Recommended by MARGARET MAGLE, Co-owner, OtherWorlds Books & More
For Banned Books month, I decided to highlight The Giver series by Lois Lowry. The quartet includes The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son.
The story revolves around the main character, 12-year-old Jonah. He belongs to a community that, on the surface, is perfect. Jonah faces the Ceremony of Twelve, which is the time when life assignments are handed out. But Jonah is different from most people around him, so he doesn’t seem to “fit” anywhere. He’s also starting to see that his seemingly perfect community has a dark side.
The Giver series has been on required reading lists, as well as many banned and challenged lists. The main reasons given are for depictions of sex, infanticide, suicide, starvation and euthanasia. The Giver won a Newbery Award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
I read this series long after high school and found it to be one of the best dystopian stories I’ve read. This is a series to be read, and reread, and shared with others. You do not have to be a young adult to see the value and truths told in The Giver and the follow-up books.