For Further Reference

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Bradburn, Frances. “Middle Books for Fourth through Eighth Graders.” Wilson Library Bulletin 68 (1993): 122- 123, 126. Bradburn suggests that The Giver is excellent science fiction for young readers and that it is more subtle and more straightforward than Louise Lawrence’s Keeper of the Universe (1993).

Campbell, Patty. “The Sand in the Oyster.” Horn Book 69 (1993): 717- 721. A detailed analysis of The Giver noting Lowry’s growth as a writer and comparing the novel to David Skinner’s You Must Kiss a Whale (1993). Campbell comments on Lowry’s use of foreshadowing and the ending, which draws from three different typical ways of ending a dystopian novel.

Flowers, Ann A. Review. Horn Book 69 (1993): 458. Flowers notes that the novel is skillfully written and suggests that its theme is the balancing of freedom and security.

Haley-James, Shirley. “Lois Lowry.” Horn Book 64 (1990): 422-423. A biographical sketch of Lowry by a friend written when she won the Newbery Medal for Number the Stars.

“Interviews: Lois Lowry.” Publishers Weekly (February 21, 1986): 152-153. An interview with Lowry in which she discusses how she writes her books.

Kellman, Amy. Review. School Library Journal 39,5 (1993): 176. Another short, positive review.

Lowry, Lois. “Calling It Quits.” The Writer (April 1989): 13-14, 47. Lowry discusses the problem of endings in fiction for children and young adults.

——. “Lois Lowry.” In Something About the Author Autobiography Series. Vol. 3. Adele Sarkissian, ed. Detroit: Gale Reseach, 1986: 131-146. A detailed autobiographical essay discussing Lowry’s life and work.

——. “Lois Lowry.” In Speaking for Ourselves, Too: More Autobiographical Sketches for Young Adults. Donald R. Gallo, ed. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1993: 125-127. In this brief sketch, Lowry gives the highlights of her life and career.

——. “Remembering How It Was.” The Writer (July 1987): 16-19. An essay in which Lowry discusses the role of memory in her writing.

Ray, Karen. Review. The New York Times Book Review (October 31, 1993): 26. Ray finds The Giver a powerful and provocative novel and, like Lowry’s other “haunting and unpredictable novels,” which include Number the Stars and Autumn Street, more rewarding than her less-serious fiction.

Review. Publishers Weekly 240,7 (1993): 240. This unsigned review compares the book to John Christopher’s The White Mountain series and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl,” arguing that it hints at Christian allegory.

Silvey, Anita. Editorial on The Giver. Horn Book 69 (1993): 392. In this special front page editorial, Silvey praises The Giver for taking risks and compares its ending to Robert Cormier’s finale in After the First Death.

Zaidman, Laura. “Lois Lowry.” In American Writers for Children Since 1960: Fiction. Glenn E. Estes, ed. Detroit: Gale, 1986: 249-261. (Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 52.) A detailed study of Lowry’s books and life through 1986.

Media Adaptations

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The Giver was produced in an unabridged audiotape version in 1995, published on dual cassette by Bantam Books-Audio.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Patty Campbell, review in The Horn Book Magazine, Vol. LXIX, No. 6, November-December, 1993, pp. 717-21.

Jane Inglis, review in The School Librarian, Vol. 43, No. 1, February, 1995, pp. 31-32.

Lois Lowry, Newbery Medal Acceptance speech, delivered at the American Library Association’s annual meeting June, 1994, printed in The Horn Magazine, Vol. LXX, No. 4, July-August 1994, pp. 414-22.

Gary D. Schmidt, review in The Five Owls, Vol. VIII, No. 1, September-October, 1993, pp. 14-15.

For Further Study

Michael Betzold, Appointment with Doctor Death, Momentum Books, 1993.

A journalist gathers together the evidence and background relating to cases involving Dr. Kevorkian.

Joel D. Chaston, “The Giver,” in Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, Volume 6, edited by Kirk H. Beetz, Beacham Publishing, Inc., 1994, pp. 3255-63.

This excerpt from a reference book surveys Lowry’s life and work, suggests ideas for reports, papers, and discussions related to The Giver, and summarizes the novel’s plot, setting, themes, characters, and literary qualities.

Joel D Chaston, Lois Lowry, Twayne’s United States Author Series, edited by Ruth K. MacDonald, Prentice Hall, Intl., 1997.

Chaston tracks Lowry’s development as a writer, beginning with her childhood and her sense of story and values, and progressing through her literary career and reputation.

Ilene Cooper, “Giving and Receiving,” in Booklist, Vol. 89, April 15, 1993, p. 1506.

An early review that finds the conflict between sameness and freedom in the novel to be thought-provoking, but finds Lowry’s message “forced,” and her ending too ambiguous.

Mary Ellen Hannery, “Parents Want The Giver Off Shelves,” in The Palm Beach Post, June 19, 1996.

Flannery reports on the ongoing controversy between Northport Middle School and concerned parent, Anna Cerbasi, who objects to use of The Giver in a public school setting.

Louise Kaplan, “Images of Absence, Voices of Silence,” in No Voice Is Ever Wholly Lost, Simon & Schuster, 1995, pp. 216-37.

Psychologist Kaplan discusses the difficulties, yet importance, of bearing witness to traumatic events, and suggests that, since survivors of the Holocaust had to psychically absent themselves in order to survive trauma and abuse, their children must “testify as to what happened” to their parents.

Seymour R. Kester, Utopian Episodes: Daily Life in Experimental Colonies Dedicated to Changing the World, Syracuse University Press, 1996.

An extremely detailed and critical look at the way of life endured by participants in the three principal American Utopias of the nineteenth century.

Walter Lorraine, “Lois Lowry,” in The Horn Book Magazine, Vol. 70, July-August, 1994, pp. 423-26.

Lowry’s editor reminisces about her fiction, which he praises for being immediately accessible to “very broad” audiences.

Lois Lowry, “Calling It Quits,” in The Writer, Vol. 102, April, 1989, pp. 13-14, 47.

Lowry discusses the importance of ending a story in the right place, so that readers will want to continue writing the story in their own minds.

Lois Lowry, “Remembering How it Was,” in The Writer, Vol. 100, July, 1987, pp. 16-19.

In this exploration of the importance of memory to storytellers, Lowry says that, while the details in a story need not be truthful, the emotions that are connected to the details must be true. She also says that using painful memories in writing is a way to get over them.

Lois Markham, Lois Lowry (Learning Works Meet the Author Series), Learning Works, 1995.

Published for Lowry’s young readers, this book shows how the author incorporates significant autobiographical experiences into her fiction.

Donald E Pitzer, editor, America’s Communal Utopias, University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

A collection of essays on the full range of American communities, including the Shakers, George Rapp’s Harmony Society and the Oneida Perfectionists.

Karen Ray, “The Giver,” in The New York Times Book Review, October 31, 1993, p. 26.

An early review that finds the novel’s themes “provocative,” despite the novel’s “occasional logical lapses.”

Historical and Social Context