Laurel Leaf - YA/Futuristic/Newbery Medalist
What led you to pick up this book? I've wanted to read this book for eons (especially since the recent reading of several terrific blog reviews, although my youngest highly recommended it a number of years ago). However, I had no idea where my son's copy was hiding. I began to read it the day after I located it during a completely unrelated book-seeking mission with the kiddo.
Summarize the plot but don't give away the ending. Jonas lives a comfortable, happy life in a community without any suffering and where everyone has a profession chosen for them. Those who don't fit in or who become too old are "released". But, when Jonas turns 12 and is told he will become the Receiver of Memories, he learns the true meaning of pain and pleasure from the aging Giver, a man who is in anguish from carrying the burden of all of the Community's past memories. When Jonas find out the truth, he must make a dangerous choice. Will he have the courage to make a decision that will change things forever?
What did you like most about the book? I'm having trouble figuring out what to say to this question. I can come up with a lot of adjectives to describe how I felt about the book, but none of them seem quite right. What makes the book wonderful, I ask myself? I think, perhaps, its humanity. The thought that if life were to become an experience that was free of fear or pain it might also become flat and meaningless is an interesting concept. What is life without pain or pleasure? Ah, there you go. The Giver is a book that makes you ponder, question, compare and observe . . . a book worth discussing.
What did you think of the characters? I was very fond of Jonas. The Giver, the old man who taught Jonas, was a little difficult to warm up to, but eventually he began to make sense. And, Jonas' family seemed warm and loving, the baby Gabriel that they cared for a charmer. But, there were stories beneath each of those characters; and, it was Jonas -- his strength and his refusal to let what he'd learned become meaningless -- that really jumped out.
Share a favorite scene from the book: Although the ending is left a bit open-ended, it's the part I really love best. Unfortunately, I can't say a thing without ruining the ending for anyone who hasn't read the book.
An aside: There was a point, during the reading of this book, that I became a little bored. I can't remember what the deal was -- whether I thought things were not moving fast enough, it had become a tad repetitive, or I was just sleepy. But, I shoved onward, thank goodness. That bit of ennui only lasted for a few pages; things began to change quickly after I told myself to just keep reading. The Giver is an excellent book and well deserving of its Newbery Medal, in my humble opinion.
I keep thinking I'll get back to rating with numbers, but they're still making my head hurt. So, thumbs up.
So far, this has been a terrific reading month, both quality- and quantity-wise. I'm trying to churn reviews out as quickly as possible, but now and then it rains outside (when it rains inside, you're in trouble). And, when it rains --outside, of course-- I have no choice but to read until I'm cross-eyed. Those are the rules. I'm again, therefore, 5 book reviews behind.
Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz
The Night Lives On by Walter Lord
A Hawaiian Reader, Vol. 1, ed. by A. Grove Day and Carl Stroven
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
Finished, but you'll have to wait for an Estella review:
Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
Just walked in the door:
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (Thanks, Paula!!!)
Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer (PBS, I heart you)
and this gem from the library sale:
I don't have any surfaces that are that ugly, just FYI; the photo was taken our light-drenched but vaguely tacky library basement (like I care if it looks like the Taj Mahal or . . . a basement). Here, read a little. Be my guest:
Very wahooey find, don't you think?
Here's another wahoo, a harbinger of spring:
And, something of interest . . . the reason Vicksburg used to be nicknamed "The San Francisco of the South" (which also may at least partially explain why very few people own vehicles with manual transmissions):
Seriously wahooey; every town should have one of these:
Sleep well, my pretties.
Bookfool in The City with the Hot Pink Gorilla