Series: The Giver Quartet #2
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2000
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In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
I recently read The Giver for the first time as part of the 2011 Dystopian Challenge and thought it was amazing. I really love dystopian novels that are smart and entertaining, but this one seemed particularly thought-provoking. In fact, when I was finished with the book, I really had the sense that I had read one of the remarkable works of literature of my time. I am following up The Giver with Gathering Blue, also as part of the 2011 Dystopian Challenge.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is a companion to The Giver. As the book opens, Kira mourns the loss of her mother. She lost her father long ago, so now she has very few options in a society that does not allow for differences. Luckily for Kira, she has exceptional skill with embroidery, which has allowed her to be robe seamstress for the singer for the Ruin Song Ceremony. The irony is that Kira was born with a leg deformity-a handicap that would have caused others to be cast out of the village.
This is a strong follow-up to The Giver. While not quite as strong, it does have remarkable and complex secondary characters, which is a trait that I love in a book. In particular, I felt a strong connection with Matt and the affection he felt toward Kira.
The use of color was a huge part of why I loved The Giver so much, and I love the way the theme of color continued with this book. I love the detailed description of Kira’s work, and the imagery Lowry used to describe the colors in the dyes, threads, and robe. I love the way the color blue was missing from the robe, and I love the way it worked itself into the robe in the end.
It is so hard to adequately describe my feelings in print for a book I love so much. I felt this same way when I was trying to describe The Giver. I think this series should be required reading for everyone. The story is not only entertaining but excellent, and it has big, universal themes that span the entire series all throughout. If you are a fan of dystopian literature, you will love The Giver and you will love Gathering Blue as well.