Friday, August 8, 2014

Book to Movie: The Giver

The Giver is scheduled for release next week…August 15 to be exact. The movie is based on Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver, which was published in 1993.

I’m excited. When I taught reading, The Giver was the first novel we read each year. It more often than not, caught the attention of my more reluctant readers. The book deals with a number of topics that lead to great classroom discussions and tie-ins to current world events.

The Giver is a dystopian novel, meaning the society has some major problems, even though at first, you do not see these problems. Jonas (11 to 12 years old) lives in a perfect society. There is no disease, no hunger, no war, no discrimination, etc. The people have embraced a “sameness”. No one is different. In other words, this society is perfect…a utopian society, but in becoming this, the people have given up many things, including music, color, and love.

Jonas is selected to train as the new Receiver of Memory (one person in the society holds all memories of what life was like before). Through his interactions with The Giver (holder of the memories and the oldest person in the society who has not been “released”), Jonas learns about what his community has given up, and the horrors his world truly holds.

I’ve only seen the movie trailer and have read about the movie, but I’ve already seen a change between the movie and the book. In the movie, Jonas is 16 years old. I’m curious as to what other changes have been made…how true will they be to the book.