The Giver by Lois Lowry is yet another Newbery Award winner on my list. I’m usually surprised by how many books I own and remember from my childhood were Newbery Award and honor books, but I guess teachers and librarians have been finding and recommending books through that list for a long time.
This book was the first book I did for book club for my current job, and it was an accident. I thought my boss wanted me to do a book from the students’ summer reading list, and one of my students had already gone and borrowed a bunch of books from the list. The only one I had heard of at the time was The Giver, so I told my boss we could do that book. I did borrow The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (a great book dealing with autism) from the student to read after she was done with it, but I thought I was supposed to do the “classic” book for the book club.
Turns out I didn’t really need to do The Giver (which was nearly impossible to get through for my ESL student who was supposed to be in the class), but the kids seemed to enjoy it more than I did. I remember not liking the book much when I had to read it for school (see the part about how I like fluffy books in previous posts), but it wasn’t too bad reading it as an adult. I got it a lot more, for one thing, and it was an interesting challenge discussing it with my students.
The funny thing is that this book kind of turned into the “legendary book club book” because I never did it again, even though the high-achieving kids all wanted to read it because it looked hard. I had done it with rising middle schoolers, but all of my classes after that were younger (and I’d found other books I wanted to do with them). So even though they kept asking me about the book, I kept doing different books, which only makes them want to read it more. Now that we have students who weren’t around during the Summer of The Giver, the kids who were around talk about the book in almost hushed tones. It’s pretty cute to watch, actually.
This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter G.