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My Honest Review of The Giver

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

Last week, I finished one book and here is my review…

The Giver by Lois Lowry

It’s rare that I re-read books, but every once in awhile, I enjoy a book enough to re-read it. The Giver was one such book. It’s intriguing and makes you think at a deep level.

I don’t know that “enjoy” is necessarily the word I would use to describe my feelings on it. Maybe “genuinely thought-provoking” would be a more accurate phrase.

Kaitlynn and Silas actually suggested that I read it aloud to them, so that’s actually what motivated me to pull it out. Silas hadn’t read it before and it sparked so many great discussions. And when I ended the book this time, I had a different take on the conclusion than I did last time.

Here’s my review that I wrote when I read the book back in 2017 and it’s still valid:

Finally, I read The Giver for the first time. And you guys, I don’t quite know what to say about this book. At first, I was so frustrated by the ending. That’s it?!?! No! There has to be more!

And then I had to ponder and ponder over the book. I couldn’t get it out of my brain. What am I missing? Why is it haunting me?

The more I pondered, the more I really started to love the book and the powerful way it reminds us that without pain and suffering, we can’t experience emotional connection or truly feel at a deep level. If we took all of the pain away from the world, it would also take away so much depth and the ability to experience life in full color.

I wished I would have read this book with a book club. And I totally understand why some people love it and some people don’t like it at all. Have you read it? If so, I’d love hear your thoughts on it.

Note: This book talks about things that could potentially be disturbing or upsetting to sensitive kids. I’d recommend reading it ahead of time and possibly reading it with them.

Verdict: 4 stars

Picture Book: Pat the Bunny

Jesse’s parents gave Kierstyn this book recently and we’ve loved it. I guess it’s sold over 6 million copies… but I’d never even heard of it! It’s a sweet and interactive book and one we’ve read again and again to the babies in the few weeks we’ve had it.

What have you read recently? I’d love to hear! Tell us in the comments!

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37 Comments

  • Cheryl says:

    American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. Couldn’t put it down.

  • Leanne says:

    You mentioned in your review of The Giver that at first you were frustrated by the ending and thought there should be more. There are actually three more books in the series, using different characters but continuing the dystopian themes.

  • Brittany Terui says:

    I’ve loved The Giver since I had to read it for school and have reread it at least once when I was an adult. I found out that there are 3 more books in the series! Gathering Blue is the next one. By the end of the series, even though they are only loosely connected, you aren’t as frustrated by the ending of The Giver! You should definitely check them out!

  • April says:

    The Hate You Give. I finished it today. I recommend it for your foster care journey. I’d love to discuss it with other like-minded people. I don’t think it could be discussed well among those with vastly different views. (I have no idea what you believe, and I’m grateful you aren’t discussing it on the blog.)

    I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Pat The Bunny!!!!

    Everywhere Babies by Susan Myers has babies of all colors. 2001
    It’s one of our favorites.

  • Emily F says:

    Aww, Pat the Bunny has been a staple in our family since I was a baby 🙂

    I’m in a bit of a reading slump but I’m slowly making my way through one of Joshua Becker’s books on minimalism. It’s ok.

  • Christine says:

    Never heard of Pat the Bunny😮. That’s like never hearing about Santa! My sister is 48 and I remember her having this book as a toddler. I still remember the powder scent on the bunny’s fur.

  • Jessica says:

    Three books I would recommend:
    -A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner (I’ve read several of her other ones, too)
    -Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes
    -Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

  • Treuty says:

    I love The Giver and have read it to my fifth graders several times. There are some uncomfortable parts so I read it depending on the maturity level of the particular class. My very favorite book to read aloud is Number the Stars. I love it to teach the themes of friendship and bravery. Another favorite new book is The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker.

  • April says:

    I read The Giver when you posted about it earlier and truly loved it. I did the audio book version and it was wonderful! It really made you think about how fortunate we really are to experience love and pain!
    Highly recommend The Great Alone and The Nightingale -Kristen Hannah audio books, if you do those!

  • Emmy says:

    My daughter grew up thinking Pat was the name of the bunny 😉
    Now she reads it to her baby!

  • Marcy says:

    The Giver was on the summer reading list for 5th grade a couple years ago at my daughter’s school. The teen librarians recommended I read it before allowing her to read it. I did read it and was shocked! I thought the dystopian theme was not age-appropriate for 5th grade. I would let her read it now in 7th, but in 5th that book would have given her nightmares. All kids are different of course, but I was so grateful to the librarians for speaking up. I can appreciate how well-written it is, but it is completely not my type of book at all.

  • Elle Rogers says:

    We have been homeschooling our children for 17 years and I continue to read aloud to them. I am a librarian, so it’s pathological. This year our boys loved reading My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Their outdoor play became more concentrated when I asked them, “Do you think you could build a structure to survive in like the main character does?” It’s been months and the fort they fastened together from fallen logs and bent branches still stands. It brought them closer together as brothers, as they worked cooperatively. It sparked a lot of conversations about using the resources God provides to us, respecting nature. I use and recommend the website Read Aloud Revival by Sarah McKenzie for lists for all ages. One of my sons read The Secret Garden and The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. He loved them both. I always try to follow up a long read with its corresponding movie and I throw in some yummy things to eat while we watch the movie to make it memorable. Every December we re-read A Christmas Carol and watch the Patrick Stewart version of the movie.

    • I love this! Thank you so much for sharing! You are an inspiration!

      • Elle Rogers says:

        Thank you Crystal ~ I feel the same about you! We adopted three grandchildren on top of our seven biological and your website has helped me to save money for our family over and over. I have a son who moved out and recently asked me, “Mom, what’s the recipe for the chickeny burrito thingies? I am trying to save money.” I sent him your recipe, which he has used as work lunches over and over. Another son encouraged me to blog, so I tapped into your blog course for motivation. The blog is aesthetically a mess and I am not trying to monetize, just share the gospel, so I admit you’re not going to find a ‘pretty’ site, haha! But reading the Money Making Mom book inspired me to get off my butt and just try! Very best wishes from NH

  • Victoria says:

    I read the Giver in 7th grade, and I loved it. I didn’t find out about the sequels until I was about 25. I really liked them, but they aren’t typical sequels. More like seperate stories in the same world, different distopian villiage. They do connect eventually. They are all on my I should re-read this list, and I never re-read anything.

  • Linda H. says:

    I really like “The Giver”, as well as the other 3 books in that series (4 total books in her ‘dystopian’ series). I think some are better than others, but as a whole, they’re an intriguing look at several ‘what if’s.

    I adored “Pat the Bunny” as a small child & was delighted to fins that there were a few other “Pat the…” books as well.

    I am re-reading Margery Allingham’s ‘Campion’ series as I finally have all the books in the series so I can read it through without skipping books or trying to find them via library or inter-library loan (woohoo for birthday presents!). 😉

  • Elisa says:

    I love The Giver for kids, but as an adult I found Brave New World really takes these questions to a whole new level. Most people probably have read it already though.

  • Ashley P says:

    Recently finished Nabeel Quershi’s “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”. I learned a lot about Islam and Pakistani culture in the process. It was a deeply moving and profound book and it reinforced my faith and gave me a burden in my heart to love others, even those I don’t agree with or understand. I almost hated for the book to end. But the ending was perfect and powerful.

  • Misty says:

    I remember reading Pat the Bunny to my baby brother back in the early ‘80’s. I loved them!

    Other children’s books we love(d)
    -Bear books by Karma Wilson
    – certain Berenstain Bear books
    – Spot books by Eric Hill
    – most Dr Seuss books
    – The Orphan Train series by Joan Lowery Nixon
    Just to name a few. We love books around here. I started counting our books earlier this year and finally stopped counting at 1400. We probably have 500 more…

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