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Author: Lowry, Lois
In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 77348
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 6.20
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 35702
Common Core Standards
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
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
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/04)
School Library Journal (04/04)
Booklist (+) (02/15/04)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/04)
The Hornbook (05/04)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2004 Gr 6 Up-Matty, who has lived in Village with the blind Seer since running away from an abusive childhood, is looking forward to receiving his true name, which he hopes will be Messenger. But he is deeply unsettled by what is going on. He has discovered his own power to heal others and learned of disturbing changes within his community. Under the gentle guidance of Leader, who arrived in Village on a red sled as a young boy and who has the power of Seeing Beyond, the citizens have always welcomed newcomers, especially those who are disabled. But a sinister force is at work, which has prompted them to close admission to outsiders. Also, it seems that Matty's beloved Mentor has been trading away parts of his inner self in order to become more attractive to Stocktender's widow. When the date for the close of the border is decided, Matty must make one more trip through the increasingly sinister Forest to bring back Seer's daughter, the gifted weaver Kira. On the return journey, Matty must decide if he should use his healing but self-destructive power to reverse the inexorable decline of Forest, Village, and its people. While readers may be left mystified as to what is behind the dramatic change in Village, Lowry's skillful writing imbues the story with a strong sense of foreboding, and her descriptions of the encroaching Forest are particularly vivid and terrifying. The gifted young people, introduced in The Giver (1993) and Gathering Blue (2000, both Houghton), are brought together in a gripping final scene, and the shocking conclusion without benefit of denouement is bound to spark much discussion and debate.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2004 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2004 Bounded by Forest, a protective and yet also malicious guardian, Village welcomes newcomers and offers acceptance and a fresh start to those who were unwanted in their previous homes. Matty is one such person, finding his way to Village after fleeing terrible abuse. Since then, he has become indispensable as a messenger between Village and other communities, for only Matty can navigate Forest without risking the dangers it presents to others. His idyllic Village, however, is becoming less and less of a haven: the previously generous community wishes to close Village to outsiders, and Forest has grown even more threatening. While Matty tries to discover what brought about these rapid changes and deal with a surprising power he accidentally discovers within himself, he must make a last journey through Forest to warn others that Village is closing. Will he make it through the suddenly hostile Forest alive? Lowry returns to familiar themes in this story of a utopia gone dys-, but this community's peace is not, like that in The Giver (BCCB 4/93), built on lies or dubious moralizing, and its downward spiral comes not from inevitability but from the poisoning influence of what one person brought with him from the outside. Also unlike other ruined utopias, this one gets to heal; as the community trades their souls in exchange for shallower, but more visible, assets, Matty's special gift and his ultimate sacrifice save them from losing their deepest selves. Lowry's writing, especially the domestic details and the dialogue, is simple and comfortable, while her story has enough mystery and action to carry the slower, more touching moments. The ending, with its quick reversal of Village back to its original, peaceful state, is anticlimactic, though Matty's death is powerful and poignant in its own right. Fans of dys- and utopian fiction who are tired of society's evils always winning will appreciate Lowry's Village. - Copyright 2004 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 02/15/2004 *Starred Review* Like Lowry's hugely popular Newbery winner, The Giver (1993), this story dramatizes ideas of utopia gone wrong and focuses on a young person who must save his world. Teenage Matty lives with his caregiver in the Village, a place of refuge, where those fleeing poverty and persecution are welcomed with kindness and find a home. But the Village people are changing, and many have voted to build a wall to keep the newcomers out. The metaphor of the wall and the rage against immigrants (They can't even speak right) will certainly reach out to today's news images for many readers. But Lowry moves far beyond message, writing with a beautiful simplicity rooted in political fable, in warm domestic detail, and in a wild natural world, just on the edge of realism. Matty lives with his blind caregiver, Seer. Both of them were driven from home and nearly perished. The drama is in their affection; in the small details of how they cook, care for their puppy, and tease one another. Matty teases Seer about his blindness, even though they both know Seer sees more than most. In contrast is the terror of Matty's secret powers and the perilous journey he must undertake to save the Village. The physical immediacy of his quest through a dark forest turned hostile brings the myth very close and builds suspense to the last heart-wrenching page. - Copyright 2004 Booklist.