In case you don’t know this, I’m a bit of a bookworm. I read a lot as a kid, and collected friends who read a lot. We read the same types of books, but they were a few years younger than me and that meant they had slightly different books hit the required reading than me. One such book was The Giver. I listened for years as they talked about “stirrings” and “eye-color” and “sameness.” It fascinated, so when Batman chose to read The Giver for his book and a movie, I was excited and happily joined him in reading the book.
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The premise of The Giver
Jonas is about to have his Ceremony of the Twelve (his 12th birthday), and is nervous what this will mean. He is given the job of The Receiver of Memories, and each day is sent to The Giver of Memories where he learns about the past of the Community.
It’s a thought-provoking piece of dystopian future before YA dystopian books were popular. It explores all sorts of ideas similar to adult novels like 1984 or Brave New World does, and like both of those books, it does not give you a neatly wrapped up ending to the book. Batman and I quite enjoyed sitting and talking it all over
Over a decade later Lois Lowry wrote three sequels to the book, of which I’ve read two, and they slowly build into each other, but are somewhat stand-alone books.
I really should track down that last book, Batman was reading it, and so I had to wait for him to finish since technically it was his book. From what I’ve heard, everyone had a lot of disagreements on how the entire series was wrapped up.
Our movie night snacks for The Giver
Going into this, I knew The Giver was a controversial movie. There’s a lot of very angry fans who did not like the changes made when it was adapted.
As before, you can get the labels in the subscriber section.
- Bird- we made gingerbread cookies and used the animal cookie cutters, birds were a big plot point in the book
- Memories- it was interesting how each memory was tied to emotion, so of course, we wrote their labels on sugar cookies
- Red hair- Fiona’s red hair is one of the things Jonas notices as he starts to emerge from the sameness, she’s a gingerbread girl with red frosting for her hair
- Snow- one of the memories Jonas receives and is intrigued by is snow, so we happily ate some powdered donuts
- Fish- one of the memories involved someone going fishing, so I picked up some specialty goldfish, but in retrospect I could have picked up some actual fish and made it dinner, but for some reason, I didn’t
- apples- because that’s one of the first things he remembers noticing in color
- books- like most post-apocalyptic times, they didn’t have books
- sparkling water- he noticed how clean the water was, so we used that for our drinks, if all else fails my kids always point out “There was water, so we could have SPRITE!”
- Stirrings medicine- we used Smarties, but any sort of small candy would work, of course in the movie it was an injection
Discussion Points for The Giver
If you plan to read the book, and don’t want it spoiled, then you might skip reading these questions, but these are the questions we talked through.
- What do you think of the Ceremony each year? How would you change things? Do you like the idea of everyone getting the same present each year and being assigned to families?
- What job would you want to be assigned?
- Why do you think the Community decided Sameness was a good idea?
- What might be the advantages of Sameness?
- What part of the Community did you find most disturbing? Why did it disturb you?
- What did you think of the ending? What does it mean?
- Do you think the changes to the book to make the movie make the story better or worse?
- Which version of The Giver do you prefer?
Almost Unschoolers says
I like that you incorporated memories into your snacks. We were definitely on the “angry fans” side of the movie.
Yeah, I wasn’t quite angry, but I certainly wasn’t a big fan of the changes. It probably helped I knew going in they had changed it, so it wasn’t the big surprise to me.
natalie planetsmartypants says
For once, I both watched the movie and read the books (all 4). I think The Giver is the strongest of the quartet that does not quite deal with supernatural forces like others do. They made a lot of changes with the movie to make it more “action-oriented” including many changes in secondary characters. I think it made sense for the movie, but I still prefer the book.