Dell Laurel-Leaf Books
Published Sept 10, 2002
Paperback, 224 pages
This is the second book in the trilogy that began with The Giver. It is a stand alone book, however, with a different setting and characters. The similarity is that it is also set in a dystopian society.
Kira was born with a twisted leg in a society that shuns weaknesses. The village where she lives is primitive (no technology) and she finds herself alone and fending for herself when her mother dies. However, because of the gift of weaving that she possesses and that her mother taught her, she is taken in by the powerful Council of Guardians—a form of government. There she meets Thomas who is also a gifted carver and Jo, a little girl with the gift of singing. All three are being trained and used by the Council for The Gathering, an annual ceremony where the whole village is gathered to hear The Song about the past and how their society came to be what is it today.
The story quietly but steadily builds suspense as to what is the truth behind the Council and the world Kira lives in. Lowry develops a set of great characters, especially Kira and Matt, a deprived, scruffy kid who comes to her aid in more ways than one and who represents a people that is positive and willing to make changes. I felt Thomas could have played a greater role with Kira, although his acceptance could have represented those in society who do not question but go along with the status quo.
This book has the same feel as The Giver, however, there seems to be less action in this one. And like The Giver, the ending left me wanting. It was clear that Kira wanted to take part in shaping a peaceful future for her world, but we are left to speculate how she will do that. After investing time and emotion with these characters and hoping for change along with them, I was disappointed that as a reader, I did not get to cheer Kira as she actually took part in doing it. It's almost like there is no climax. The ending is very abrupt.
No doubt, Lois Lowry is skilled in creating a dystopian society disguised as good, but full of dark secrets that repress its people. There is much discussion that this book can engender regarding our roles in society and how similar our own society is to the self-centered, cruel one of Kira's world. It would be a good pick for a mother/daughter book club.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Dystopian Challenge, YA Reading Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. I was not told how to rate or review this product.
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I should probably start with The Giver, but both of these premises sound very interesting. I agree that it would be a perfect mother/daughter book club book!ReplyDelete
This does sound interesting, but I wonder how much I'd like it since I do like action in my books.ReplyDelete
I think there is a copy of The Giver floating around here. One of the kids read it for school. I will have to dig it out and put it in my tbr pile. Your review has me interested about the series.ReplyDelete
I've rad all 3 books in this trilogy (The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger) and would definitely suggest reading them in that order. The 3rd book is really the one that ties the overarching story together and focuses on Matty, who was probably my favorite character in the books. Messenger doesn't answer all the questions, but I thought it did a good job in wrapping up the main storylines.ReplyDelete
Thanks Erin for this added info! I am planning on reading Messenger next.ReplyDelete
I didn't know that The Giver was a part of a series. I read it years ago, but didn't really like it.ReplyDelete
I loved the Giver, but I didn't know it was part of a series.ReplyDelete
The Giver is hands-down one of my favorite books of all time, and although I liked this one pretty well, I didn't like it as MUCH as I liked The Giver. A friend tells me that reading the final companion book The Messenger will tie it all together for me, so it's on my to-buy list. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete