8th Graders read The Giver

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8th Graders read The Giver

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GBMS has lots of things to look forward to. One of those is reading The Giver in 8th grade. The Giver is a dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. A dystopian novel is a book that is about a society that has the illusion of a utopia (a perfect world), but is actually cold and corrupt.

About the Book

The Giver is (as you already know) a dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. Lois Lowry is indubitably important as an author because she wrote one of the first fictional dystopian novels. It is about a child named Jonas, who lives in what some call a “utopia.” He is about to enter his year as a twelve, the age at which each child is assigned a job at a special ceremony. At the ceremony, Jonas is anxious yet eager to be assigned to his new job; his palms are drenched with sweat.  Then he is assigned the most important role in his community, a job as the Receiver. What does the Receiver do you may ask? What does Jonas think of his new role? But most importantly what does Jonas find out about his community and the dark secrets that it hides? You’ll have to read the book in 8th grade to find out!

What Students Think

A book is truly well written when readers love the book. What’s a book without a reader’s support? So where do students stand in supporting The Giver? To find that out, you have to ask what students thought about reading it. Riley Palmer said that his mom gave it to him in 6th grade, but he waited to read it although he was so excited.

Matthew Boone stated, “I wasn’t too sure if it would be interesting or not, but I ended up liking it…. It wasn’t slow paced; it grabbed my attention.”

Lily Amato said that she thought it would be boring at first, but then found it very intriguing.

Lauren Saiter thought that, “…this is (going) to be a great book because teachers are crazy about it. My teacher seemed to really recommend it.” But what about after reading it? “I want to read more,” says Lauren.

A Note to 6th and 7th graders

The Giver is a great book and all, but it’s only for 8th graders to read as an assignment–an assignment that you’re supposed to enjoy. So if someone reads The Giver in 6th or 7th grade, imagine what reading it again in 8th grade would be like: boring and repetitive. One 8th grader named John Bleiler read the book before he was supposed to. So how does he feel having to read it again? He says, “I feel ok about having to read it again because it’s a great book, but it would stink for other people.”

Teachers’ Thoughts

Many students have the same thought about every single assignment they’re given: “Why did the teacher assign this?”

Ms. Nicole Pugh says, “Reading The Giver hopefully helps students realize how wonderful it is to be unique and different, and it helps them appreciate freedoms that we take for granted.”

Ms. Anna Calvin says, “…I wanted something that would grab their attention. It is a very interesting book I thought students would get into.”

Ms. Lisa Player says, “The Giver is considered a classic middle school read across the country. Its messages of the importance of choice, freedom, and governmental control are extremely interesting as young people head toward adulthood.”

If you’re a 6th or 7th grader who’s still wondering why you should or shouldn’t read the book, maybe you need to hear that “why” from a teacher. Ms. Calvin says, “…wait ’til…8th grade, that way it would be easier to understand.”

Mrs. Player says, “ We don’t want 6th and 7th grade students reading the book because we want to save it for 8th grade. That’s why Ms. Graham moved it to the Young Adult section in the library, so the younger students don’t check it out.” Although The Giver is a great book, you should get excited to read it in 8th grade not 7th and 6th!

A Little Something

8th graders are also learning about irony: an action or event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result. If you can find an example of irony in this article, write it down in the comments below to enter in a chance to win a raffle for a prize!

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