What If We Were All The Same?

book cover for The Giver
1994 Newbery Medal Winner

Reviewing – The Giver by Lois Lowry

Updated post of July 23. 2020.

In a community of Sameness there is no history, no memories, color, pain, laughter, love or sadness. Everyone is polite. As a child, you are your age. No birthdays or holidays. Your name is assigned at 1’s, your life’s work is assigned by the Elders at 12’s. At the celebration of 12’s, Jonas is assigned to replace the Receiver of Memories, only one in the Community exists and he is old. Soon to be released, he must transfer his memories to Jonas; he becomes The Giver. As Jonas learns these secret memories, he realizes the complications, sadness and conflicts of a world with memories.

At the end of this book, Ms. Lowry describes how she used her personal life’s lessons and experiences to develop and create this haunting story. As pertinent today as ever, if not more so.

We are tearing down statues and banning books to wipe out history. We seem to be inching closer to the belief “if you aren’t like me, you are not worthy.” That sounds cynical but the world has changed in two short years (since my first review). “Would the World be a better place with Sameness?” I believe we should be embracing our differences, learning from history and using our memories and knowledge to address the issues and make a better life for ourselves, our children and their children, our friends and neighbors.

What do you think?

This is an excellent story that has been recommended reading in schools over the years. I recommend it for anyone; and if you have children, read it and discuss as a family. There are many lessons to be learned and interpretations to be made along the way.