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  • March 2009
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Give it up for “The Giver”!

Each year, the Allegheny Carnegie Library Association selects one book that will be widely read throughout the community — or, “One Book, One Community.”  This year’s selection is Lois Lowry‘s classic dystopic novel for teens, The Giver.  If you’re not familiar with The Giver, here’s the description from our catalog: ” Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.”

The Giver is a fantastic book, and one that many of you are likely familiar with since it’s required reading at Pittsburgh Public Schools.  If you find yourself looking for additional books with similiar themes, here are a few you might enjoy:

pelly1Adlington, L.J
The Diary of Pelly D

When Toni V, a construction worker on a futuristic colony, finds the diary of a teenage girl whose life has been turned upside-down by holocaust-like events, he begins to question his own beliefs.

    feedAnderson, M.T.
    Feed

    In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

      hungergamesCollins, Suzanne
      The Hunger Games

      In a future North America, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in an annual survival competition in which teens fight each other — to the death.

        littlebrotherDoctorow, Cory
        Little Brother

        After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security, seventeen-year-old Marcus decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

        cityofemberDuPrau, Jeanne
        City of Ember

        In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on
        Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her
        decaying but beloved city.

        houseofthescorpionFarmer, Nancy
        House of the Scorpion

        In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special
        status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader
        of a corrupt drug empire.

        othersideoftheisland Goodman, Allegra
        The Other Side of the Island

        Born in the eighth year of Enclosure, ten-year-old Honor lives
        in a highly regulated colony with her defiant parents, but when
        they are taken away, it is up to Honor  to uncover a terrible secret about their Island and the Corporation that runs everything.

        declarationMalley, Gemma
        The Declaration

        In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and
        children are illegal, teenaged Anna, an obedient “Surplus”
        training to become a house servant, discovers that her birth parents are trying to find her.

        zforzachariahO’Brien, Robert
        Z for Zachariah

        Seemingly the only person left alive after a nuclear war, a
        sixteen-year-old girl is relieved to see a man arrive into her
        valley until she realizes that he is a tyrant and she must  escape.

        lifeasweknewitPfeffer, Susan Beth
        Life As We Knew It

        Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes
        her struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing
        worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

        unwindShusterman, Neil
        Unwind

        In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and
        eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts
        harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.

        ugliesWesterfeld, Scott
        The Uglies

        Tally can’t wait until her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be
        made supermodel gorgeous.  When she’s sent to the Smoke to
        bring back a runaway friend, however, she learns that being pretty might not be the mosti mportant thing in the world.

        Is reading about dystopias not enough for you? There are a lot of opportunities in April for you to write, think and talk about The Giver and explore your ideas about the future.

        Barnes and Noble is sponsoring an essay contest for middle and high school students.  To enter, write a letter to Dan Onorato telling him what you think your own future will look like and how to design that future to benefit the community.  More information about the contest can be found here.

        As part of the One Book festivities, there are programs throughout the city related to The Giver and related themes, including dystopias, the future and new technologies.  Here are a few in which you might be interested:

        Technology Playground
        Saturday, April 25 ❘ 1 – 4 pm
        CLP – Main ❘ 4400 Forbes Avenue
        Experience new technology at this multi-dimensional,
        interactive event. Share your memories or hopes for
        the future on a video or audio podcast; experience
        video games for all ages; discover an online tool
        that helps you find the answers you need from real,
        live librarians!

        CLP – Knoxville ❘ 400 Brownsville Road
        Saturday, April 11 @ 1:00 PM
        World Premier of How I See the Future
        A video created by teens of CLP – Knoxville. Attend the premier or view it
        in our teen section, April 11 – 30 or online @ onebook.carnegielibrary.org.

        CLP – Main ❘ 4400 Forbes Avenue
        Saturday, April 4 @ 1:00 PM ❘ First Floor, Quiet Reading Room
        Read Aloud: Lois Lowry’s The Giver
        Join us for a shared reading experience of this year’s
        One Book, One Community selection.

        Book Discussions:

        Monday, April 13
        5:00 PM CLP – Lawrenceville ❘ 279 Fisk Street
        Tuesday, April 14
        11:30 AM CLP – Woods Run ❘ 1201 Woods Run Avenue
        6:00 PM CLP – Carrick ❘ 1811 Brownsville Road
        Wednesday, April 15
        1:00 PM CLP – Brookline ❘ 708 Brookline Boulevard
        Monday, April 20
        6:00 PM CLP – Brookline ❘ 708 Brookline Boulevard
        Join us to discuss two thought-provoking books that imagine very
        different prospects for the future, The Giver by Lois Lowry and
        Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
        Wednesday, April 22
        6:00 PM CLP – Mt. Washington ❘ 315 Grandview Avenue
        Intergenerational book discussion


        3 Responses

        1. i just finished the giver (i’m in PPS and we had 2 read it) and i loved it. it was intresting and kinda weird at times. as it gets closer to the end it gets more and more intresting. i luved it!

        2. [...] fiction — things like Little Brother and the other books I listed in last week’s Give It Up for “The Giver” [...]

        3. [...] they’re  like the books on the list put together by bibliokaren a few months ago http://clpteensburgh.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/give-it-up-for-the-giver/, these quicken the blood, give you an edge and alertness. They  distract you from  other [...]

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