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Author: Lois Lowry
Published: Originally, 11993
Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books (Random House)
Age group | Genre: MG | Dystopian
Pages: 179

I know I’ve talked about The Giver a couple of times these past weeks, but I just recently reread it for class, AND, the final installment (a prequel) for the series came out this week. It’s one of those books that just stuck with me through the years.


Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.”

source – Goodreads synopsis

Why It’s Been Banned

*possible spoilers
The Giver
is actually one of the most frequently challenged books in middle and high school. Many say it is definitely inappropriate for middle school because of pretty much all of the content, but I remember reading this novel around 7th grade without any issues at my school. Shortly after the book was published, The Giver was challenged for themes of murder, suicide, degradation of motherhood and adolescent, infanticide, mind control, selective breeding, eradication of the old/young, sexual awakening, and euthanasia. It’s still commonly challenged today.

My Thoughts

Honestly, this is a book that stole my heart. I reread it every once in awhile just because for me, it was the first dystopian/sci f novel that I read without really knowing what those genres were. It was just so different to me. The first time around I was very shocked and surprised at the ending, but I didn’t think anything serious of it because I understood it was a book. A story. Which is a huge reason why I do not understand how this book can be challenged. I don’t feel it is “promoting” anything that people often say it is when they challenge it, instead, it really makes me think about those issues. It makes me see how scary our world would be if we all did fall into sameness or if we lost regard for the human life. Overall, The Giver is a compelling novel that makes one appreciate life.

If you like The Giver you might like….

  • Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son


Book Talk: Where do you stand with The Giver ban? Do you think it’s tame enough for a middle school / high school classroom or too scandalous? Have you read the rest of the series?  Just as good or better? Should they be banned?

Hopeful reading!