©2006 Lois Lowry; (P)2008 Listening Library
"Lowry returns to the metaphorical future world of her Newbery-winning The Giver to explore the notion of foul reality disguised as fair....Readers will find plenty of material for thought and discussion here....A top writer, in top form." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Lowry has once again created a fully realized world full of drama, suspense, and even humor." (School Library Journal)
My 10 year old and I went right to this one after listening to The Giver. We loved it even more than that one! My daughter read ahead during reading time at school (she checked out the book from the school library) but she would still go back with me to listen to the story so I could keep up. The narrator does a wonderful job of portraying the different voices in the story, which is told from the point of view of children.
Kira is the main character. She is an adolescent girl who is growing up in a harsh and fairly primitive community. This story seems to be set in a dystopian future, after some undescribed calamity has reduced society to a level of subsistence and survival. She is orphaned, alone, and has a twisted leg. She struggles with how to survive in the community that is dominated by the physically strong. Kira is an artist and has a special gift for weaving. The community leaders recognize this ability and take her in for a unique role. However, Kira's freedom of artistic expression is also taken away. She gradually recognizes that life could be different.
The author uses humor and foreshadowing to make the story fun and suspenseful. We enjoyed pausing it to talk about what had happened, what we thought of the different characters, and what we thought would happen next. The story ends in a way that leaves much room for thought and interpretation. We immediately went on to download the third book in this series: The Messenger. I can't wait to start listening to it tonight!
As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I am so happy to have discovered Audible.com. My daughter and I can listen to many interesting and challenging books that are at her intellectual level, which would be very time consuming for her to read in print. We choose books she can check out of her school library and she reads ahead with the printed versions at school. She takes Accelerated Reader tests on the books and earns points just like her classmates, and she is developing a joy of reading that I don't think would be there if she had to struggle through the entire printed book.
I want to clarify something. Someone said Gossamer was for adults and this book was more for children. They switched the two. Gossamer is more about dreams and fairies and is definitely for kids, this one was the 2nd part in the trilogy of the giver, and is great for kids and adults. I liked this book. I thought Matt the little kid was hilarious, and the voice actor did a great job.
I love BOOKS and reading, listening is as good when I can't look at the book. I listen every minute driving.
This is the second book in a series of three. Each can stand on their own. If you intend on reading all three you should read the first two first, but it wouldn't matter which one first. The Giver (book 1), Gathering Blue (book 2), Messenger (book 3). Definitely read Messenger last.
All the books are short and very interesting. She creates alternative societies in a different future. I thought this (gathering Blue) was the best of the three.
Although this is a stand alone book, it is a parallel story to the Giver (you find this out in the third book Messenger which helps tie the two together and fills in some blanks). Lovely descriptions, fantastic story line, and obvious commentary on aspects of society today (as did the Giver). You need not read the Giver first, but read both Giver and Gathering Blue before diving into Messenger and Son. Here's hoping Lowry writes more in this series soon.
For juvenile fiction it is very good (especially for a juvenile), but this particular Lois Lowry book is a little more youngish than her other titles, The Giver & Gossamer, which were both in the young adult genre, but meant for adults, too. Feed was another young adult book that I enjoyed a lot. Perhaps there are two levels: juvenile and young adult. If that's it, then I'd better check that out more thoroughly ahead of time. However, I finished the book because I really did enjoy it anyway -- it wasn't as juvenile as Hana's Suitcase, which I could not finish.
Listen to all three books from Lois Lowry. Each of them will make you think twice about your own world. Is our society a setup that forces us to live the way we are now? Very thought provoking way of seeing things. the first book "The Giver" will set the pace for the following two books. Great listening that you won't want to stop.
Everything! The plot was painfully predictable. My 11yr old laid it out after chapter two. The characters are flat. The story was unbelievable and boring.
We got the audio book to help re-enforce understanding while my son was reading, so I listened along. No wonder he hates reading! If this was the level of books when I was in school, I would have hated it as well!
Her performance, given the weak material, was fine.
Some of the details and descriptions were interesting.
No, but her interpretations were seamless to the narration. Very well done.
Commuting and writing from Northern California.
I very much enjoyed listening to this from beginning to end. The detail of the author, gives the imagination many visuals. It made the ride home go by fast! :)
The story was weak, it started slow and then when it finally finished it felt as if we had only heard half the story. The more I read/listen to Lois Lowry's "The Giver" Series the more it's clear that many of the most interesting and compelling events happen 'off screen' she hints and the events but never gets into detail. It's almost as if she never gets into what would be the true meat of her stories.
I have read The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and am half way through Son and in all three of her other Giver novels the story is compelling enough to overlook the way Lowry glosses over what would be the most interesting aspects of the world she has created. But Gathering Blue reads like an uncompleted novel, as if she reached the chapter directly proceeding the climax but she never actually shows us the climax or resolution.
That said the other two novels following this in the giver set, require you to have read Gathering Blue in order to understand and appreciate them completely. When taken as part of The Giver series Gathering Blue can be seen as a weak but necessarily link in the chain. But as a stand alone novel i feel it fails miserably
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