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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pfeffer, 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.
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.
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:
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,
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.
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