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Author: Lowry, Lois
Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken from their community.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 153883
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 59216
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/15/12)
School Library Journal (+) (00/09/12)
Booklist (+) (06/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/12)
The Hornbook (00/09/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2012 *Starred Review* Fans of The Giver (1993)—and they are legion—will find themselves immediately pulled back into the sterile, ordered world where conformity is the only virtue. The focus here is on 14-year-old Claire, and when readers first see her, she is strapped onto a table, masked, about to give birth. As a Birthmother, Claire’s job is finished once her baby is born, until the next pregnancy. But unusual circumstances, including a cesarean, get Claire moved from the birthing center to the fish hatchery, and someone forgets to give Claire the pills everyone in the community takes—the ones that suppress feelings and individuality. Without that wall, Claire begins to long for her son and finds opportunities to see him. Slowly, readers of the previous titles in the quartet will come to understand that Claire’s baby is not unfamiliar to them. When the boy disappears, Claire decides, against all odds, that she must find him. That brings her to a seaside community where she strengthens body, mind, and spirit to continue her search. One of The Giver’s strengths was the unvarnished writing style that reflected the book’s ordered community. Lowry captures that same feeling again and turns it inside out as Claire moves through two more distinct settings, both haunting in their own right. Though her time at the seaside village may seem long to some readers (and it is—more than 10 years), the vividness of the descriptions—from the hardness of the rock to the roiling of the water—makes up for the length. Lowry is one of those rare writers who can craft stories as meaningful as they are enticing. Once again she provides plenty of weighty matters for readers to think about: What is important in life? What are you willing to trade for your desires? And the conflict that has been going on since stories began: Who is able to conquer evil? Don’t miss our feature, “Another Look at Lois Lowry’s The Giver Quartet.” - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2012 In this final installment of the dystopian quartet that began with The Giver (BCCB 4/93) nearly twenty years ago, Lowry returns to the original story, this time focusing her spare, third-person narration on Claire, the birthmother of a baby whose life was threatened by the order-obsessed elders of the dystopian community in the original novel. At just fourteen, Claire is a certified Vessel, but when complications arise in her pregnancy, an emergency C-section is performed and the “Product” is sent to the Nurturing Center while Claire is reassigned elsewhere. She nonetheless finds a way to visit her baby, and it is here that readers will begin to see Claire’s connection to Jonas and Gabe, two major players the original novel. Where The Giver ends, however, Claire’s story continues, following her as she flees the community, loses and then regains her memory, and finally makes a bargain with evil, all in an effort to find her son. Giving a different perspective to a story that is now a middle-school staple is an interesting move, but, more significantly, Lowry revisits the emotional core that has made The Giver so popular—the idea of a world without love and the consequences therein. The opening parts are thus a haunting, evocative, and beautifully told tale of a mother looking for her son, and though Claire is in an adult in her role as the mother, her search for love is universally recognizable. Though the final part turns into a less successful morality tale, the connection between Gabe and Claire provides an engrossing and accessible anchor to the story, and readers will be glad to see both characters find their share of peace. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.