Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Your Comments on The Giver

The Giver
I am unable to understand why this book was challenged or banned. It has an excellent plot and has morals that are taught, that every kid should read about.

Wally Hastings' Children's Literature Page offers the following information:

According to the American Library Association, The Giver has ranked as one of the most commonly challenged books in public and school libraries.

* The Giver was challenged in 1995 by a parent in Franklin County, Kansas, on the grounds that it is "concerned with murder, suicide, and the degradation of motherhood and adolescence." The book was removed from elementary libraries but remained available for classroom use at teachers' discretion.

* In Wrenshall, Minnesota, a school board member and two parents objected to the inclusion of The Giver on a list of books to be purchased for a high school, on the grounds of offensive language and objectionable themes. The school board approved the book but stipulated that parents would receive a list of books to be studied during the year.

* In Johnson County, Missouri, complainants charged that The Giver desensitized children to euthanasia and asked that the book "not be read in class to children under high school age." The book remains in the high school section of the K-12 library.

* A parent in Sidney, New York, publicly objected to the novel's "usage of mind control, selective breeding, and the elimination of the old and young alike when they are weak, feeble and of no more use..." but did not file a formal complaint.

* A review committee in Brecksville, Ohio, recommended the removal of The Giver from an elementary library. Objections referred to infanticide and adult themes in the novel. The book was removed.

* Somewhere in Oklahoma (no city given), a parent objected to the novel's use of terms such as "clairvoyance," "transcendent," and "guided imagery," because these are "all occult New Age practices the Bible tells us to avoid." The review committee voted unanimously to retain the book but prohibited it from being read aloud in fourth grade. The committee also recommended that immature readers be discouraged from trying it, and that the librarian should make fewer copies available.

* Medford, Oregon: In the absence of a formal review policy, language arts teachers decided not to use the book in seventh grade classrooms after a parent complained of graphic descriptions of euthanasia.

* In 1994, The Giver was temporarily banned from classes by the Bonita Unified School District in LaVerne and San Dimas, California, after four parents complained that violent and sexual passages were inappropriate for children.

* The book was restricted to students with parental permission at the Columbia Falls, Mont. school system in 1995 because of its treatment of themes of infanticide and euthanasia.


John Mutford said...

Some people are so ignorant- I wonder how many actually read the book. Most of the themes that people say they had problems with weren't glorified- in fact, it seemed to take a stance against them!

fahrenheit451moderator said...

I loved reading "The Giver" so much as an adult that I have been continuing to read Lois Lowry. She has just released "Gossamer." Visit her web site for more information.


Anonymous said...

I believe that The Giver should never be banned any where in the United States. I have much response to support what I say. First of all I have read the book my self when I was 10 years old. I was a 5th grader at the time that I read this book. After I read this book it was my favorite novel for years. I don’t know how anybody could ever challenge this book. Kids need to be exposed to this kind of thing and the real world. You can’t keep your kid under your wing forever. Also, what did we come to this country for in the first place? Freedom. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The last part is the most important, Freedom of press. Writing a book does fall under Freedom of Press. So people can’t ban a book that somebody has written for their pleasure and expression. I love lois lowry's works!. shes fantastic

Anonymous said...

Speaking about freedom. As a parent I feel responsible for what our children read, listen or see. Because every thing experienced during childhood will guide the future of every human being. The point of discussion is not about the writing abilities of the author. It is about the appropriate age to be reading this book.And living in this country should give me the freedom to guide and decide what comes to my children's life. It is all about being able to think different even if the rest of the world feels that I am out of the box just because I do not follow the "cool" and "liberal" stuff they consider necessary to breath on this planet.

fahrenheit451moderator said...

When you say you feel responsible as a parent for what "our" children read, I hope you are speaking for your own children. I don't have a problem with people who choose to have their children read an alternate choice and in Canada and likely the US, that choice is available to you and your family. I do have a problem when someone thinks they have the right to keep my children or someone else's children from reading a particular book. Freedom IS about having the ability to think differently from other people and many of the books that are challenged encourage critical thinking on the part of the reader. That is often why they are in the curriculum. I hope that you read The Giver or any other book you deem unsuitable before making a judgment. So many times, groups and individuals who wish to remove certain books from schools have not read them in their entirety.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm doing a paper on the Giver relating to Banned Books Week. I was wondering if you could help me understand why it's banned or if you know where I could find more information.

fahrenheit451moderator said...

Dear Anonymous,
I hope you get this message since I have no way to contact you. The post above has quite a bit of information which you need but also click on the link to Wally Hastings' Children's Literature Page. Also check the links on the right sidebar for other sites that have lists of banned and challenged books. The information is out there.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the help!