"Best of" Lists
The Giver Quartet
The Giver was originally published in 1993 and launched a series about a utopian society with no pain, crime, or unhappiness that's revealed to be dystopian. It follows 12-year-old protagonist Jonas, who, as the Receiver of Memory, gains from the Giver the community's memories, which were wiped out by the Sameness -- a plan for their strife-free life. The bestselling novel won a 1994 Newbery Medal and is often required reading in schools. But it also has appeared on the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books. All four novels in the quartet, which concluded with Son in 2012, have strong positive messages about how honorable, determined youths learn to use their personal gifts either to escape or mend their dystopian societies. A film adaptation of The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, is set for August 2014 release.