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THE GIVER came out more than twenty years ago. Since then, Lowry has published two other books in the series, GATHERING BLUE and MESSENGER. With SON, the author returns to the story of THE GIVER, taking us behind-the-scenes the story from the first book, giving us animportant parallel story that fills in the blanks of the tale of Jonas, Gabriel and Kira.

"The gift of this book is that it gives the reader greater tools with which to explore their own feelings of love and the need for other human beings in a well-lived life."

This is a masterful book. Told from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Claire, a Vessel in the Community, it is a continuation of the idea that, beyond their organized, tasteless and colorless community, there is a world that is far messier…and far more interesting. A world where love colors the atmosphere, where “the stirrings” everyone takes pills to quelch rise up and make every person a little bit more human. Yes, this means that there are flaws and failures, but it also gives the proper impetus to young Claire to chase after the “newchild” she gave birth to as part of her responsibility to the Community. Escaping from the Community is easier than one would think and Claire then finds herself thrown into a whole different culture as she tries to find the child, using a combination of skills she never knew she had when she was just going through the motions before.

SON brings together characters from other books in the Giver quartet and shows us the ramifications, both positive and negative, of Claire’s very human actions. Through her journey, we see the journeys of all human beings --- against foes both real and imagined, inspired in the heart and manifested in the world.

The idea of how remarkably transformational love is, how it literally colors every corner of your life, is the engine of this story. It is through her own personal vision that Claire’s world comes alive to the reader. As she discovers the depths of the feelings she has for her child, Claire takes us through a world that is simultaneously disturbing, rich, fascinating and somehow familiar. Put in context with the other books, you have one of the most remarkable reading experiences for anyone of any age. SON (and the entire series) brings readers in touch with the feelings and facts that affect the world around them every day. The gift of this book is that it gives the reader greater tools with which to explore their own feelings of love and the need for other human beings in a well-lived life.

SON is a masterful book that paces like a thriller --- you don’t want to put it down because you can’t wait to see what happens next. Lowry is already recognized as an accomplished author, but this book takes her to another level. An important and provocative read, SON is a TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for this generation, a story that uses one person’s experience to encompass the life force we all feel. 

Reviewed by Jana Sicilliano on November 9, 2012

by Lois Lowry

  • Publication Date: October 2, 2012
  • Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
  • ISBN-10: 0547887205
  • ISBN-13: 9780547887203