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The Giver: Graphic Novel

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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.


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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.

30 review for The Giver: Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I won't summarize the story because there are by now thousands of reviews that do that, but I read this mainly because it is one of several new graphic adaptations of well-known and often taught books, illustrated by famous British illustrator Craig Russell. Russell was the main reason I picked this up--I love the way Russell introduces blue into his early black and white scheme, and then, appropriate to the story, introduces more color to it. His work is of course worth the look, whether you ha I won't summarize the story because there are by now thousands of reviews that do that, but I read this mainly because it is one of several new graphic adaptations of well-known and often taught books, illustrated by famous British illustrator Craig Russell. Russell was the main reason I picked this up--I love the way Russell introduces blue into his early black and white scheme, and then, appropriate to the story, introduces more color to it. His work is of course worth the look, whether you have read this or not before. This is a kind of allegory, a dystopian novel of which I was just personally never a huge fan, but it's a fine piece of work, 3.5-4.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Great graphic novel! It kept close to the original while being special at the same time. The art was amazing. Thanks, HMH! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Great graphic novel! It kept close to the original while being special at the same time. The art was amazing. Thanks, HMH! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Fascinating adaptation. I don’t think it brought anything particularly new to the story, hence the 4 stars instead of 5, but I loved experiencing The Giver again in a new way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    CarolynMarieReads

    When people ask me, what book made you realize you loved to read...and consequently turned you into the reader you are today? I always think and say The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry! I first read it for school at the age of 10 or 11, but because it had the added pressures that come with school readings, I didn't fully enjoy it. Fast forward a few years later, I decided to re-read it for fun! I was in awe of its message, which honestly went a bit over my head the first time I read it. This book pr When people ask me, what book made you realize you loved to read...and consequently turned you into the reader you are today? I always think and say The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry! I first read it for school at the age of 10 or 11, but because it had the added pressures that come with school readings, I didn't fully enjoy it. Fast forward a few years later, I decided to re-read it for fun! I was in awe of its message, which honestly went a bit over my head the first time I read it. This book proves how important love, choice, and diversity is. Our differences should be honored. We shouldn't try to fit into an exact mold that society has built for us, because our strength is in our uniqueness. This graphic novel was a beautiful and loyal adaptation which truly brought the story and message to life. My favorite aspect of this visual adaptation was the way Russell slowly introduced color into the colorless world that the characters inhabit. Being an illustrator myself, I can't image a world without color. Everyday I marvel at the miraculous beauty of color. This story will forever be in my heart and mind. It is a story everyone should read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    Surprisingly enough, this was my first introduction to "The Giver". In the midst of my childhood, this novel was hugely popular and became required reading for many classes. Somehow, I missed out on that experience and I have not yet seen the recent movie adaptation. This is an eerie dystopian that is made even more creepy by the fact that it's easy to see how this could become reality. In some ways, this fictional world seems so farfetched but at the same time, in our current political climate Surprisingly enough, this was my first introduction to "The Giver". In the midst of my childhood, this novel was hugely popular and became required reading for many classes. Somehow, I missed out on that experience and I have not yet seen the recent movie adaptation. This is an eerie dystopian that is made even more creepy by the fact that it's easy to see how this could become reality. In some ways, this fictional world seems so farfetched but at the same time, in our current political climate it makes me realize how close fiction can get to reality. In a world full of dystopian stories, I found this world unique in many ways whether it be the absence of colours or the details of a person's "release". After reading this graphic novel, I'm very interested in reading the original novel for more details. This graphic novel was an amazing adaptation, especially for those who are being introduced to the story through this format. I think it probably accurately represented the original novel and will have readers going to pick up that original novel for more. The ending has me perplexed. I feel like it could mean many things and may have been purposely left that way for the reader to make their own interpretation? Either way, whether left open for interpretation or concrete in its finale, I like how the ending felt final. It ended in a way that captured the full beauty of the story. ***Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review***

  6. 5 out of 5

    JenacideByBibliophile

    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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it's a great cautionary tale about a dystopian society. On the other hand, it's a tale of the futility of going up against such a society.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Completely Melanie

    Loved the artwork. I really enjoyed reading this version.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Carr

    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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tara Schaafsma

    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).

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Quijano

    I read The Giver once, six years ago. The details of the book are hazy, but I went back and looked at my Goodreads review and noticed that I erroneously gave it four stars. I think the sequels made me enjoy the book more than my initial review indicates. Over the past few years, I have found myself wanting to reread the series, a feeling I rarely get. I saw The Giver: Graphic Novel at my library and was pretty excited and decided to read it. The Giver is one of my favorite books ever, and this is I read The Giver once, six years ago. The details of the book are hazy, but I went back and looked at my Goodreads review and noticed that I erroneously gave it four stars. I think the sequels made me enjoy the book more than my initial review indicates. Over the past few years, I have found myself wanting to reread the series, a feeling I rarely get. I saw The Giver: Graphic Novel at my library and was pretty excited and decided to read it. The Giver is one of my favorite books ever, and this is a solid adaptation in graphic novel form. If you haven't read the original book, I highly recommend you read that before you read the graphic novel. If you are someone who likes to read The Giver every few years, I would recommend The Giver: Graphic Novel as a way to change things up. The graphic novel captures many of the elements I loved about the book. The way the reader is introduced to the world made me like and respect their society. There was order, community, and everyone had an important role to play. But over time, the reality of the society makes it obvious that what first appeared to be a near-utopia was anything but. The other main thing I loved about the original book was the ambiguous ending which is perfectly captured here. The only element that seemed to be missing was the tension between Jonas and Fiona. It is something touched on in the graphic novel, but I don't think it fully captured what was expressed in the original book. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the original novel. If you haven't read the original novel, I do think it is worth it to read that first (I would recommend the whole series). Five stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Flavia

    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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mehsi

    I still think it is hilarious that I love the movie, like the graphic novel, and don't like the book. I tried, a couple of times, but it never worked out. This graphic novel was interesting to read, especially when I compare it to the movie. It seems they made quite some changes from book > movie. In this one our MC is 11 going to 12, the ending was a bit eh as I still have no clue if they survived or not (I guess it is up to the reader, so I say yes), and some others, but I had a lot of fun rea I still think it is hilarious that I love the movie, like the graphic novel, and don't like the book. I tried, a couple of times, but it never worked out. This graphic novel was interesting to read, especially when I compare it to the movie. It seems they made quite some changes from book > movie. In this one our MC is 11 going to 12, the ending was a bit eh as I still have no clue if they survived or not (I guess it is up to the reader, so I say yes), and some others, but I had a lot of fun reading it and seeing Jonas discover that not everything was as it was in the community. Seeing what it meant when someone went away. Finding out that they did something about colours. The Giver was also different, and I have to say I can imagine why he is the way he is. All those memories, gosh, I don't want to think. The happy ones are OK, but the wars, the pain, the hurt. No.. I would like to know more about the world, how it all grew to be communities and if there are free people somewhere. The art was pretty good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (aka WW)

    I love The Giver. I have read the book and seen the movie a couple of times, since my son was first assigned to read it in middle school. I agree with those who call it a classic and compare it to 1984 and Animal Farm. The graphic form works really well for the book, especially in the way colors are introduced. It’s true to the book in all ways. Recommended both to those who have and haven’t read the original.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    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!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becki

    Beautifully done!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is the first time reading this book, and was totally unimpressed by the story itself: very talky, very uninspired. Most of the rating is for Russell's sublime artistry, making the blandness of the story an actual feature of the art. As a fan of his for over 40 years, he never disappoints.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    The Giver is a great story in any format. Its affirmation of the value of every life, and our need of the whole spectrum of life's experiences, including pain and sadness, is always relevant. The moment when Jonas realizes what "release to elsewhere" means is so poignant. My favorite version of the story is the movie, followed by the original novel. The graphic novel adaptation is not bad, it just doesn't add very much to the existing versions. I feel that the movie does a better job of showing t The Giver is a great story in any format. Its affirmation of the value of every life, and our need of the whole spectrum of life's experiences, including pain and sadness, is always relevant. The moment when Jonas realizes what "release to elsewhere" means is so poignant. My favorite version of the story is the movie, followed by the original novel. The graphic novel adaptation is not bad, it just doesn't add very much to the existing versions. I feel that the movie does a better job of showing the introduction of color into Jonas's life. The graphic novel remains mostly black and white (blue and white, actually) for most of the story's duration, where I would have liked to see the colors gradually becoming a part of Jonas's viewpoint. However, I did like the way color was used when it appeared. The transferred memories are often presented in a monochromatic style that reminded me of old newspaper comics. Other times, the memories looked like color-tinted photographs, which is also beautiful. Even though the Giver in this version looks nothing like Jeff Bridges, I can't help but hear his lines in Jeff Bridges's voice. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I read The Giver about fourteen years ago, but certain parts of that powerful book stuck with me: the tossing of an apple, the sled ride in the snow. This graphic novel version was well done. I forgot what a cliffhanger of an ending this was, though! Maybe it seemed particularly this way in this format, since there’s less opportunity for inner dialogue. I realize there’s a sequel and now I’m feeling motivated to seek it out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaylabookworm22 L

    I absolutely loved it! I love the original book and this graphic novel version too. It is such a unique story and very well written.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    The GN version of the classic text. Highly worthy of its brilliant source material.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    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!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    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.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Kellum

    Excellent adaptation of one of my all-time favorite children's classics. 50 million times better than the movie.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Read Between The Vines

    I already adored this story, but now I love how the artist/illustrator portrayed this. It really was like reading the the picture I saw in my head

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Bit more powerful than the book, which is really saying something. Love the story and I think I'll finally go off and read the other three in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Miriam N

    possible theme: Do what's right

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Yo The Giver is SUPER MESSED UP guys. Like, how are 10 year olds allowed to read this. It is terrifying. Also it is all true. Also this is a great adaptation. When uh a baby is released I had to stop reading for a while. Like, I knew what was happening, but also, WHAT. How. Why. But uh, I'm definitely going to preview/re-read the book before I lovingly and bravely hand it on to my own young people. Deep breaths.

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