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Summer Reading Info. 

2017 - 2018 Summer Reading

STUDENTS, you will find a list of review questions for The Giver at the end of this summer reading information. Simply scroll to the bottom of this page.  Please remember you will have an assessment over The Giver the 2nd week of school.


Summer Reading Requirement for Rising 8th Graders


The Giver by Lois Lowery will be required reading for all rising 8th grade students.  During the second week of school, students will be taking an assessment on this novel.  The Giver will be used throughout the year as a springboard for discussions on a variety of ELA topics.


Also, please select one additional book from the list below to complete your summer reading requirement.



 The Giver by Lois Lowry (Genre – Dystopian)

 Select One:

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes (Genre – Realistic Fiction)

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (Genre – Realistic Fiction)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Genre - Dystopian)

Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (Genre - Historical Fiction)

Schooled by Gordon Korman (Genre - Realistic Fiction)

The Outsiders by SE Hinton (Genre - Realistic Fiction)

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (Genre - Historical Fiction)

Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Genre – Autobiography/Graphic Novel)

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Genre - Memoir/Autobiography)


The Giver Guiding Questions

The Giver is a “dystopian” novel; it presents a very disturbing vision of a possible human society. In the case of The Giver, that society may seem at first to be a “utopia,” a perfect society whose people do not suffer from problems such as war and poverty, but as the story goes on, we come to understand all of the important things that have been sacrificed in the process of creating this society. There are a lot of deep and complex issues raised in this novel, and I hope that these questions will help you understand and reflect on these issues.


Chapters 1-4

1. Describe the society that Jonas lives in. How is it different from our society? How is it governed, and in what ways is harmony maintained? How are rules enforced?

2. How would you describe the physical environment in which the people live? How is it symbolic of the social environment?

3. Discuss the behavior and values of the people of Jonas’s community. What are their culture and lifestyle like? What things are missing from their lives that are important to us?

4. What disturbing aspects of Jonas’s society are revealed in these first few chapters? What negative effects might living in this kind of society have on people? Why do you think they don’t question the way things are and how they came to be that way?

5. Describe Jonas. What is his personality like, and what do his values seem to be? What is the significance of his name—does it suggest anything about the story? What signs are there that Jonas is special?

6. Why do you think the author chose to start telling the story from this point—how is it appropriate?


Chapters 5-8

1. What do you think are the reasons for the customs of the telling of feelings and the sharing of dreams?

2. Why do you think the people of Jonas’s community are required to take pills after the Stirrings begin? What do you think some of the consequences of this practice might be?

3. What do you think is significant about having different markers for each age group such as the ribbons, the clothes that button in front, etc.?

4. Why does Jonas’s society match spouses instead of letting people choose their spouses? What is your opinion of this practice?

5. Discuss how children are taught in Jonas’s society. What is your opinion of these methods?

6. Why do you think a Receiver must have the qualities named by the Chief Elder?


Chapters 9-11

1. Why do you think Jonas is exempt from the rules governing rudeness? Why do you think he is not allowed to discuss his training or his dreams with anyone? Why do you think he is allowed to lie?

2. Why do you think Jonas is not allowed to apply for medication or release?

3. What effect can you imagine a life almost completely free of pain might have on people?

4. What do you think pale eyes might be intended to symbolize in the novel?

5. Why is it necessary for there to be a Receiver?

6. What is Sameness, and why do you think the people of Jonas’s society chose to institute it? What are some of the consequences of Sameness for people’s lives?

7. What major theme of the novel does The Giver’s decision to share the memories of both sunshine and sunburn relate to?


Chapters 12-15

1. How would you interpret the meaning of Jonas’s dream?

2. How is the inability to see color symbolic of the lives of the people in Jonas’s society—what theme does it parallel? Why are they unable to see color?

3. What do we learn in these chapters about the color of people’s skin in Jonas’s society? What does this suggest about the history of Jonas’s society?

4. What reaction does Jonas have to the idea of Sameness? Why do you think he has this reaction? How does The Giver apparently feel, and what does this suggest about how the story will proceed?

5. What fundamental exchange did the people of Jonas’s society make when they instituted Sameness?

6. Why does Jonas start to feel “irrationally angry” in his day-to-day life?

7. What especially disturbing memory involving elephants does The Giver give Jonas, and what aspects of it make it so disturbing?

8. What more does The Giver reveal about why the community needs a Receiver? How does Jonas feel about the community’s decision to impose such a heavy burden on one person? In light of this situation, what disturbing new significance does the phrase “and back and back and back” have for Jonas?

9. What significance might Gabriel’s inability to sleep soundly have? What does the fact that Gabriel is able to absorb the memory that Jonas transmits to him suggest about him? What is the significance of Gabriel’s name?

10. Describe The Giver, now that more has been revealed about his personality and character. Why was he a good choice for the position of Receiver? In light of his words at the end of Chapter 15, how might the task of being a Giver be difficult for a person like him?


Chapters 16-19

1. What attitude do the people of Jonas’s society have toward the concept of love? How is this attitude reflected in family members’ relationships?

3. What is Jonas’s initial reaction to the idea of giving everyone choices about, and control over, their lives? Why do you think he reacts this way? What changes his mind?

4. How is the nature of Jonas’s feelings different from that of everyone else’s feelings? Why do you think he decides to stop taking the pill?

5. How is Jonas coming to feel alienated from his family and friends? What events happen in these chapters to highlight and intensify this sense of distance?

7. Why do you think all of the painful memories seem to outweigh the happy ones in terms of their effect on The Giver, Jonas, and Rosemary?

8. What do you think The Giver is thinking about at the end of Chapter 18?

10. What aspects of the ceremony of release are disturbing? Why do you think the term “release” is used? What effect do you think witnessing the ceremony will have on Jonas?


Chapters 20-23

1. Why does The Giver not hate the people of their community, despite their dishonesty and lack of compassion?

2. What new meaning does the term “Elsewhere” have for Jonas and The Giver?

3. What does The Giver mean when he says that he wants to “be with [his] daughter”? What foreshadowing of this has occurred in the story?

4. How is Gabe’s upbringing different from that of other children, and how do you think it affects his development and his personality?

5. What must Jonas learn to do as the memories of strength and courage given to him by The Giver begin to fade? What theme does this process suggest?

6. What do the following things symbolize near the end of the book?

Ÿ the snow and the single snowflake

Ÿ the warmth that Jonas transmits

Ÿ the hill that Jonas climbs

7. In what ways do the “memories” passed from Giver to Receiver differ from real memories—what special characteristics do they have that memories don’t have in the real world?


Review Questions for entire book -

1. Describe the society that Jonas lives in. How is it different from our society? How is it governed, and in what ways is harmony maintained? How are rules enforced? What is the goal of the differences from our society that those in charge of Jonas’s society have established?

2. A euphemism is a word or expression used in place of another to sound more pleasing and less disturbing or offensive. Give some examples of euphemisms used in the novel. The questions below might help you identify and analyze euphemisms:

- In what context is the word used? - What word is it used in place of, and what are the connotations of the original word (i.e. what is the tone of the word, and what feelings, images, and associated ideas does it suggest)? - What are the connotations of the euphemism, and what does it "cover up" that is suggested by the more direct original word? - Why do you think Jonas's community uses this particular expression; how does it fit into the community's social goals (peace, order, stability, sameness, etc.)?

3. What is the function of the Receiver (and the Giver)? Why did Jonas’s society decide that it was necessary to have such people? What qualities make Jonas suited to becoming the Receiver?

4. What is Sameness, and why do you think the people of Jonas’s society chose to institute it? What are some of the consequences of Sameness for people’s lives? What fundamental exchange did the people of Jonas’s society make when they instituted Sameness?

5. What do you think are the major themes (ideas and messages) of the novel?



Study Questions - The Giver

© 2007 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.