Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Rereading THE GIVER, Looking Forward to SON

Today, Lois Lowry's book Son will be released--the finale to THE GIVER series. I had no idea Lowry had plans to do this but, was so happy that she did! I am definitely looking forward to reading this book.  When we learned that there would be a 4th book in this incredible series, Mary Lee suggested rereading the series before its release. I am not a big rereader. I don't often like to reread a book I've already read but when I saw that SON will pull together all 3 books in the series, I decided to at least reread THE GIVER.

I read THE GIVER by Lois Lowry when it was published in 1993.  It was a powerful read. An incredibly powerful read.  I remember that I had finished it around the time of our Dublin Literacy Conference and that Mem Fox was our speaker. I remember picking her up at the airport and talking about the ending of the book on the way to her hotel.  I remember that everyone I knew was reading the book and talking about the ending.

I didn't  even remember that I talked about this book until I reread it last week. And once I was back in the story, I was amazed to realize how much that book has lived with me over the last 20 years of my life.   I am so glad to have reread this book. It was as powerful a reread as it was almost 20 years ago. This round, I am reading it on my Kindle, and I find myself highlighting all of those scenes that I remembered so clearly. I am highlighting Lowry's lines that had an impact on me, without me actually realizing it.  I am reminded again and again what an amazing writer Lois Lowry is.

Rereading this book made me realize that you don't really know when a book is life-changing. It doesn't happen overnight. And you can't really pinpoint the changes within yourself. But when a book. a set of characters and a community live with you for 20ish years, you are changed. I am actually a different person than I was before I read THE GIVER. I can see that as I reread--actually revisiting the scenes that moved me. I find myself actually experiencing the same emotions I did during my first read. It is incredible really. Going into the reread, I didn't really remember the plot or what happened. I had forgotten the details of the story. But I remembered the way the story made me feel, the things it made me think about and the unsettled feelings I had when I read certain lines. I remembered caring deeply for the characters and having incredible hope for them all.

After rereading THE GIVER, I have decided to  reread GATHERING BLUE and THE MESSENGER before I read SON. I am trying to hurry a bit because I am so anxious to read this book and to see how Lowry ends the series.  But I want these characters and my understandings of them to be fresh in my mind when I read this new book.

It was really a gift to have reread this book. So glad that the anticipation of SON pushed me to do that. Thanks, Mary Lee--a great idea!


  1. Great point! I don't like to reread books, either! There are so many books in my TBR pile, that I feel like I don't have time to go back and reread. However, you've convinced me to do just that with this series. Now....when am I going to do that? ;-)

  2. Giver makes me want to teach 7th graders all over again, it seems kind of amazing that the students that I read this book with are in their late 20's. I wonder if any of them remember. I can't wait for to read Son, but I'm going to reread also!

  3. WHAT?!? I thought Messenger was the end and oh, what a disappointment I have felt all these years...but ALAS!! The Son. The Son? THE SON-- oh I cannot wait!!


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