Friday, March 18, 2005

Students win!

Great news for the students of the Blue Springs school district. The Blue Springs School Board has "unanimously voted to keep "The Giver" on the district's approved reading list."
"After taking time to reread the book and discuss it with patrons of the district, I feel this is a good book for our students to read," he said. "The last chapter of the book shows Jonas fighting to break the cycle, and showing that it is wrong. The message is not about suicide or euthanasia, but about demonstrating to students that the government can't control us."

The Blue Springs school board did something very unusual. The school board members actually READ the book! Know-Nothings rarely read the whole book or think about the ideas behind the stories.

The Giver is a thought provoking story about a world where color and emotions have been removed because feelings can cause pain. The ending of the book is a triumph as Jonas, who has learned the truth of his society, saves the life of a baby slated for "termination." The final image is tremendous and wonderful for discussion.

Readers who want more "closure" can read Lowery's other books about this world: Gathering Blue, 2000 and Messenger, 2004.

News stories seem to be right out of The Giver these days. Novels provide an safe avenue for family discussions about these issues.

At some point in high school students will read George Orwell's 1984. The Giver is an introduction to the concept of a dystopia. I am so glad my children had an opportunity to read Lowery's book before grappling with 1984.

Thanks to Robert at Twisted Librarian for the heads up on this.

No comments: