The Giver by Lois Lowery: Book Review and Comprehension Questions

As a homeschool parent, I have the freedom to pick and choose programs for various subjects when teaching my children. While a majority of their schooling is online, I have been adamant that they have daily routine reading and comprehension questions for books that expand their reading horizons. I have a child who doesn’t like to read at all, and is rather self conscience about his ability to read. While he is currently at grade level, that hasn’t always been the case. At one time, reading time with him was worse than enduring dentist appointments with all four children at once.

Another one of my boys reads anything he can get his hands on. He has been known to read the backs of cereal boxes and movie cases. We made the decision to purchase a child kindle for him one Christmas and it has most definitely outlived its value. Still, he has a set mind-frame about the types of genres he is wiling to try. My last reader also loathes reading, but is by far exceptional in his ability. His reading level has always been several grades above his current grade level.

When I attempt to choose books for my boys to read for comprehension, I like to go for books for a variety of reasons. Books that I read during my grade school and middle school years tend to always be toward the top of my list. Books that cause critical thinking and reasoning are another major qualification I look for. The Giver is one such book. I read The Giver in the later years of elementary school. At the time I did not know it was the first book in a set of four books. Since then I have read each of them.

The Giver is a post dystopian book and follows along with the life of Jonas, beginning with his family of four and his 12th year. He lives with his mother and father and his younger sister, Lily. A main theme, like many dystopian novels, is that freedom and choice caused a world catastrophe so with that mindset, the government decides to severely limit the ability of choice, freedom, and emotion.

The Giver follows Jonas along as he discovers what emotion, feelings, and choice truly are. In reading this book, my hope for my boys was that they would not only realize how important freedom of choice is, but also the possible consequences of the improper use of freedom of choice as well as how easy it can become to take advantage of freedom of choice. I also wanted the valuable life lesson of freedom of choice doesn’t mean freedom of consequence to be instilled in the boys.

“The worst part of holding memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” -The Giver

When I wrote the comprehension questions for each chapter, I knew I wanted to provoke thought and induce more than one word answers. I wanted my children to use their critical thinking skills to answer the questions as they read each chapter. The questions are geared for reading grade levels 5-7, but can easily be tailored for group reading discussions.

Have you read The Giver, or any of Lois Lowry’s other books? Hope y’all are having a fantastic week. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones.

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