At what grade level do you think it is appropriate to teach The Giver?

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I have experienced "The Giver" in a college course on utopian/distopian literature, as well. I think this book works on many levels, and although it is technically on a 4.5 grade reading level, it offers a lot to discuss.

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I think that this book is great for middle-school children.  I would suggest reading it with eighth grade students.

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It may be true for some students and parents that the theme in the "Giver" may be acceptable as a work of science fiction in a utopian society.  What about the teacher who is not sure whether to use the book due to more sensitive families?  I would suggest using the book as part of a literature circle in which the student may choose or not choose the book.  That way, if there is an argument, it is the choice of the child to take part in that particular book.

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My seventh grade daughter is sitting next to me right now writing her final essay on The Giver. She is writing about how a utopia is not possible because of differences in people's definition of what a utopia would be. She says to tell you all that the book is easy for her, and that she doesn't think kids are bothered by the book's themes.

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This book is on my district's 7th grade reading list. Some of the book's themes, such as infanticide, are a little difficult for 7th graders, though, in my opinion. The earliest grade I'd like to use it with is probably 9th.

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When I taught middle school, this book was in our 6th grade curriculim, but many teachers felt that it should not be used until 8th grade, at least.  

The reasoning was not based in the difficulty/reading level, but in the themes presented: the concept of elderly and infants being "released", the arranged families, the state-mandated utopian societies.  These all seemed, to some, to be too advanced or controversial for those 6th graders.

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I work in Bergen County, New Jersey, and in our school district they teach The Giver in the eighth grade. The students seem to love it and remember a great deal of it when I get them as freshmen.

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That would depend on the level at which your students perform. Typically, The Giver is read at a middle-school level; however, I teach at a high school where the majority of students read below grade. I have done The Giver at the 9th grade level, and I have a fellow teacher that did it at the 10th grade level. At the end of the day, the book is a good read and a great way to introduce literary elements. It is alos an excellent way to introduce the idea of "utopias" and lends itself to student projects about community, family and the way in which societies function. All grade levels can benefit from this book!

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