July 17, 2010
If you've ever read Lowis Lowry's Newbery Award Winning book, The Giver, you know what a captivating story it is. Recently, I picked up Lowry's companion to The Giver at Plato's Closet for $2. It's a short read called Gathering Blue. After re-reading The Giver with David back in Februrary, I decided this would be a good way to kick off my summer reading list (yes, I know I've started quite late).
The book begins with an orphan girl, Kira, who lives with a congenial twisted leg. Similar to the community of The Giver, Kira exists in a closed village where a hierarchy of leaders controls much of the people's fate, and weakness is not tolerated. After being given a special place in the village, little Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by secrets. Kira befriends a boy who has similar privliges and they being seeking to uncover the truth of the village--and to find out what lies beyond.
I must say that although the story is peculiarly alike The Giver, it caught my attention from the beginning and kept it throughout. I estimate the reading level to be right around 5th to 6th grade, and it does provide an enjoyable reading experience.
Where Lowry is lacking in the book is in the detail. She explains all too much of senarios which lack great importance, and fails to elaborate on those that matter. Though interest is easily maintained throughout the book, too many questions go unanswered from beginning to end.
As I neared the finish of Gathering Blue, I realized that because I was just reaching the climax of the story, there was no hope of a fantastic ending due to a shortage of pages. Lowry ends with a minimal, lack-luster finish that would disappoint even the youngest of readers.
Overall, it was not worth the 2-day read. Stick to The Giver.