Wednesday, March 22, 2017

*Review* #BeatTheBacklist - Messenger by Lois Lowry

Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: April 26, 2004
Pages: 169


Messenger is the masterful third novel in the Giver Quartet, which began with the dystopian bestseller The Giver, now a major motion picture.
Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.


This is the third book in The Giver Quartet, and it starts to bring together the storylines from the first two books. See, Matty was a major secondary character in Gathering Blue, although he was just Mat then, because he was not old enough to have obtained his second syllable. And it didn't take long for it to become apparent that Matty and Mat were the same person. But beyond that, it didn't take long for it to become apparent that Jonas from The Giver was an important member of Village too (which throws my belief that he died at the end of The Giver right out the window. I'm okay with that though.) 

The community in Village seems a bit more "normal" than the communities in both The Giver and Gathering Blue, although it's still a bit primitive by today's standards. The feel I got for it was similar to the feel I got for towns described in books like Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series. A strong sense of community with a few amenities, but no major technological advancements. 

I really enjoyed seeing the sort of grown up, less wild Matty who so desperately wanted his true name to be Messenger. Village really helped him to become a responsible young man, and he made me think of my own Matty (not just because they share a name either.) I have no problem picturing my Matty being just as responsible as the Matty of the book is, which made some of the events in the book particularly painful for me (because no mother ever wants to see her son hurt, and it really did feel personal.) 

Another aspect of this story that saddened me was the changing behavior of the villagers. This village had seemed pretty darn fantastic with everyone helping each other out and just treating each other kindly in general, but that started to change. And it seems like the villagers were trading away things that they really should have been allowed to give at times when the Trade Mart is open. This is just a personal theory, but it makes sense in terms of the story. And it's absolutely disgusting. 

Overall I give Messenger 4.5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book

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

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