The Giver-Lowry

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Author Interview

Click the image to view a great group of author interview clips...necessary viewing to truly understand author's intent! Written transcript and Lois Lowry biography available as well! Access the Discussion tab above to tell us three things that Lowry said that you found interesting, revealing, or moving...don't forget to explain why!

Teacher's Resource

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Why should the teacher's always have "the answers." Click the image to access the link to check out the Teacher's Resource, which includes literary analysis and focus question. A brief excerpt below:

The Central Question, which is one of several important themes explored throughout the story, focuses on memory. We are told that The Giver is the most honored position in Jonas’s world. Presumably, then, the society highly values memory, which is what The Giver is trained to receive, preserve, and then convey to his or her successor. However, the society has chosen to control exactly what memories people are allowed to have. As the story unfolds, we come to understand that Lowry uses “memory” in a particular way. In this society, memory is not just recalling what happened in the past; in fact, the citizens have short-term memories (e.g., Jonas’s parents remember past Ceremonies). What they are not allowed to have are genuine personal memories (a sense of one’s own family and cultural history) and societal memories (an understanding of history and events of the past).

Memory is imperfect, messy, and hard to control. We all have memories that are sad as well as happy, painful as well as healing. We all edit and alter our memories to some extent, choosing to forget the bad and trying to remember the good. But the sum total of our memories—of our childhood, family and cultural history, and society’s past—are an integral part of what makes each of us unique and special. Society’s “memory” (history) helps us to understand our past and hopefully learn from it to create a better future.

Denied those kinds of memory, the people in Jonas’s society are unable to form individual identities and make real connections to others.

Young Adult Lit and Mind Control!

Check out this great “thesis” on the book… sophisticated but interesting. The author argues that the writers of the novels written for kids your age are trying to make you see the world the way they see it...not necessarily the way it is. Don't worry if you don't understand it--it was written by a college student--but it's an excellent example of the level of insight we might come across in "literary criticism" of the novels we read. We'll check it out together...I think you'll find it interesting!

Chains-Laurie Halse-Anderson

Chains Quotations

The following document lists the quotes that begin each chapter of Chains. The quotes were selected from real historical documents and connect to each chapter.

The Author Reads Her Own Work

Laurie Halse Anderson reads from her 2008 National Book Award Young People's Literature Finalist novel, Chains and comments on honor of success as a novelist. November 18, 2008, Tishman Auditorium, The New School.

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Check out this brief but excellent example of literary analysis of an author's writing done by a young college student. You'll all be writing like this soon enough, so it's a good example for us to look at! Access the Discussion tab above to tell us what do you find most appealing about Halse-Anderson's book.

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A written transcript of an interview with Laurie Halse-Anderson. Click the image to access another great nonfiction resource!

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