Monday, June 11, 2018

*Review* Son by Lois Lowry

Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: October 2, 2012
Pages: 393

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. 

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

This book brings the series full circle, and actually starts a little bit before the beginning of The Giver. It also reaffirmed some assumptions I had made while reading The Giver that I had started to question logistically, proving that the dystopian utopian community created in The Giver is far from the ideal that it should be.

So this story is told in three fairly distinct parts. It starts with Claire's life in the community where she is chosen as a birth mother during her ceremony of 12. Sadly, her body is not quite up to the task when it comes time for her to deliver the first time, and while she and the baby both survive, it is clear that she is not an adequate birth mother, so she gets reassigned to the fish hatchery. But unlike the other birth mothers, she feels an attachment to her child and wants to find it, him. This part of the story gave more depth to that aspect of the community, and it really made it clear how that all worked to begin with. And Claire is probably the first birth mother in a long time to fall through the cracks and not get her daily medicine back after her delivery, and that's significant. The second part of the story finds Claire in a fishing village by the sea, suffering from amnesia. A part of me wanted Claire to stay in that community forever because things seemed to be decent for her there. And I just had a horrible feeling about what would happen to her if she left the village. The final part of the story takes place in the community that we saw in Messenger. Only now Claire is an old woman, old before her time.

It was pretty clear to me at the beginning of the story that Claire's son was the baby Gabe from The Giver, so while I did want her to get to be with her son, I knew she'd have to get out of the community to do that, and that was no easy feat. I was excited when she got on that boat after Jonah fled with her son.

The way Ms. Lowry pulled all the stories together in this final book of the quartet was inspired. There were a lot of things that I knew would happen, or that I knew needed to happen, just a lot of little details that gave me serious ah-ha moments while I was reading. Things that made me feel good in spite of the sense of impending doom that threaded its way through the story.

Overall I give Son 4.97486 stars and would definitely recommend that you read the full quartet if up to this point you've only read The Giver. - Katie 

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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