The Giver; Author.  Lois Lowry

PUBLISHER, 1993; Awarded 1996.

Synopsis:  This is a story of a perfect society without pain, worry, or choice and replete with sameness.  The Elders assign the protagonist, twelve-year-old Jonas, his life work, the Receiver of Memory, and the collective memories of a society, void of memory, are bestowed upon Jonas the Giver.  The novel details what happens when people no longer know hope, pain, change, color, music, memory, fear, or love.

Themes:  Conformity, Family, Diversity, Euthanasia, Freedom, Choices, Happiness


Discussion questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. What are the rules of this Utopia?
2. What do we learn about Jonas' world?
3. What do we learn about our world?

1. The Giver passes the memories through his hands to Jonas.  Draw around your hand on a piece of paper.  On the hand shape, write about a memory you do not want to lose.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2
2. To help readers grapple with the idea of a society of sameness void of memory, divide into small groups and give each group a wrapped gift containing the word for one of the elements missing from Jonas' society.  Have students discuss the positive and negative effects of eliminating their gift from human society, and then record their observations in two columns.  After each group has shared its findings, attach the lists to a large gift-wrapped box and display.  Standard 3, Benchmark 1
3. Create plans for your own Utopia.  Write a brief statement citing the reasons for your formation of an Utopian society.  Develop ten rules that all community members would follow.  Give a rationale for each rule.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2