The Giver
Now in graphic novel format, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is accompanied by renowned artist P.Craig Russell’s beautifully haunting illustrations. 

The Giver Details

TitleThe Giver
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780544157880
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Classics

The Giver Review

  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Great graphic novel! It kept close to the original while being special at the same time. The art was amazing. Thanks, HMH!
  • JenacideByBibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, via Edelweiss+, for an honest review. Opinion: I can picture it so clearly as if it were yesterday.I was sitting in class, a wee youngster at the time. A black book with an old man on the cover was dropped on my rickety desk; assigned reading for the semester. Audible groans and grumblings of “this looks boring” and “dude, come on. Something from this century, PLEASE” were heard throughout the room. The story of a young boy was given to us w Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, via Edelweiss+, for an honest review. Opinion: I can picture it so clearly as if it were yesterday.I was sitting in class, a wee youngster at the time. A black book with an old man on the cover was dropped on my rickety desk; assigned reading for the semester. Audible groans and grumblings of “this looks boring” and “dude, come on. Something from this century, PLEASE” were heard throughout the room. The story of a young boy was given to us with a cover so wise beyond our years, with words so eloquently written, that it almost felt too much for our wandering minds to grasp. A book we appreciated and grew to love, but one that still left a dryness across our eyes. If ONLY we had been given this beautiful version. You all know the story of young Jonas and his path to becoming the Receiver of Memory. Living in a place where color does not exist, and the memory of it is not taught. But when he is given his Life Assignment, he is given a job unlike his friends. He is to be the Receiver of Memory, the one who holds all the memories of the world, including those with color. So ensues Jonas’s journey to learning about the world, one filled with happiness and pain, sadness and elation. This version of The Giver pulls in readers of all ages and gives them beautifully illustrated images of Jonas’ story. This graphic novel is AMAZING.I honestly didn’t know how much I needed a graphic novel version of The Giver, until now. These illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and perfectly portray this story. Not only is it a great version for all us who had read this in school or when we were kids, but it is a FANTASTIC way to get the younger audiences and newer generations interested! I feel SO lucky that we were given a movie, and now this! The story is the same, but naturally, not every word from the original was transcribed to this rendition. This form of The Giver is much more direct with its delivery of the story, thanks to the illustrations being able to shorten the originals descriptions of scenery. Instead of the reader having to imagine Jonas learning about colors and the world, they get to SEE it happening as they read. It’s a movie and a book in one! I think all ages can enjoy this adaptation of the classic novel by Lois Lowry, but I feel that it might end up targeting a younger audience overall. Due to the writing being shortened to accommodate the illustrations, it seems that some of the more dark and somber moments from this book are reduced. The reader can see the emotion from the illustrations, but it definitely doesn’t have that gut-wrenching effect that the original has. Some things from the original were shortened, like Jonas’s big escape with the baby and some of the moments with the current Receiver of Memory. I also found it interesting that the illustrations only portrayed moments of full color for Jonas when he was receiving a memory, or when he had left. I would have expected him to have full color before then, but really, I suppose it doesn’t matter!In comparison to the original form of The Giver, I found this graphic novel to be breathtaking and VERY enjoyable. As a long-time lover of this book, I was hit with a rush of nostalgia and happiness while reading. This version is truly a masterpiece and will be a great interpretation for younger audiences. I cannot WAIT to get this in a print version.
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  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    What an incredibly faithful adaption of The Giver! The art was beautiful and creative. Kids in elementary, middle, and high school will be celebrating this "faster" read version of the novel they're forced to read in school -- only they don't realize it's basically the exact text, just enhanced with images! Still, the novel is worth a read, always! 5/5 stars.
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  • Flavia
    January 1, 1970
    I remember my first experience with The Giver. I was in grade 7 and I had just moved from Austria to Canada, and we were expected to read The Giver for class. Since it was the middle of term, the rest of the class was already almost done the book, so I felt really overwhelmed. English didn’t come easy to me yet, and I was so behind on the book that I didn’t understand anything that was going on. When the movie adaptation came out in 2014, I was hesitant to watch it because of my past experience, I remember my first experience with The Giver. I was in grade 7 and I had just moved from Austria to Canada, and we were expected to read The Giver for class. Since it was the middle of term, the rest of the class was already almost done the book, so I felt really overwhelmed. English didn’t come easy to me yet, and I was so behind on the book that I didn’t understand anything that was going on. When the movie adaptation came out in 2014, I was hesitant to watch it because of my past experience, but my boyfriend put it on the TV and I really found myself captivated by the story and what was going on!I still haven’t read the original novel, but when I found out that a graphic novel was coming out and that ARCs were available, I asked for one! The first impressions that I had with the graphic novel when I started reading it was that the ARC was in black and white, while the finished copy would be in full colour. And since colour plays a part in the story (I won’t spoil it by telling you how), I think that I can’t review that aspect of this book.The other thing I found was that the art style was not for me, but that it particularly suited the story of The Giver, so I could appreciate that they made a good choice in that. And the last thing was that there was a lot of text on each page, considering that it’s a graphic novel. But, I also understand that they needed to do that in order for the story to make complete sense. So, if you’re already a fan of The Giver, or think that this kind of story is for you (and you like the art on the cover), I recommend it.
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  • Tara Schaafsma
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this. I guess I am a very visual person because it made some of the book make more sense to me. (I like the novel a lot, too).
  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    The Giver is such a perfect book for a graphic novel. This had a wonderful use of color and it reminded me of how much I love the original book!
  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, I taught The Giver and loved The Giver reading it before I had to teach it but has it been too long that I need to go back and re-read it? I wonder because I did not like this adaptation in graphic novel format! And I'm sooo, sooo sad about it.The illustration choices do the story justice, so I won't take that away from the adaptation, but it the mood felt voyeuristic and downright creepy at times. I know the book is not sunshine and rainbows, but it changes the story when it feels the way Wow, I taught The Giver and loved The Giver reading it before I had to teach it but has it been too long that I need to go back and re-read it? I wonder because I did not like this adaptation in graphic novel format! And I'm sooo, sooo sad about it.The illustration choices do the story justice, so I won't take that away from the adaptation, but it the mood felt voyeuristic and downright creepy at times. I know the book is not sunshine and rainbows, but it changes the story when it feels the way it does in a visual format. There were some choices in story structure that I think also led to my dislike of the retelling-- emphasis on the wrong elements of the story. It's certainly an option, but in this case, the book will always be the go-to, not the graphic novel. Maybe they should have left well enough alone? Though I know a broader audience can be sought by having the graphic version.
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  • Amanda Carr
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always a little nervous when a book or story I loved is turned into a graphic novel, but I was NOT disappointed by this book. Russell's illustrations are the perfect pairing for Lowry's text. If you loved, The Giver, and it's been a while, I highly recommend revisiting it with this graphic novel.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    If ever my house was burning down, the physical item I’d rush to save is my collected copy of The Giver Quartet. See, not only is it signed, but it’s the only book I’ve read multiple times. It’s a rare book that I can explain the whole story, have deep conversations about the imagery and allegory and politicalness contained within. I first read this book when I was 10 years old. My reading comprehension has significantly improved as an adult. How I functioned in gifted classes my whole life rema If ever my house was burning down, the physical item I’d rush to save is my collected copy of The Giver Quartet. See, not only is it signed, but it’s the only book I’ve read multiple times. It’s a rare book that I can explain the whole story, have deep conversations about the imagery and allegory and politicalness contained within. I first read this book when I was 10 years old. My reading comprehension has significantly improved as an adult. How I functioned in gifted classes my whole life remains a mystery. Actually, I think it’s because I spent a lot of time listening to others interpret books (it’s the one time I am silent, if you can believe that). I remember vividly reading this book (after reading The Incredible Journey) and I remember feeling very lost and naive. I didn’t have adults to discuss the themes of sameness and lack of choice. To discuss utopia and dystopia. I wish I had and I hope the next generation reading this story does.Every time I read this story, I find something new. Reading it in graphic novel form took that to a new level, even after seeing it played out in film. This is a very faithful adaptation, including a scene where Jonas bathes an elderly woman that is often missed in other visual adaptations. Today I caught the feeling of the Christmas scene, where Jonas learns of love for the first time. The scene was vividly portrayed and is now forever implanted in my mind, much like I have received the memory myself. The art is stunning, not presented in black and white but also utilizing blue in a way that adds to the story. The tone of the setting is neutral enough to live on. It’s clear the illustrator has skill in book adaptation (they’ve done Neil Gaiman, too).Oh, and in case you’re wondering how much I love this book? Every Kindle I’ve had (starting in 2010) has been named Jonas. My current paperwhite is named Jonas!
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    One of my top ten favorite novels now in graphic format. I love the way the illustrator conveys the feeling of the story. First in black and white and then transforming to color as Jonah's memories come to life. The I read this story, the more meaning is has for me. Just as good as a graphic novel.
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  • Stefanie Kellum
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent adaptation of one of my all-time favorite children's classics. 50 million times better than the movie.
  • Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review at between-the-shelves.com!The young adult classic, The Giver, has been adapted into a graphic novel format. When Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver, he doesn’t think much of it at first. After all, it’s just his placement. Who is he to argue with the committee? But they've been hiding a lot from the community, and it's up to Jonas to change that.I received an advanced copy of this book for review from Edelweiss and HMH Young Readers for review. As an avid reader of dy Read my full review at between-the-shelves.com!The young adult classic, The Giver, has been adapted into a graphic novel format. When Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver, he doesn’t think much of it at first. After all, it’s just his placement. Who is he to argue with the committee? But they've been hiding a lot from the community, and it's up to Jonas to change that.I received an advanced copy of this book for review from Edelweiss and HMH Young Readers for review. As an avid reader of dystopian lit, I was super excited to get approved for this book. Especially since The Giver is one of those books that has stuck with me ever since we read it in fifth grade. Plus, I used it as a basis for my Master’s thesis.The story itself lends itself well to a graphic novel format. While the version I read didn’t have the finished images, I can tell that they’ll have a positive impact on the story. Particularly, the use of color emphasizes Jonas’s journey toward knowledge. The more he learns, the more color we get in the book.The only aspect of the story that rubbed me the wrong way was the use of question marks and exclamation marks to show confusion characters. While I understand the point, and might be necessary for the target audience, I think there’s ways to show this in the illustrations instead. But this might be a fill in for the final draft as well; I’ll have to pick up a final copy when it comes out February 5th!This is a strong adaptation that will make a classic story more accessible for the generations to come.Follow me!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook******I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation; a fuller review to come on Thursday!
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  • Ami
    January 1, 1970
    As so many others, the first time I read The Giver, it was in middle school as required reading material. Since then, I blanked out most of it. When I picked up the graphic novel, I knew the story was about a dystopian world that included population control and I distinctly remembered a scene where (view spoiler)[there was a pair of twins born and one was killed to maintain their balance. (hide spoiler)] That was all I remembered.So I was really curious to see how true to the story this adaptati As so many others, the first time I read The Giver, it was in middle school as required reading material. Since then, I blanked out most of it. When I picked up the graphic novel, I knew the story was about a dystopian world that included population control and I distinctly remembered a scene where (view spoiler)[there was a pair of twins born and one was killed to maintain their balance. (hide spoiler)] That was all I remembered.So I was really curious to see how true to the story this adaptation was. But I found that the author didn't gloss over graphic moments to censor kids from what actually happens and I loved that. The illustrations were beautiful. This world is supposed to be in black and white and for an audience today, that's hard to do and hold someone's attention. Luckily, the illustrations have some gray-blue tones to them, so it wasn't just stark black and white, and then they slowly build up to colored images to show Jonas' character growth. The author also does a great job setting up the rules in this society by focusing on 2-3 character memories. I think it's a good book to read in general because kids get some perspective on how lucky they are. Everything is assigned to you in this world. And I mean everything. There's no choice in family, career, your spouse, what happens to you when you get old, your speech, etc. and while there's still some progress to be made in our world, it definitely beats this.Overall, it was a great adaptation and I would say less intimidating to read as a class assignment.
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  • Rana
    January 1, 1970
    I first read The Giver 9 years ago with my 5th grade class. I hadn't been terribly interested in the book prior, but I also hadn't taken the time to understand what it would be about. Though there are some difficult scenes, it is a powerful dystopian novel before dystopians became popular. Ultimately, I was glad to have read it with my students so we could share our thoughts and feelings as we read.The graphic novel retelling elicits the same emotions which come with the first one, but the descr I first read The Giver 9 years ago with my 5th grade class. I hadn't been terribly interested in the book prior, but I also hadn't taken the time to understand what it would be about. Though there are some difficult scenes, it is a powerful dystopian novel before dystopians became popular. Ultimately, I was glad to have read it with my students so we could share our thoughts and feelings as we read.The graphic novel retelling elicits the same emotions which come with the first one, but the descriptions are now painted in pictures. The illustrator found a way to show the bland sameness of the setting without sticking to black and white. When the vivid punches of color begin to appear with Jonas's training, you get the same feeling of newness but disappointment that it is only experienced through memory.
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  • Vince
    January 1, 1970
    (4.5) I really really loved this adaptation; it's a little clunky at times when there's a lot of text in a panel but that's okay with me because it helps stay rigid to the plot of the book. P. Craig Russell's artwork is beautiful, the way he slowly blends in color as Jonas gains the ability to see it, his grays and grayish blues are haunting and set the tone for how bland and simplified the society is. I'm glad this exists and I hope it introduces new readers to this story wonderful and timeless (4.5) I really really loved this adaptation; it's a little clunky at times when there's a lot of text in a panel but that's okay with me because it helps stay rigid to the plot of the book. P. Craig Russell's artwork is beautiful, the way he slowly blends in color as Jonas gains the ability to see it, his grays and grayish blues are haunting and set the tone for how bland and simplified the society is. I'm glad this exists and I hope it introduces new readers to this story wonderful and timeless story.
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  • stop_tolkien_and_read
    January 1, 1970
    I think the appeal of The Giver for me has always been its reliance on the abstract, so I was apprehensive (precision of words) about reading a graphic novel adaptation. That being said, this novel was extremely true to the original story and visually presented the abstract ideas, like the transfer of memories and Jonas's arrival in Elsewhere, well. The reason I didn't give this a full five stars was because I do feel like the story lost some of its magic due to the concrete representation of ab I think the appeal of The Giver for me has always been its reliance on the abstract, so I was apprehensive (precision of words) about reading a graphic novel adaptation. That being said, this novel was extremely true to the original story and visually presented the abstract ideas, like the transfer of memories and Jonas's arrival in Elsewhere, well. The reason I didn't give this a full five stars was because I do feel like the story lost some of its magic due to the concrete representation of abstract ideas, which is not at all the fault of the author and lies completely in the nature of the source material. All in all, it's a beautiful adaptation of a poignant and nostalgic story!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The Giver is one of my favorite books, and this was an excellent adaptation. The art does change the tone in the beginning so it starts off in a bleaker setting that I felt with the prose novel, but other than that, it felt extremely similar to the book. Art style was fantastic, and the only thing I don't really like is the cover, which I think would be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't read the novel.
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  • katyjanereads
    January 1, 1970
    1. The words went right along with the real book. 2. I wasn't really a fan of the illustrations. 3. I did like the color towards the back.4. I thought the red of the apple ruined the mystery of what Jonas was "seeing beyond". 5. The Giver looked creepy.6. If the night crew nurturers suck so bad, why don't they put them in a different position...7. This is a good book for reluctant readers to step into the real book.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel version of the giver hit all the main parts of the story without losing any of the punch. In fact, watching (view spoiler)[ a newchild released in pictures (hide spoiler)] may have been more powerful than when I read it in the actual version. I didn't open this book expecting to like it as much as the original, but it really sucked me in.
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  • Mary Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    The Giver is one of my all-time favorite books. I was excited (and a little nervous) to see it in graphic novel form. And while obviously shorter, it is faithful to the original text and themes and mood. Well done!
  • Suzanne Dix
    January 1, 1970
    I had forgotten how deeply disturbing The Giver is and this graphic novel version doesn't shy away from telling about how bleak and terrifying it can be to live in "sameness."Amazingly done. Grades 6 and up.
  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I read the book about 15 years ago, and while the imagery in this is great it's missing the descriptions that sweep you away in the world, memories, and emotions it's giving the reader. I guess it felt kind of hollow.
  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    Very true to the book. The art was lovely, and I think that graphic novels are a great way to bring in reluctant readers.
  • Robin_R
    January 1, 1970
    A very interesting version of the book. I liked it.
  • Xandra (StarrySkyBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    sign me the heck up for this graphic novel
  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    A great adaptation of The Giver that stays true to the original text. I can see using this with developing readers who have difficulty accessing the original text.
  • Forever Young Adult
    January 1, 1970
    Graded By: BrianCover Story: Black and WhiteDrinking Buddy: Assistant Director of RecreationTestosterone Level: StirringsTalky Talk: Seeing Beyond(Jonas) Bonus Factor: Graphic NovelBromance Status: Precision of Language, Please!Read the full book report here.
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  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    This book will be great in color when it is finally published. Arc provided by the publisher for an honest review. It’s been awhile since I revisited the story of The Giver. It was fun to read the book as a graphic novel-some scenes came through beautifully.
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  • Molly Lazer
    January 1, 1970
    I have read the prose version of The Giver too many times to count, so I was excited when the graphic novel version was announced and eager to read it when it arrived. P. Craig Russell does an excellent job of illustrating Jonas's world and bringing "sameness" to life. The use of blues instead of greytones to indicate the lack of color is extraordinarily effective, as is the use of a single color in most of the memories that Jonas receives from the Giver. I read an interview with Russell in whic I have read the prose version of The Giver too many times to count, so I was excited when the graphic novel version was announced and eager to read it when it arrived. P. Craig Russell does an excellent job of illustrating Jonas's world and bringing "sameness" to life. The use of blues instead of greytones to indicate the lack of color is extraordinarily effective, as is the use of a single color in most of the memories that Jonas receives from the Giver. I read an interview with Russell in which he discussed his interpretation of the book's ending (no spoilers here, and we're just going to ignore that the other three books in the Giver Quartet exist) and was pleased to read that he and I shared our view of how the book ends. The graphic rendering of the ending is very well done--and still somewhat open for interpretation. All that said, the fact that I was able to SEE all the horrors of Jonas's society made everything so much worse. It was one thing reading it and imagining it myself, but it was a completely different animal when it was laid out in visual form on the page. Again, no spoilers, but I was extremely affected by chapter 20 and onwards, to the point where I can say that this is an extraordinary and important graphic novel that I never want to read again.
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  • Shanah
    January 1, 1970
    For this review and many others, please visit - https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.comThe Giver has a very special place in my heart. When I first got back into reading, this series was a bit of a turning point for me. This was the first book that I couldn’t wait to wake up and start reading! I actually woke up at 5:30am (which was an hour earlier than I needed to get up) so that I could get in an hour of reading before I started work. I couldn’t read fast enough and I couldn’t get this series For this review and many others, please visit - https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.comThe Giver has a very special place in my heart. When I first got back into reading, this series was a bit of a turning point for me. This was the first book that I couldn’t wait to wake up and start reading! I actually woke up at 5:30am (which was an hour earlier than I needed to get up) so that I could get in an hour of reading before I started work. I couldn’t read fast enough and I couldn’t get this series out of my head! So, naturally, when I heard that it was being turned into a graphic novel, I did everything I could to get my hands on it! Though I wouldn’t say that it’s as good as the novel itself, I really enjoyed the experience!Having read the novel before this, I will say that there were certain elements of the story that worked REALLY well accompanied with the illustrations. There are scenes where the main character has visions of the world before his own time. Their lives are so protected and controlled, and he was able to see the chaos of war, the beauty of colour and nature, pure joy, death, and so much more. I remember reading those scenes in the book thinking how they must have looked to a person who had never seen anything outside of his bubble. These illustrations helped these scenes immensely!The illustrations themselves were absolutely beautiful! I was lucky enough to read this as an ARC, but all of the pictures were in black and white. Regardless of their lack of colour, each picture depicted so much emotion. The expressions on the characters and the body language was spot on, really assisting with the emotional depth that you can sometimes lack when reading a graphic novel. I really need to find a finished copy and compare them!I also liked that there seemed to be more writing throughout. Sometimes graphic novels rely heavily on the illustrations to carry the story through. But, in this case, I feel that the writing and the illustrations worked so well together.I did struggle a little bit with the lack of emotion though. I think that it’s because I had read the novel before. I remember there being so much more emotion and impact with the novel opposed to the graphic novel. That aside, this was still an INCREDIBLE new way to experience this book!Thank you so much to Raincoast Books and Razorbill for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own and are uninfluenced.
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