In her Newbery Award-winning science fiction novel, THE GIVER, Lois Lowry imagines a future without conflict, where everything, even fear and pain, are nonexistent. Utopian-like in feel, this future world offers its inhabitants no choices, and even assigns them roles in the community --- roles to which they are consigned for a lifetime. When Jonas, Lowry's main protagonist, reaches the age of 12, he is chosen by the Committee of Elders to receive special training. In his role as The Receiver, he is to take on all the memories of his society, past and present. In his sessions with The Giver, a man he grows to love, Jonas soon learns his society's horrible secrets and must make one of the most important decisions of his young life. A gripping exploration of the meaning of life, THE GIVER is convincingly plotted and rich with contemplation.
Reviewed by Tammy L. Currier on September 10, 2002