“This is one of my favorite books. It has been since it was first read to my third grade class and still is as I reread it today. I read it every couple of years and always get something new and something more.
I would absolutely recommend this book to any person over the age of about 9. This is definitely Lois Lowry's greatest achievement--no big secret. It's the most well-received, highly praised, awarded, and popular of her books. In my opinion, it is also the most well-written, subtle, dense, emotional and meaningful of her works.
I have become intensely attached to all of the characters, and the subtleties written into them is astounding and unfolds as you read and reread the book. As a reader and a political person, I understand, sympathize and identify with both sides of the argument in the book, though I ultimately side with the protagonist, as I'm sure we all do.
Lowry creates a vivid world of which she and we know nothing. She has imagined and made clear every detail of this world and it is clear how it connects to our own. One of my favorite things about this book is that it is essentially a science fiction/fantasy novel. The central aspects of the novel are fantastical: for example, the transferring of memory through touch and the alterations in the physical world through mental choice. However, it took me years to realize this because of the intense realism in the tone of the story. It is full of ordinary people and activities and then a burst of magic, but always written about in the same tone. Genius.
Obviously, I can't say enough wonderful things about this book and I believe that every person would benefit from its enjoyment.
Also, I thought I'd mention that, in therms of the ending, I always loved it and--even as an eight year old--thought that Jonas and Gabriel died in the end. Then, of course, my opinion was blown to pieces when I read both of the sequels (neither of which can compare to the original). However, I like the feeling of the book better if Jonas and Gabe sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the Community and the world. ”
Sarah A wrote this review Friday, December 10, 2010.