Friday, January 14, 2011

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

This book is a companion to The Giver, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Kira's mother dies, making her an orphan, and she is being forced to move from her home by the neighboring women. She goes to the Council of Guardians, and they decide Kira will become the new Robe-threader for the community. Kira's main job is to repair The Singer's robe, its designs telling the history of the culture. However, while living in the main building, Kira discovers some secrets that change her views of the world. Is it a coincidence that Thomas, the carver, Jo, the toddler who is to become the new singer, and Kira are all orphans? What really happened to Kira's father? She is told that a beast killed him, but old Annabella tells her that there are no beasts. Jamison, Kira's guardian said he witnessed her father's death. The truth unfolds around the time of The Gathering.

This book could be grouped with the fantasy books, because it takes place in the future. There are hints that the artists have special powers or senses, but nothing magical or impossible actually occurs. I enjoyed Kira's character, because she was the underdog. She should have been killed at birth due to her deformed foot, but her life was spared. She grew up and developed her sewing talents and is now in a position of respect, with the ability to affect the lives of the whole community. Kira has a difficult decision at the end when she discovers the truth about her father and the orphans.

Lexile level from 680

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