by Lois Lowry
Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 2000
Why did you choose this book? I read The Giver as a book club selection and felt the ending left me hanging, so when I learned it was only the first book in a trilogy, I decided to read them all
When did you read this book? January 2011
Who should read this book? fans of young adult, dystopian fiction; readers who enjoyed The Giver
Here is a synopsis of ‘The Giver' from Goodreads, where it rates 3.77 stars.
Source: ebook borrowed through my local library
In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
This is the second book in ‘The Giver’ series. I hesitate to call it a sequel, because it does not pick up where the first book left off, and in fact, does not even mention the characters from ‘The Giver’. Instead, this book tells a concurrent story of a different village, presumably at the same time in the future. This village is relatively primative, with the people living with cooking fires and no running water, etc. The village is also brutal, enforcing a form of ‘sameness’ in its own way. No one less than ‘perfect’ is tolerated. Into this village is born Kira, a young girl with a deformed leg. By rule, she is to be taken from her mother immediately and left to ‘the beasts’. However, because her mother pleads and her father was well respected before his tragic death, she is allowed to live. Her mother is a proficient weaver, and Kira grows to surpass her mother’s skills.
When Kira is twelve, her mother dies suddenly from an illness and is left orphaned, her only friend a young ‘wild thing’ boy from what amounts to ‘the other side of the tracks’. The women of the village have always resented Kira and the fact that she is alive when she should not be. Her survival depends on the recognition of her gift and how she will use it.
There are some parellels to ‘The Giver’. Both communities eliminate anything that might cause disruption to their way of thinking. Both communities depend upon discovering young people with ‘gifts’. But there is no real connection between the two books. You could easily pick up ‘Gathering Blue’ and enjoy it without knowing anything about ‘The Giver’. I was disappointed not to learn the fate of Jonas and Gabe by reading this book, but I did enjoy the book. Not quite as much as I did ‘The Giver’ though, so I am giving it a slightly lower rating.
My Rating: ★★★+ 3-1/2 Stars