Author: Lois Lowry
Publication Date: September 25th, 2000
Synopsis:In her strongest work to date, 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.
My Thoughts: Even though Gathering Blue is a sequel to The Giver, the two books aren't really related. At least plot line wise. There are ways in which they are a lot a like, but also vastly different. It made the read more exciting I think, because the scheme and main idea was basically the same, but in a brand new world with entirely different details and surroundings and characters. So far, I am really enjoying this series.
So Gathering Blue is the same in the idea that our current way of life has ended and in it's place are these divided communities. No one in this communities has any idea what is outside, I don't think they have any concept how large the world actually is. All they know is what they are taught, and they are only taught things which keep them in line, keep them working.
But in this community, things are vastly different than what we experienced in The Giver. Here, their technological advancement is minimal at best. The people have pretty low intelligence, and conditions are slummy at best. Of course everyone is ruled by a council, they set the rules that should be followed. Which in this case are pretty base. People are discouraged from trying to leave by being taught that they woods surrounding them are full of man eating beasts. And as their intelligence levels are not that high, they don't really think to question this, even though no one has ever really seen one.
Kira was a child born deformed. And normally these children are taken to the dying fields because they are not strong enough to work and are to much of an incumbrence. Parenting is almost non-existant in this book. There were times I was reading with a grimace on my face or was I was flinching from horrifying parental skills. But Kira's mom fought to let her live, and since Kira's dad was almost council level, she got to live. Unfortunately the story starts off with Kira's mom dead, and her dad died a long time ago. With no one left to stand up for her existence, she is faced with being sent to the beasts to die. Kira's amazing ability to do beautiful needlework saves her life.
Kira gets to live in a real building, instead of a mud and stick hut. Indoor plumbing and all! She gets fed real food, and gets to sleep in a real bed. As long as she keeps doing her work. Even though everything seems great and wonderful and like her life has actually been made even better just when she thought it was about to be the worst. Kira discovers things that make her question her community, the council, and her purpose.
I enjoyed this installment even more than the first, but if I had to choose one of these community's to live in, I would definitley choose The Giver. I am already really anxious to read The Messenger to see what kind of life I will get to experience next. Lois Lowry does an amazing job of showing us all these alternate lives we could experience if everything we currently knew was lost. I would definitely recommend this series to any and all :).