6.19.2014

finished reading

From the publisher:
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society.

I'm so used to reading dystopian fiction that to read a utopian fiction was a real mind blower. This book left me asking all sorts of questions--like, if I don't know a thing exists, can I miss it? And, who decides what utopia is? It's an interesting premise that Jonas, the protagonist learns the alternatives to the life he knows by receiving the memories from "back and back and back..." Written in 1994, it makes me wonder about how much of my privacy is gobbled up by my digital footprint (thinking about BookFace and its targeted advertising, for instance--or the Patriot Act laws). Do I mind giving up a piece of freedom for security? I enjoyed this book and hope that I remember it well enough to talk about it with my students.

2 comments:

Arline Mellor said...

Ooh this sounds interesting. I've not dabbled in dystopian fiction myself since my A-levels but I do teach this type of writing to my Y9 groups...might be one to go and explore! Thanks for sharing xx

Banker Chick said...

I read this and two more of the quartet and really enjoyed it. I have not read the last one mainly because it is still full price on Kindle. I have seen the previews of the movie and saw scenes that caused me to wonder how much they padded it with the other books and imagination. movies are rarely like the books but I hope the message is not lost. It did seem like a utopia but seemed rather dystopian at the end.