Published: September 25, 2000
Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
So this book is a companion novel to The Giver but the society described is way different than in The Giver. It has me wondering just how the stories are connected because I feel like they must be connected somehow. Otherwise it wouldn't be a companion novel right?
While society in The Giver is technologically advanced, the society in Gathering Blue has regressed to a pre-industrial revolution stage. It felt almost like reading a book about Native Americans pre-pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, without the sense of community that other books have made me expect from a Native American community. The society in Gathering Blue is very primitive and self-absorbed. It was a little strange trying to reconcile the differences between the two societies, feeling like they should still be connected somehow.
I had a really hard time adjusting to the attitude of the adults in this story. They all seem to hate their children (except Kira's mother), and when Kira becomes an orphan they want to cast her out of the community just because she has a gimpy leg and they want to use her home space to build a large corral to contain their children during the day. I just don't understand how people could be that heartless and not care about others in the community. I sort of felt like this is what a purely libertarian society would end up being like (assuming it was created after the destruction of all that society has given us to this point.) And I could be wrong about that, but it was very much an every man for himself society.
And the end of this story baffled me completely. Like I absolutely could not believe Kira made the choice she did, knowing what she knew. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have made that choice if I were in her shoes.
Overall I give Gathering Blue 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this series for anyone that enjoys dystopian, and I don't even care if you're an adult, because these are good books. - Katie
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About the Author
Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader.s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association.s Children.s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com.