The Giver by Lois Lowry (Banned Book Week with a giveaway copy!)
Jonas lives in a world where there is no poverty, no sickness, and no thought or dream that is left unturned by his elders. In Jonas futuristic world, children are given privileges and assignments by age. At 9, you earn your bike… your transportation. At 12, which is where Jonas is at, you are assigned your life career bu the elders of the community. While Jonas anxiously wonders what he will be – and hopes he likes what is chosen for him…
Jonas is assigned a position that was considered an honor position, he would be The Receiver Of Memories. At first, this seems pretty cool. Jonas is given rights that others (even the elders) have never been given. While being trained by the elderly man “The Giver” who has maintained the position for years, Jonas is allowed to ask questions that in other places would be rude, but as the Receiver, he had privileges and rights. He is given the right to see and posses all the memories through the history of his world and he soon learns he can go back in this new memory and see birthday parties (something he had never seen!) and scents, and families, and the word love… but he also sees war, and learns the truth about his world, a truth he does not wish to know…
and now he has to decide if he can live with knowing…
Why did I want to read this book? This is another book that has graced my shelves for years…. I knew this was a book that I must read, but I had not. Now, during Banned Book Week, the title came up on the list and I knew it was time. I chose the audio version as it is a little over 4 hours long and worked well into my schedule – I could listen while cooking and cleaning.
I admit, I am always a little nervous on older titles that deal with “futuristic” scenarios. I never have enjoyed sci-fi, but let me stand before you.. corrected. The Giver is dystopian before dystopia novels were cool. Or, more accurately, before we knew dystopia novels were cool. I picked up themes of The Hunger Games, and Divergent…. two books I really enjoyed.
And another thing. The Giver, although the cover is a picture of this God-like old man… is indeed a YA novel. Seriously, I am blown away.
The Giver is one of those books that I would say need to be on everyone’s book bucket list. Filled with wisdom and thought provoking dialogue, The Giver is one that will remain on my keeper shelf.
Why was The Giver Banned?
* The Giver was challenged in 1995 by a parent in Franklin County, Kansas, on the grounds that it is “concerned with murder, suicide, and the degradation of motherhood and adolescence.” The book was removed from elementary libraries but remained available for classroom use at teachers’ discretion.
* In Wrenshall, Minnesota, a school board member and two parents objected to the inclusion of The Giver on a list of books to be purchased for a high school, on the grounds of offensive language and objectionable themes. The school board approved the book but stipulated that parents would receive a list of books to be studied during the year.
* In Johnson County, Missouri, complainants charged that The Giver desensitized children to euthanasia and asked that the book “not be read in class to children under high school age.” The book remains in the high school section of the K-12 library.
* A parent in Sidney, New York, publicly objected to the novel’s “usage of mind control, selective breeding, and the elimination of the old and young alike when they are weak, feeble and of no more use…” but did not file a formal complaint.
* A review committee in Brecksville, Ohio, recommended the removal of The Giver from an elementary library. Objections referred to infanticide and adult themes in the novel. The book was removed.
* Somewhere in Oklahoma, a parent objected to the novel’s use of terms such as “clairvoyance,” “transcendent,” and “guided imagery,” because these are “all occult New Age practices the Bible tells us to avoid.” The review committee voted unanimously to retain the book but prohibited it from being read aloud in fourth grade. The committee also recommended that immature readers be discouraged from trying it, and that the librarian should make fewer copies available.
* Medford, Oregon: In the absence of a formal review policy, language arts teachers decided not to use the book in seventh grade classrooms after a parent complained of graphic descriptions of euthanasia.
* In 1994, The Giver was temporarily banned from classes by the Bonita Unified School District in LaVerne and San Dimas, California, after four parents complained that violent and sexual passages were inappropriate for children.
* The book was restricted to students with parental permission at the Columbia Falls, Mont. school system in 1995 because of its treatment of themes of infanticide and euthanasia.
I am giving away a copy of this book!
To enter this giveaway – share with me in a comment, using the book you are currently reading (banned or not) and tell me why that book should be banned. Just make something up! Have fun with it! Winner will be chosen on Sunday using random.org