ever known, saving another baby named Gabriel in the process. you may think this is inappropriate for some, but children see murders, child abduction, rape and killings on the news and in newspapers everyday. at least The Giver can contrast our society with the fictional one created to let readers see the differences and appreciate that what they have been given is the same thing Jonas is fighting for.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byRavenclaw Spokesman February 21, 2017

Wrong Idea People

MINOR SPOILERS!!! I have read MANY reviews on this book for adults, and they have the completely wrong idea. They are saying that it has too much violence due to the baby dying. I 100% disagree. This showed that a disguised murder in a community is still a murder. We had to read this in 7th grade, and nobody had a problem with it. We were kinda solemn after the discussion of the death, but it wasn't without reason. He needed to hit home that this was MURDER. The talking, it needed to show that the people were pretty much brainwashed into doing this. MAJOR SPOILER HERE! Remember nobody knew about anything, only Jonas and the Giver. It was supposed to be an emotional scene. It was to prove that life is meaningful, and shouldn't be wasted. Proven again through the rest of the series. Another point, the stirrings. How do you see it as sexual? I actually got a question wrong on a quiz saying that the dream caused interest in the other sex. Seriously, I didn't catch it. I'm the guy who can read the Lord of the Rings series in 4 days and tell you every detail. (Maybe an exaggeration, but I'm trying to prove my point.) It's puberty! This is possibly one of the best books, EVER. I've read most of the best sellers, and this should be on the list for 7th grade reading classes for years to come. If there is any requirement for the book, do it where you can converse with a teacher or adult who can explain parts of the book. It may be serious, but it'll be worth it.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 12 years old February 20, 2011

Don't be Afraid to feel.

Comparing my review to others you may be wondering why I haven't decided to put the sexual behavior sign. Well, because it isn't necessary. Why you may ask? Well, this book has been made for kids going through puberty. Don't you understand, sexual thoughts, fitting into your community those ideas are put in the book so tweens can feel empathy towards the main character Jonas. As a becoming teen I can understand in some ways how the main character feels. One most see that this story lets you know its okay for those feelings, one as a human must cope with them. The realsing of people is horrible and many things the community were Jonas lives are but they show the world isn't heaven and as a parent you can't hide a child from it. The longer you try to keep them in a bubble it will be more shocking to them to meet the REAL world. I personally do not understand the mother how disliked the book so much but I feel that she did have her reasons, though they seem quit meaningless to me. You need to decided if the book is right for you're living style. But I'll let you know if it is there is one thing that it will teach you and leave in printed in your skin.

Don't be Afraid to feel. To wonder? To challenge the world. For all those great characters such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King, that is what they did.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 10 years old February 15, 2019

Deep, and thought-provoking, however, it may be difficult to fully understand for younger kids.

This is an excellent and classic dystopian book. The themes explored are very deep, however, some people may not understand. You will most likely see a lot of reviews saying the book is disturbing, or the ending is “bad”. However, I personally think that this ending is very thought-provoking, as it connects to something mentioned earlier in the book, leaving you to wonder about the plot, and come up with your own thoughts on the book’s ideas and themes. More mature kids, even 9 and up, will be able to cope with the book’s slightly disturbing plot which deals with feelings, choice, diversity, and touches on death, all of which are clearly more serious themes. The future society feels a lot like a magnified version of the darker side of today’s society, which may be somewhat disturbing, but for people that can handle it, this book is a must read.



TL;DR: An amazing but occasionally slightly disturbing book that is particularly thought-provoking.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 11 years old July 1, 2015

Amazing, Read it right after my 11th birthday

This is a great title. Read it and be amazed. Why I say 11 is because of bathing the elderly and that is really it. This is for every kid. He even risks his life for a little baby. So amazing!
Teen, 14 years old Written byOrchestra2 May 11, 2014

In Response to some of the Adult Reviews...

Okay. It must be said that this book is not for the faint of heart or the shallow thinker. Many adult reviews have said this book was "sick" and made remarks like "What has our country become?". But sheltering kids from this book would be like taking away Mark Twain. Or Ray Bradbury. Or, specifically, Enders Game. This book is one of the only books I will refer to as a modern literary masterpiece. And I have read a lot of books.
Lois Lowry perfectly captured captured an alternate reality that would be the devastation of humans. It is what a lot of us might imagine as the death of what we really are: imagination, power, and creativity. Quite simply, this world is gray. We do not know the specifics of how Jonas' community came to be this way, but it is meant to be safe, and that is all. What is quite interesting is the story behind how Lowry came up with the novel. It all goes back to when she was eleven years old, living in Tokyo where her father was stationed at the conclusion of the second World War. She describes her community in Japan similarly to Jonas' community; it was sheltered and plain. Lowry often rode her bike out of the community to simply get a taste of the wonders of the world. She would go down to a local river and watch the “the vigor and the garish brightness and the noise".
The point of The Giver is to examine what it means to be human, by first seeing what is not human. I had to read this novel as assigned reading for a gifted education class at just nine years old, and yes, I was scarred by many aspects of the novel. I couldn't begin to imagine what it would be like not to know sunshine, or winter. The book made me thankful for the first time of those things, really. I saw what they were on their own, and personified. And I put the book down in sheer horror for two days when I learned what being released was. In my mind, that was the greatest step from being human that was even possible. Jonas' community saw that as what they were supposed to do, and it broke my nine year old brain down. But from that moment, I was fighting for Jonas to see what being human was again, saving his "little brother" Gabe, and escaping what human life cannot be: all the same.
I understand where some of the adults are coming from when they do not want their children to read this book. I, myself did not rate the novel as appropriate for all young kids. But if one day I had kids that could handle the minor aspects of the plot that many parents are disgusted by, kids that could see the big picture of the story, this would be the first book I would put in their tiny hands at nine years old. I would tell them to read it, and really internalize it. To further answer the cries of many adult reviewers, this book does not reflect what America has become, not even slightly. This book is the opposite of our diverse nation filled with caring people. This book is simply a genius analysis. It does not say that Lowry is sick in her ideals. I am ashamed that this book is being evaluated for something other than its full story. As Laurie Halse Anderson has said, restricting true literary masterpieces is an action that is "The child of fear, and the father of ignorance."
In conclusion, I know that I have not even dipped a tiny bit into the plot of this book. But I encourage anyone out there to read it and enjoy it for themselves. Please do not take what I am saying as a huge offense, it is just a lesson, in my opinion;, and it is coming from the teen that made the personal, willing choice not to read Twilight.

Happy reading, all.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byLizard Lover April 9, 2008

Futuristic

This book was really good because it made me think about how I treat other people. It handles difficult issues like putting people in nursing homes, and killing those who are not useful in the community. It is not an easy book to read, but it generated lots of discussion.
Teen, 13 years old Written bywriter42 June 20, 2016

Really people??

I know that I am not the first one to say this, but seriously! This book is NOT promoting anything that it shouldn't! It is promoting the exact opposite! Anything bad (killing babies, putting down birth-mothers, etc.) is shown as bad and meant to leave the reader with a taste of disgust! Death scenes aren't meant to thrill you, but rather the opposite! Oh, and the "stirrings" aren't bad at all unless your kid doesn't know about puberty (probably shouldn't be reading it anyway if they are that young). My advice is that your kid will be fine reading The Giver, but only thoughtful people will truly appreciate it and grasp the meaning. This is an amazing book! Go ahead and read it yourself.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 11 years old February 18, 2016

you guys are being TOO HARD ON IT YOU PARENTS

IT'S GREAT the older kid factor hit hard though.It has great messages about standing up for your freedom . Jonas and the giver are great examples.It has some violence about killing and mentions to ripped skin and blood but not like blood everywhere but some parents don't like one thing about killing but i won't get into detail cause spoiler.Now here's where parents go really spazzery (totally a word) Jonas has some "stirrings" which what a crush is called in their messed up community and Jonas wants to bathe a girl this and of course violebnce is why i recommend it to older kids but parents freak out. Anyway great message role models violence and PARENTS FREAKING OUT OVER PUBERTY yes i know it's eye opening and questionable but that's not bad enough for 18+ he doesn't even bathe her in his dream. So there we have it 10+

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Teen, 13 years old Written byRainbowNova840 July 21, 2015

Just....Don't.

This is probably the creepiest book I have ever read. It makes you uncomfortable and depressed. This is supposed to be 'dystopian', but the setting not futuristic or in any way horrible (if a novel is dystopian, the setting is in the future. A future with many problems). I really wouldn't read this book unless it was mandatory. There's nothing in it that would really concern parents except one detailed death. It's supposed to be 'emotional', but trust me, it's not. This would have probably given me nightmares if I hadn't read other creepy books.
Teen, 13 years old Written byorangetiger June 14, 2011

I love it

This is the best book I have ever read. Really, this book has a deeper meaning. Lois Lowry has crafted a beautiful novel, and given us something all to think more deeply. :) <3

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 11 years old November 21, 2008

This book really made me think.

I really loved this book. I could never put it down. As Jonas found out about the truth of his community, it made me ask myself if I'd live in his community, where the truth is held a secret and everyone lives their lives happily when they don't have any choices. Recently, I had to read this book again in school and everyone thought that this book was boring at first. When we reached the point where Jonas started to receive memories, everyone was reluctant to stop reading! Lois Lowry is such a great author.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

INCREDIBLE!!

This is my all-time favorite book, I've read it 5 times. This is definatley a book for more mature tweens or teens. I thought SO much during this book. It has so much thought and wonder. I understood it much better after reading it for the 2nd time, as I first read it as a young 10 year old. It made me mad, (although that might not be the right word) to see that the characters never had feelings, and that the commitee tried to make it seem as if they did with "the Sharing of Feelings", a time during evening-meal where everybody would share their "feelings" then be comforted and once again, be happy. I felt SOO much during this book! LOVED it!
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

PLEASE IGNORE THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS

NO book on planet Earth can portray the great message of this one. There is nothing in appropriate unless you don't allow 1 small natural infatuation. Jonas(main) has a small dream where is female friend seems attractive to him but NOTHING ELSE! I swear! This book get 5 thumbs up!
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

I just finished reading it today!

I laughed, I cried, and I looked at life in a different way when I read Lois Lowery's The Giver. Jonas doesn't seem like an ordenary pre-teen, and he lives his life much differently then I do. But when he meets The Giver, his whole life is flipped upsidedown. I think that this book is very good, and should be shown to the world. There is warfare, death, sexual content, and some content that younger people may not understand. But out of all the books I have read, I think that The Giver is one of my Top 3. Lowery has captured me once again and didn't let go until I read the last words. Huzzah fo The Giver!
Teen, 15 years old Written byteenie2007 March 22, 2020

SERIOUSLY PARENTS??? BEST BOOK EVER

Okay, seriously, this is my favorite book ever. How can you think that this book is bad??? It is clearly showing the downside and darkness of a dystopian society in which no one can make their own choices. Sex and death are a part of life, and if you think that you can shelter your children from it you are CLEARLY wrong. Just because you dont get the meaning of this book DOES NOT mean that it is bad. Let kids choose their own books. Many of the parents and grandparents reviewing it don't know the meaning behind it...

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byproud-Hufflepuff123 March 14, 2020

Great book

The Giver is a little dark. But readers at least 10 should enjoy it.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 12 years old February 17, 2020

One of my favorite books!!

I love this book so much, and have read it at least 8 times, probably more. There are a few sexual parts to it, but nothing to bad. It would probably go over younger children’s heads. It is an amazing book, for both kids, teens, and adults. Over all a must read at least once in your life!
Teen, 13 years old Written byGeo07 February 5, 2020

I love this book

I think that this book is great! I believe that this book could be for any kid who can understand some things in the book like "stirrings" sexual dreams, the main idea of society, and "releasing someone" putting people down or killing them with a injection. But all in all I feel that it depends on the child and the parent.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff

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