©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.
Not nearly as good as The Giver, but as the author states at the start, in a world after total destruction new life can take on may shapes. The magical realism quality of this series really takes foot with this book. Overall, interesting and an ending with both possibility and dread.
Social sci-fi, vampires, and modern detective thrillers, oh my!
This book did not match up to The Giver. Half of the book was spent discussing thread. The people lived and acted like Neanderthals yet were concerned about pieces of art and singing, depicting the past and future.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Although, "The Giver" stands alone... "Gathering Blue" needs "Messenger" to feel complete and tie the books together. The last two are set in differently evolved communities and much like "The Giver" show how individuals and community values and norms influence the whole. Note that "Messenger" is short and will leave you with a lot of questions. Perhaps there is a forth book coming to complete the series? I was content reading "The Giver" but plan on wanting more after "Gathering Blue" and "Messenger."
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.
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