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Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 09 July 2006 in Uncategorized

Since - as evidenced by one more post-to-the-blog - email that came this morning, there is no way that I am going to be able to convince people that i can't answer their individual questions here (and they should email those questions by clicking on the e-mail button on my website) I will try today to answer the one queston they keep posting and posting and posting.

I KNOW the ending to The Giver is ambiguous. And it disappoints many readers because they have become interested in the story...which is great (not the story; their interest)...and they would like to know exactly where Jonas is, what happened to him next, etc. etc.

You (the reader) have several options. You can create your own ending in your mind. It requires the use of your imagination. I do it every time I finish a book myself...think about the characters, and what happened to them next. I enjoy that process.

So you, the reader, can say to yourself at the end of The Giver, using your imagination: Bummer. He's dead. Back at the community maybe they will perform a ceremony of loss and his name will be given to another newchild; or because of his crimes, his name will never be spoken again.

Or (using your imagination) you can say to yourself: Cool. He is now in a small town like maybe in Ohio, and he meets a family that gives him warm clothes and cocoa and they adopt both him and Gabriel and he goes into eighth grade and gets a girlfriend and eventually goes to a good college.

Or: you could read the book (by me) called Messenger and fairly early in the book, I think around page 19, you will meet a character called Leader. He lives in a pleasant small village on a river, and he's a young man who has been chosen because of his intelligence to be, like, the mayor...though the title they give it is Leader. He hasn't always lived there. The book describes how he arrived, years before, nearly dead, as a boy, on a small red sled.

Then you don't really even need to use your imagination.

Now...if you are really interested in these characters, I recommend that you read the book that comes BETWEEN The Giver and Messenger. I would read them in order: 1. The Giver. 2. Gathering Blue. 3. Messenger. That way you will get see a little more of the world these characters inhabit; you will meet other interesting characters who will become important; and maybe you will have fewer questions that you want me to answer.

To be honest, I don't think it is the function of a book (or an author) to answer questions, really. I think a book should CREATE questions. It should make the reader think, and wonder, and worry, and discuss, and imagine.

Give it a try.

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