Tori's Gathering Blue

I am happy to say, I just finished Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry. First, I would like to take a minute to clarify Makenzie’s confusion with a quote from Lowry herself.
“Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, on that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as The Giver has. It was fascinating to to explore the savagery as of such a world. I began to feel maybe it coexisted with Jonas’s world… and that therefore Jonas could be part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes in the end of Gathering Blue. He can be Jonas or not, as you wish.” –Lowry, afterward.

Gathering Blue tells the story of Kira, a highly talented artist in a fictional society ruled by fear and brutality. The story begins four days after the death of Kira's mother. At roughly twelve, Kira is not an orphan child. but because she has a useless leg that keeps her from doing any physical work, Vandara wants to have her taken to the Field. The Field is where the dead and wounded are taken to be given over to the Beasts. As the story progresses, Kira is given a new home and the materials to encourage her gift to flourish.

One primary lesson within Gathering Blue is to be weary of what seems to good to be true. Kira and her new found friend Thomas soon learn that their luxurious life may not be as great as it appears. Yes, they live in comfort and yes they eat like kings, but what are they losing in return?

Gathering Blue may not be a perfect sequel to The Giver, as Makenzie so clearly points out. Deeply contrasting Jonas's sterile living environment, two-syllablepeople within this society are given another syllable to their name when they reach certain benchmarks in life. Kira lives in a savage community where tykes are harshly punished and the very poisonous plant, oleander, grows like a weed within the community.

Readers are forced to think about situations created within the story. Subtle illusions are made about characters with just enough information to start the wheels of imagination but not enough to give a decisive answer. In my parental/ educational opinion, this companion to The Giver is a wonderful tool to force students to use their cognitive abilities without the realization that they are doing so.

IL: UG - BL: 5.0 - AR Pts: 7.0

Massachusetts Honor Book 2001

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