for Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Teenage Kira lives in a futuristic society with an authoritarian ruling class that controls everything, including creativity. Her fellow villagers shun Kira after her mother dies. But a member of the Council of Guardians who is impressed with the girl’s weaving ability saves her from certain death. Kira quickly gains a comfortable new home inside the Council Edifice where she is assigned to work on maintaining and restoring the ancient Singer’s robe, a ceremonial garment with the history of Kira’s people woven into it. While her new life is highly regulated, she has some freedom to interact with other creative people working on assigned tasks. These interactions, coupled with Kira’s access to her people’s history, cause her to begin to question the things she’s accepted as true. This dystopic future society by Lois Lowry explores some of the same issues she raised in The Giver (Houghton Mifflin, 1993): how storytelling and ritual play an important part in keeping a culture alive, and how access to history is the key to finding truth. (Ages 13-16)
CCBC Choices 2001. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001. Used with permission.
Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.