Yvonne Osborne over at The Organic Writer and Jean Oram at her self-titled blog have blog posts today discussing Lois Lowry's novel The Giver. Yvonne challenged herself to read some banned books. Knowing Jean & I had read the book, she asked us a series of questions. Our answers are posted at her blog here.
The Giver is one of my favourite books. It has so many layers of interesting and thought-provoking "stuff". It has been banned in several places. Amazing what people fear, isn't it?!
I read it often to the students in my class. Students invariably love it, although they're generally not convinced by the first chapter. It takes a few days of reading until they are hooked. After that, I don't dare attempt to miss a day of read-aloud time :)
Lowry creates a world devoted to Sameness. It's safe, predictable and utterly lacking in anything important, like emotion. When students discover partway through the book that Jonas, the main character, is one of only 2 people who can see colours, they're always taken aback. How could it be possible? Continued reading brings more and more surprises and discussions.
When I finished up the book today in class, the kids were shocked by the ending. Lowry has made them think and wonder all the way through the book. She makes them continue to think and wonder after it's all over. No neat endings, no pat answers. More questions. Awesome! There was dead silence when I finished the last sentence & closed the book. Then the questions flew :)
Have you read the Giver? If you have any thoughts on it I'd love to hear them! Or you can pop on over to Yvonne's blog and comment there.
Do you enjoy books with multiple layers? Someone once told me a good book is like an onion. You keep peeling back layers and finding more good stuff underneath. What's your favourite onion book?