Earlier this year there was an article posted here on BB about Lois Lowry‘s The Giver, a children’s fiction novel about a dystopian society. Did you know that The Giver (1993) is actually part of what was once a trilogy and is soon to become a quartet? Here’s a bit about the rest of the books in the bunch:
- Gathering Blue (2000). This companion novel to The Giver takes place in the same future time period and takes on some of the same themes as its predecessor, but is instead about a young disabled girl named Kira. Kira lives in a society where the weak and disabled rarely survive; she is given the chance to live because of her incredible gift in embroidery, weaving, and dyeing. In fact, because of her gift, she stays close to the Council of the village, and ends up learning the terrible truth about her village.
- Messenger (2004). The protagonist of this novel is Matty, who was introduced in Gathering Blue. Matty wants to be called “The Messenger,” but ends up with a very different name because of the special power he is revealed to have. The events in this novel take place about eight years after the events in The Giver and six years after those in Gathering Blue; it brings back characters from both novels.
- Son (2012). After an eight year drought, readers will finally get to ready the finale that they didn’t know was coming. This fourth and final installment of the series is about a mother from another dystopian community who is searching for her son, who is living in much different circumstances. There are very few details currently available about this book, but you can except that characters from the other novels will make an appearance. Son will be published in October this year.
Some schools have banned The Giver from classroom literature for having “inappropriate content.” This is ironic because the book is about a world where choice has been taken away, for example one’s choice to read a particular book. I remember reading the existing trilogy as a fifth grader. Both kept me fascinated as I read them, but didn’t affect my perception of reality. I do vaguely remember having a nightmare related to Gathering Blue, but it didn’t scar me for life or anything. I think the deepest concepts fly over our heads as children; young readers tend to understand the content that they are ready to think about.
On another note, Lowry mentions on her Web site that she currently resides in Cambridge, MA, which is where I’m currently attending school. I guess I should be on the look-out for her when I’m riding my bike along Mass Ave!