The Giver Poised to Ask the Big Questions

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Photo Credit: Walden Media
Photo Credit: Walden Media

Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel The Giver is one of the most assigned summer reading books for middle school students. The book has been adapted into a feature film starring Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep and will be widely released in theaters on Friday, August 15, 2014.

Often acclaimed as a dystopian youth novel, The Giver deals with an internal moral struggle within a seemingly utopian world free of pain, violence, and war, but also has no freedom, love, emotion, uniqueness, or purpose. Big questions are raised throughout the story about human identity, purpose, morality, and free will. The Giver has been praised and awarded for its important messages, including a spot on the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” The novel also received the 1994 Newberry and Regina Medals and the 1996 William Allen White award. The film adaptation fully embraces the progress of the human spirit depicted in the novel—and is sure to provoke moral, spiritual, and philosophical questions in youth and adults alike.