Written by Lois Lowry
Reviewed by Grace M (age 9)
This story is about an eleven-year-old boy named Jonas who lives in a community of absolute sameness. A place where color is nonexistent, difference is unheard of, and hate completely unknown. Here strict rules govern everything. You do not chose your own mate or have your own child. Jonas is an eleven, which means that this year, in December when each group of children receives a certain thing, he will go through the Ceremony of Twelve, where he receives his lifetime occupation. He is finished with school and volunteer hours and will receive a job. He is assigned "Receiver of Memory" and is taught by one known only as The Giver. As he experiences many things mystical to him, he pursues mysterious "Elsewhere," the only place he knows he'll be content.
As I read this book a rush of emotions poured over me. But they all had the same root, that this is an absolutely fabulous book. I really loved it because it had a great plot, engaging characters, a truly great writing style, but most of it made you think. It made me wonder, it filled my mind with about a million "What ifs'" It really made me wonder, "What if our future is really like this?" or "What if there is a place sort of like this and we're living in 'Elsewhere'" This book made me grateful for simple things that we consider everyday life, that are everyday life for us that this community didn't have, like color or differences. It's the sign of a great author to be able to make someone feel so deeply from a single book. Secondly, I believe that's why this book is special and unique in my mind. Not many books make you wonder like this one did. I had a feeling of sadness at the end of the book, which mixed with wonder made a totally unique feeling that rushed over me. Thirdly, over the course of this book, Jonas changed a lot, He changed from a carefree boy who thought that this was a perfect world and who thought that he understood everything and thought that the world had no dark secrets to a young adult who understands the world and faces all the world's secrets with a mature understanding.
I would highly recommend this book, I love it and I believe most people will too. But WARNING: This book isn't for all readers. If you are under fourth grade or don't like intense books I would say this isn't really the book for you. In some places it's brutal and cruel and in some places it's scary too. I believe the plot of a community of absolute sameness with strict rules where a boy learns about mysterious 'Elsewhere' and the past is really truly amazing.