Writer's garden

Writer's garden

The Ship of Life

Life is like a ship- sailing in the sea,
On and on rolling in the blueness
With marvels to see
With raging storms and clear waters,
With rules and norms
And worries and bothers…
 But we must weather the storm

And leave it behind
We must reach safe waters and
Go on with life….
Aboard the ship of life,
We share mingled feelings of pure joy and happiness…

And dark days of rage and hopelessness
Life is what you make it
Look at the bright side
Enjoy it while you can
The voyage doesn’t last long…!

Amulya Murthy, Class VIII B, SKCH CBSE

A Life With No Colour

With every bookstore being bombarded with vampire romances, 'The Giver' comes as quite a relief. The author, Lois Lowry, won a Newbery Medal for this book and an earlier book of hers, 'Number the Stars'. He is also the author of the Anastasia Krupnik series.

Jonas, the main character of the book, is eleven-going-on-twelve. He, along with his parents and sister Lily live in an extremely sanitised and strict environment known as the 'Community'. Everything at the Community is very eerily controlled by the 'Elders', who are like a governing council. The 'Elders' choose who gets married to whom and the couples then have to wait two years to 'apply' for a child. They are then assigned two kids at different stages, one girl and one boy, always.

And when a child turns twelve, he or she is assigned a profession by the 'Elders' that they will keep for the rest of their lives (basically, the kids and their families don't have much of a say in the matter). Some of the 'jobs' they could get are - Nurturer (looking after newborn kids), or Labourer (lots of manual work like building).

The book kept on getting more intriguing, till I reached this part - all the people living in the 'Community' cannot see colour, or feel any true emotions like anger or love! For me, that was the ultimate nightmare. I mean, no colour in life? Yikes! At this point in the book, you finally realise that Jonas is the only one who can see colour and feel emotions. So when the time comes for everyone to be assigned a profession, Jonas gets the most prestigious - the Receiver of Memories. The previous Receiver is an old man,
and Jonas starts getting lessons from him, or rather, memories from him. The Receiver gives Jonas his memories, collected over the years -- of hunger, pain, happiness, and of colourful things. The reason why the Receiver is so important to the Community is that since he holds all kinds of memories, he advises the Elders, and protects the rest of the people from feeling anything.

Even as Jonas is preparing to take over the post of Receiver, he decides he is sick of the life he is leading. He runs away. And in leaving the Community, he loses control of the memories he carried. The people in the Community are no longer protected from them. Now they will feel pain, and happiness, and see flashes of colour in their lives.

I seriously enjoyed the book, because it's not your normal science-fiction-type of book. It shows us what a lot we witness and feel every single day (imagine not being able to see the brown of chocolate!), subconsciously. And the fact that the people of the 'Community' are totally controlled by the 'Elders' makes us realise that we all have quite a lot of freedom of expression compared to them!

Name of the book: The Giver
Author of the book: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price of the book: Rs. 299/-

Book Review by: Ahalya Mandana, Std. X, Royale Concorde International School  

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