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2011 Awards
The Giver
( by Lois Lowry/ illus. by Bagrim Ibatoulline, Houghton Mifflin $19.99 Score: )

All Jonas had ever known to aspire to was “Sameness.” But when Jonas became a Twelve and received his work assignment, he learned that the peace and uniformity of his community had been purchased at a terrible cost— and when his new mentor, the Giver, retired, it would become fully his job to continue paying it.

Uplifting despite its disturbing themes (Jonas is horror-stricken when he learns that rule-breakers, the Old, and occasionally even newchildren who have been “released” from the community have actually been euthanized), The Giver is set within a dysfunctional society that does not wish to recognize the extent of its dysfunction. It is easy to sympathize with Jonas as he begins to question his beliefs, and soon finds himself railing against his (previously contented) drone-like existence, desperately grasping for warmth.
This hardcover gift edition features magnificent new illustrations by Bagrim Ibatoulline, whose careful shifts in aesthetic-- and subtle emotionalism-- powerfully evoke the most crucial steps in Jonas' journey of awakening. Already a classic on many schools' required reading lists, The Giver continues to be a thoughtful, compelling page-turner for teens.

Age: Teens. Review Published:

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