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My favorite Banned Book: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Updated on August 23, 2018

I remember reading The Giver as a young adult in middle school. It was pretty mature reading for someone that age, but I really enjoyed it. The Giver was one of the few books that I felt didn't treat you like a child, but instead was right on the level.

It dealt with many concepts that previous books hadn't. Pain and loss, happiness, regret, memories. It also addressed things that no other book I had read ever did, and really expanded my literary tastes. No longer was I happy reading the boring literature of my schoolmates, but instead wanted something with a lot more meat to it.

The Giver deals with a lot (A LOT) of controversial issues. A Utopian (dystopian, perhaps) society, where choice and free will no longer have meaning. Life, death, euthanasia, infanticide. Heavy stuff for a young adult, whose main concerns are when the hot pockets are going to be done. It really questioned you morally about what was right and wrong. When is it okay to lie, if ever? To what lengths are you willing to go to save a life, and do what is right?

Parents in some school districts found this book objectionable, and it has been both contested and banned in many of said school districts. I find that The Giver is among good company on the banned list, along with Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger. Some of America's best writers are on the bad list.

That is because great authors deal with issues. They give you substance. The Giver has this in spades. If you want your young adult to be a moral person, challenge his moral beliefs with The Giver, or even read it along with him or her, so you can discuss it.

I am sure he will have questions, help him answer them.

Watch the movie below where Lois Lowry talks about The Giver.


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    • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

      Devin Gustus 

      7 years ago

      @cklTaylor: Dystopian books always interest me too. Brave New World and 1984 immediately come to mind.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I LOVE dystopian books. I haven't been able to make myself read the sequel to The Giver just yet... But I will continue my hunt to read more dystopian society books.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      7 years ago

      I don't believe in banning books - everyone (even kids) have the right to read whatever they want. My son read The Giver in 4th grade, but he didn't understand that people were dying. We talked about it and it wasn't a big deal.

    • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

      Devin Gustus 

      7 years ago

      @squid-pinkchic18: Thanks very much!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      7 years ago

      Read this in college and it was a great read. Nice review!

    • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

      Devin Gustus 

      7 years ago

      @athomemomblog: I recently learned about the sequels from another lensmaster. I am looking forward to reading them.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      7 years ago from Guatemala

      I LOVE this book! I don't understand why it was banned, really, it wasn't that bad. :) Did you know that there are two sequels to the book? They are also excellent and expand the world of The Giver.

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      7 years ago

      Sounds like an interesting read!

    • verymary profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago area

      All 3 of my kids read this for middle school, and so did their cousin & their friend in another state -- so luckily it is still in wide circulation! Excellent book, though if you have a sensitive kid, you may want to read it aloud with him/her, even if it's a school assignment. I chose to do that with one of my kids.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love a good banned book. Must read this one.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Actually the book is 'Messenger', not 'The Messenger'. I thought that didn't sound right.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am so glad to find another 'Giver' fan! I didn't realize it was on the banned list. I also read this book in middle school and loved it. It really is so much deeper than most middle school literature. In case you didn't know, she wrote three more books which go along with 'The Giver': 'Gathering Blue', 'The Messenger', and 'Son'. I've written a lens on my favorite, the last one called 'Son'. If you haven't read the others, I highly recommend them. They are just as fascinating. I feel our society would benefit from this series and others like it. Thanks for sharing it and the video! I really enjoyed it. She is right, though, that it is really a moral book. It's sad some parents have taken it out of context. I also agree with you that the classics are often the ones on the banned list. That's sad too. My children, if we have any, will be reading many of those books at home.

    • Michelllle profile image


      7 years ago

      I love this book. Not banned around here, so I've used it in class.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This is a new one to me. Thank you for introducing it, and congratulations on its place in this week's Imminent Reel. Excellent choice.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Why do we, as a society, so fear a raw, honest look at truth, at morality, at ethical gray areas, at that which is different from perhaps our current beliefs or values? We only ban our own minds when we ban literature that might expand the boundaries of our understanding, our souls, our humanity.

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 

      7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      Never heard of it and I like to read! Adding this to my goodreads account!

    • RHKnight profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great, personal review. I will look into The Giver. Thanks.


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