Cannonball Read IV #72
Last week I walked past a display table at Barnes and Noble that I’d seen before. It was for action stories or sci-fi stories for young adults or something like that and I looked at it to see if there was anything my eight-year-old sister might like. So when I glanced at it this time, I was surprised to see a book I hadn’t seen on there before: Son by Lois Lowry. But wait! Son the sequel to The Give and companion to Gathering Blue and The Messenger! The series is complete… and I am a sucker for finishing up series so I bought the hardcover.
In Son, we meet Claire, who is a few years older than Jonas (remember him from the giver?) in the same community. At 12, she is chosen to be a birthmother, the least honorable but very much needed of jobs. Something goes wrong with her delivery and she is reassigned from birthmother to work at the fish hatchery. Claire feels compelled to know her son, though, and volunteers at the center where children are kept until the Ceremony of the Ones. Her son, Gabe, is the baby from The Giver who has a hard time adjusting and goes home each night to sleep at Jonas’s family’s house. When she finds out that Jonas and the baby have escaped the community, Claire boards a supply ship and escapes, too, in hopes that she can find her son, but the boat she is on capsizes and she washes up on the shores of a distance village. What happens next is her search to find her son before it’s too late.
To be honest, I don’t feel like this was as good as The Giver, but I love that it brought the three previous books together. It also continues to explore some of the same themes as The Giver and the other books, such as love, family, friendship, and bravery. I was totally engaged in the story and liked every character (except for Trademaster but we weren’t supposed to like him!), and I feel like a middle school or early high school student would enjoy this book, too. The only thing that I wanted but didn’t get was an explanation of what happened to the community Jonas left — did they get color back? Did they break down? It was called Son, however, so it wasn’t really a book to wrap up what happens after Jonas leaves… it’s Claire and Gabe’s story.