Messenger

by Lois Lowry Book 3 of the Giver Quartet

Twelve-year-old Matty has a special gift that makes him indispensable in Village,... read more

Twelve-year-old Matty has a special gift that makes him indispensable in Village, the utopian community to which he escaped when he was just six years old. He is the only one who can travel through Forest unharmed, so he frequently carries messages to other communities. It is unclear why Forest aggressively attacks other travelers, sometimes killing them in a strangle of foliage or punctures of thorns and barbs. It makes the goodness and safety of Village all the more pronounced to those who migrate there. Village is a community that assumes honesty, kindness, generosity, and hospitality, values Matty has had to work hard to assimilate. Now he is making a real contribution, thanks to the love of his foster father, Seer, an old blind man who also has special gifts, and the trust of Leader, who guides them all. But lately, some of the people in Village are changing, becoming selfish and putting their own interests ahead of the well-being of the community. There is even a growing movement to close the borders, even though Village has always been a refuge to any who entered. As he nears manhood, Matty makes some startling discoveries about his true gift and about how it might be used as Village starts to decline. In this companion novel to The Giver and Gathering Blue , all of Lois Lowry’s speculations and questions about community, goodness, love, and human purpose are united in Matty’s story. Characters from her previous novels reemerge in a story that stands on its own but that is also a stunning conclusion to the trilogy. (Ages 11–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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