Published on August 7th, 2015 | by Thomas Ritchie


Books: The Giver is great dystopian read for teens and adults

By Adrian Jansen, Sioux City Public Library

As a parent of three, I am always looking for ways to engage the minds of my growing teenagers. Common books are a great way to provoke conversation that is mentally stimulating yet non-threatening for any of us. This summer I decided to read a title from their assigned reading list from school called The Giver by Lois Lowry. I remembered both of them being enthusiastic about the book while reading it.

The Giver is a part of our teen collection. It tackles complex topics such as seeking sameness, and that the greater good for the community is worth the sacrifice of one person’s happiness. The Giver explores the inner workings of a dystopian society through accessible language for younger minds to comprehend. Lowry does this while still making it relatable to the life experience of a more sophisticated reader.

As I was working my way through the book, it was empowering for my children to know something I didn’t. They would check in with me, wanting to know where I was at in the story or if I’d gotten to one of their favorite places. They provided extra motivation for me to read whenever I had a free moment so the conversation could continue.

When I finished The Giver, I said to my son, “Really, that’s how it ends?” He encouraged me to read Gathering Blue, which is the next book in the series. I will definitely check it out, but first we are going to watch the movie together so we can compare how it measures up to the book.

Literature is another way to connect in a busy world where time passes so quickly. Check out The Giver and other young adult titles at the Sioux City Public Library and relate to a young person in your life.

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