What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in December

We’re working our way back to in-person programming this month, with a variety of programs meeting in-person, on-line, or a hybrid of both. Here’s what we’ve got planned for December:

December Teen Volunteering Challenges

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All month long

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. December’s challenges include:

  • Art: It’s the month of Decembird! You can draw, paint, or sculpt, but make it for the birds- 12 birds of Christmas, backyard winter birds, or whatever kind of bird you like!
  • Writing: We challenge you to write a tiny holiday story! Any holiday. Any story. Fact or fiction or something in between. But it must be 200 words or less.
  • Food: December 8th is National Brownie Day- select your favorite brownie recipe, and bake a batch of brownies. Share them with someone special!
  • Reading: Read a book about a holiday you don’t celebrate at home.
  • More Reading: Read a book while wrapped in a favorite blanket. Add a cup of hot cocoa if you’d like.
  • Even More Reading: Think ahead: What’s something you want to learn more about in the New Year? Read a book on that topic to get a jump start!
  • Extra Credit: Change your life forever by learning a new language- check out Mango Languages on our website, and send us a screenshot of what you are working on… ganbatte!!

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: Two Can Keep a Secret

All month long

This month we are going to read Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. Books will be provided and are yours to keep! To pick up your Book Buzz book, starting on November 1st, you must register for this event. Then you can come into the library and pick up your book at the Children’s Desk. Join us online here (our Google Classroom page) to share and hear our different points of view about the book! This book discussion group will be available all month -and beyond- and you can interact with us and post your thoughts any time that’s convenient for you.

Cheshire Art League: The Art of Colonial America

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

The Cheshire Art League is hosting lecturer Bob Potter, who will discuss the The Art of Colonial America, and featuring the works of artists such as Charles Wilson Peale, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, and more. This is a hybrid program, register to attend either in-person or online.

Minecraft Mania

Thursdays, December 2, 9, and 16, 2021, 3:30-5:00pm

Join Minecraft Mania for an afternoon of challenges, building, and creativity! Learn physics, statistics, and engineering concepts through hands-on activities! You will be given access to a free Minecraft account. Best for kids and teens in grades 5-12. This is a hybrid program, register to attend either in-person or online.

Theremin and Piano

Friday, December 3, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us as we explore the music and the history of the Theremin, one of the world’s strangest insturments. The library’s own Jared Goldman and pianist Perla Palomo will perform a mix of modern hits and classics. This concert will feature music as well as a look at how the instrument works and it’s uses throughout the century. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Meditative Mondays

Mondays, December 6, 13, 20 from 2:00 – 3:00pm

Learn to master your thoughts, be in control of your mental & emotional well-being, and discover a world you never thought possible. This 7 session online class will be teaching you various meditation techniques along with topics of awareness for inner transformation. Dress comfortably and enjoy the experience! Please register in advance to receive a link to the presentation an hour before the start time.

Ball and Socket Project: Where Do We Stand?

Monday, December 6, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Please join us as Ilona Somogyi, President and Co-Founder of the Ball & Socket Arts, Inc. will update the community on construction progress and answer questions. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Chinese for Families

Tuesdays, December 7, 14, 21, 28, 2021 4:00 – 5:00pm

(classes will continue in January)

We are so excited to partner with NeuLingo, a live, engaging online Chinese program to offer free Chinese language and culture classes for children! Join us to go on a virtual tour of the most charming cities in China, learn and experience the traditions and stories behind Chinese festivals, pick up a few Chinese words, and practice them with other children through meaningful social interactions! This is an online program, best for ages 5-12. Register once per family to attend all classes.

Author Talk: No Dead Air by Larry Rifkin

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Larry Rifkin’s career in Connecticut broadcasting spans five decades and includes varied roles including television programming executive, radio personality and now podcaster. In his new book, No Dead Air: Career Reflections from the TV Executive who Kept Barney the Dinosaur from Becoming Extinct, Larry Rifkin reflects on an improbable career that spawned two groundbreaking hits, ‘Barney & Friends’ and ‘UConn Women’s Basketball’. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us virtually for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Trivia Night 

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Food Explorers: Cookie Decorating

Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00pm

Join Food Explorers for a holiday cookie extravaganza! Frost and decorate your own holiday cookies by coloring your frosting with fruits! This program is nut free but will contain dairy and/or eggs. For children in grades 3-8. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Builder’s Guild 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Design, build, and play with different building materials in this program for budding engineers! Today, we’ll challenge ourselves to design structures with wooden Keva Planks. For children in grades K-3. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Books Over Coffee: Winter’s Tale

Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet in person in the library Loft! This month’s book is Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. 

Coding for Teens and Tweens 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 2:00 – 4:45pm

Learn HTML/CSS/JavaScript programming! For grades 6 through 12. Each person will need their own laptop (it can be one you bring from home- or you can use one of the library’s laptops) and you’ll need a personal email/password in order to open an account on the website repl.i t. Then you will learn how to create your own website! For kids and teens in grades 6-12. This is an in-person event at the Cheshire Library. Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed for the entire event. Registration is required.

Teen Book Reviews: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Holes

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from a teen who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, reviewed by Ali A.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book about a Native-American boy named Arnold Spirit. Arnold was born with “water in his brain” and lives in the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington. His reservation is full of drunk and violent people who often die to alcohol overdose. In fact, Arnold said he had been to 42 funerals by the age of 14. Everyone in the reservation has accepted the fact that they are poor and that there’s no hope for them, except Arnold. Arnold realizes that the only way to make it out of his sad life is to go to a predominantly white school in Rearden. However, things aren’t easy when Arnold begins his high school life in Rearden. Rearden High School is 22 miles away from Arnold’s home, so his dad can only afford to drive Arnold only once or twice a week due to gasoline prices, so Arnold has to dangerously hitchhike with strangers to get to his school. Occasionally, Arnold can’t find anyone to drive him so he has to walk the full 22 miles! And once Arnold gets to school, he has no friends and everyone mocks him. After Arnold finally starts sticking up for himself and fights Roger, the school’s football star, Arnold feels more respected at Rearden and Arnold thinks that he can put his reservation days behind him. He quickly starts making friends with the school brainiac, Gordy, and even Roger becomes friendly with him. Arnold then tries out for the basketball team and actually becomes a starter for the varsity team and their best shooter. Everything seems to be going well, until the reservation turns on him. People from the Spokane Indian Reservation label him as a traitor and his former best friend, Rowdy, starts hating him. Arnold’s grandmother and sister both die, and Arnold begins to feel depressed. Finally the reservation starts to accept Arnold after he had to endure those tragic losses. Humorous, heart-breaking and amazingly written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian reflects the life of an teen attempting to break away from the hopeless life he was destined to live.

4 Stars.

Holes by Louis Sachar, reviewed by Ali A.

Holes one of my favorite books and I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy adventure books. Holes is about a kid named Stanley Yelnats who is wrongfully accused of stealing a pair of shoes from a famous baseball player named Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston. Clyde Livingston’s shoes were supposed to be donated to charity, but instead Stanley found the old shoes on his way home from school. Stanley was unaware that those shoes belonged to the baseball player so he instead brought them home for an experiment his father was conducting. Once the police found out that Stanley was in possession of the shoes, they arrested him and sent him to Camp Green Lake, which is actually a dessert where the prisoners dig holes from dawn to dusk. Stanley starts making friends, and one of them is Hector “Zero” Zeroni. Stanley is finds it strange that Zero keeps trying to excessively help him dig holes, until he finds out that Zero was the one who stole Clyde Livingston’s shoes and dumped them on the sidewalk to avoid getting caught. Stanley forgives Zero and they both decide to escape the harsh conditions on Camp Green Lake. As Stanley and Zero make their journey, they make discoveries about Camp Green Lake and why the counselors force the prisoners to dig holes all day long in the desert heat. I’d rate this novel a 5/5 because of all the details Louis Sachar incorporates into Holes. This book also makes me think about all the people around the world that are wrongfully accused and jailed for things they didn’t do, except that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you enjoy Holes, I’d also recommend Small Steps, which is a book about what happens to some of the boys after they leave Camp Green Lake.

5 Stars.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in November

 The Friends of Cheshire Library Used Book Sale is BACK! After a 2 year hiatus due to Covid, our most awesome used book sale is scheduled for November 18-21, mark your calendars! Of course there’s a ton of other stuff going on in November, too, take a look:

November Teen Volunteering Challenges

All month long

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Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. November’s challenges include:

  • Art: It’s the month of Slowvember!  Slowvember is about quality and getting something you really like. During this challenge, work on one image and make it as good as you can.
  • Writing: Write a conversation that would take place at someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Food: November 1st is National Cook For Your Pets Day- so take this month to cook a delicious meal or snack for your pets!!
  • Reading: If you have a family gathering this month, add something to your pre-dinner ritual: ask each person to name a book they’re thankful for, then read one that appeals to you.
  • More Reading: November is Picture Book Month- to celebrate, read a picture book you’ve never read before.
  • Even More Reading: Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month by reading a book about Native American history or experience.
  • Extra Credit: Change your life forever by learning a new language- check out Mango Languages on our website, and send us a screenshot of what you are working on… ganbatte!!

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: We Were Liars

All month long

This month we are going to read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Books will be provided and are yours to keep! To pick up your Book Buzz book, starting on November 1st, you must register for this event. Then you can come into the library and pick up your book at the Children’s Desk. Join us here (our Google Classroom page) to share and hear our different points of view about the book! This book discussion group will be available all month -and beyond- and you can interact with us and post your thoughts any time that’s convenient for you.

Meditative Mondays

Mondays from 2:00 – 3:00pm

Learn to master your thoughts, be in control of your mental & emotional well-being, and discover a world you never thought possible. This 7 session class will be teaching you various meditation techniques along with topics of awareness for inner transformation. Dress comfortably and enjoy the experience! Please register in advance to receive a link to the presentation an hour before the start time.

Storytime @ Bartlem Park

Tuesdays, November 2 and 9, 2021, 10:00 – 10:30am

Enjoy an outdoor storytime at Bartlem Park full of books, music, and movement! Space is limited and registration is required to attend. Please register once per family. Registration begins 48 hours prior to each class. This program is subject to cancellation due to uncooperative weather. Please check your email for the cancellation notice.

Cheshire Art League Program on Painterly Composition

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join nationally recognized artist and fine art photographer, Mark Battista, for a presentation on painterly composition for photographers and artists. Please register in advance for this Zoom program. All registrants will receive the emailed Zoom link at 5:30pm on November 3.

Light Pollution: What it is and why it matters

Thursday, November 4, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join dark sky advocate Leo Smith (International Dark Skies (IDS) Northeast Regional Director and Chair of the Connecticut Chapter) for an overview of the adverse effects of light pollution on people, animals and plants, together with a review of Connecticut laws and regulations and best practices individuals can use to reduce light pollution.  Registration is required. We are planning to hold this program in-person but will switch to Zoom if circumstances warrant. If that is the case, a link will be sent out to registrants prior to the program. 

The Magic of Resilience with Joyce Saltman

Friday, November 5, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Back by popular demand join us as Joyce Saltman will make us laugh and learn with her informational presentation. Join us as Joyce offers a blueprint (based on extensive research and close to 100 interviews of resilient folks of all ages) for achieving good health and joy in the years to come. Please register online. We are planning to hold this program in person, but will switch to Zoom or reschedule if the situation changes.

The Natural and Cultural History of Cheshire Through an Ecological Lens

Saturday, November 6, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

How did geology shape Cheshire’s development and history?  Laurie Sanders, who grew up in Cheshire and was the town’s first environmental planner, will delve into the connection between people and the environment and how one affects the other. Join us for a fascinating overview of how Cheshire became the community it is today!  Please register online. We are planning to hold this program in person, but will switch to Zoom or reschedule if the situation changes.

Art @ The Library – Urban Sketching

Monday, November 8, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Enjoy 90 minutes of sketching in real time a favorite subject of urban sketchers- their tools of the trade: pencils, pens, brushes! Urban sketching is about filling a sketchbook with sketches of people, places and events but it is good to start small and hone your drawing skills by sketching everyday objects. All levels welcome to this workshop, all materials provided. Come and have fun. Registration required.

Drop-In Tech Help

  • Monday November 8, 7:00 – 8:15pm
  • Tuesday November 23, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Drop-in Tech Help is back! Do you have questions about your laptop, smartphone, or iPad? Do you need help navigating the internet or downloading an ebook? Let us help! NOTE: Please be sure your device is charged beforehand. Tech help is available on a first come first served basis. Tech help may be limited to 15 minutes per person.

Chinese for Families

Tuesdays, November 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021 4:00 – 5:00pm

(classes will continue in December and January)

We are so excited to partner with NeuLingo, a live, engaging online Chinese program to offer free Chinese language and culture classes for children! Join us to go on a virtual tour of the most charming cities in China, learn and experience the traditions and stories behind Chinese festivals, pick up a few Chinese words, and practice them with other children through meaningful social interactions! Best for ages 5-12, register once per family to attend all 10 classes.

Mark your calendars! The Friends of the Cheshire Public Library 2021 Fall Book Sale is scheduled for:

  • Wednesday November 17, 5-8pm (preview night for members of the Friends only, memberships are available at the door)
  • Thursday November 18, 9am-8pm
  • Friday November 19, 9am-4:30pm
  • Saturday November 20, 9am-4:30pm
  • Sunday November 21, Noon-3pm (Bag of Books sale!)

Attendees must comply with CPL’s health precautions.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us virtually for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! Please register online.

Trivia Night

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize. Registration required for this adult program, a link to the program will be sent a hour before.

Books Over Coffee: If the Creek Don’t Rise

Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet in person in the library Loft! This month’s book is If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss. Please register online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teen Book Reviews: Darius the Great is Not Okay and Divergent

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from a teen who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram, reviewed by Ali A.

I really enjoyed Darius the Great Is Not Okay and feel like it’s a must-read for teens. The main character of this novel is Darius Kellner, a white-washed Persian living in the United States who is diagnosed with depression. He feels disconnected from his relatives in Iran, and doesn’t even get along well with his own father. His father, Stephen Kellner, is always disappointed in Darius and wishes Darius could be more normal instead of an overweight loner with funky hair. Darius gets teased at school and only finds peace at the tea shop he works in, the Tea Haven at the Shoppes at Fairview Court. Darius and his family then finds out that Darius’s grandfather, Babou, has a brain tumor and would die soon so Darius’s mother plans a family trip to Iran. It’s Darius’s first trip to Iran so he’s excited but is also worried. Darius knows barely anything about his Persian culture and heritage and doesn’t know if any of his family will like him, especially since Darius doesn’t even know the language of Farsi. However, when Darius gets to Iran, his life changes. He quickly makes friends with a neighborhood boy named Sohrab and Darius discovers more about the Persian culture. Darius’s relationship with his father also becomes tighter and they enjoy each other more. One thing is for sure- Darius is a different person by the time he returns to America. He is no longer lazy, lonely, or as teased as before. I loved this book because I share a lot in common with Darius Kellner. My grandparents and extended family live in India whereas I live on a whole different continent. Also, I only see my grandparents through awkward Skype calls and it’s tough to communicate with them because I don’t know Urdu which is the language that they speak. Adib Khorram did a wonderful job writing this empathetic novel that many teens including myself can relate to and love.

5 Stars.

Divergent by Veronica Roth, reviewed by Ali A.

Normally I hate science fiction books. They are usually about aliens, robots, or people trying to take over the world. Most of the stuff in science fiction books are too complicated for readers to understand and visualize in their minds and science fiction books are usually boring. However, Divergent is the only science fiction book that I have ever fully read and loved. Most science fiction books go overboard on crazy futuristic ideas, but Divergent keeps it real. The Utopian land that the citizens live on is divided into 5 difference groups, which are called factions. The 5 factions are Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor, and Amity. Each of the 5 factions prioritizes a special aspect. Abnegation prioritizes selflessness, Dauntless prioritizes bravery, Erudite prioritizes brilliance, Candor prioritizes honesty, and Amity prioritizes tranquility. The main character of the book is Beatrice “Tris” Prior. Beatrice was born into Abnegation and loved her parents and her brother. When everyone is 16 years old, the students are required to take the Aptitude Test, which helps the students discover which faction they should join. Beatrice takes the test and receives a horrid result. Her results revealed that she was Divergent, meaning she doesn’t really fit with one faction but rather a mix of all of them. Beatrice doesn’t understand why being Divergent is so bad or different, but no one explains that to her. On the Choosing Day, where each 16 year old chooses which faction they want to join for the rest of their lives, her selfless brother chooses to join Erudite. Beatrice knew she wasn’t as selfless as her brother so she thought that if he didn’t fit in Abnegation, then she didn’t either. So at the last second, Beatrice chooses to join Dauntless. In Beatrice’s training she has to work hard and do cruel things such as fight her peers for fun and learn to shoot guns. Although the pain is overwhelming, it makes her stronger. Beatrice soon finds out that Erudite is making plans with Dauntless leaders to declare war on her old faction, Abnegation. Veronica Roth did a wonderful job with the plot of Divergent and keeps the readers hooked with plot twists after plot twist.

5 Stars.

Teen Book Reviews: The Outsiders and The Giver

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from a teen who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, reviewed by Ali A.

The Outsiders is a book about a gang in Oklahoma called the Greasers. The Greasers are made up of of poor, violent teenage boys that are led astray in society. However, the Greasers are not the only gang in town. The Socs, short for the Socials, constantly battle for control in Tulsa. The Greasers face constant threats of being jumped (jumping is when a group of rival gangsters “jump” out of a car or building and beat up a member of the rival gang), stolen from, or being seriously hurt. Ponyboy, the main character of the book, lives with his brothers Darry and Sodapop, who are also fellow Greasers. Darry is an athletic and strong young man who is trying to raise his younger brothers after their parents died in a car crash. Darry dropped out of school to work full-time to support his family. Sodapop is a carefree young man as well and is one of Ponyboy’s best friends. Ponyboy is able to avoid serious trouble until one day he was walking home from a movie and got jumped by a group of Socs. After that encounter, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny are enjoying their time outside until another group of Socs try to finish the job and kill Ponyboy. However Johnny tried to protect his friend and accidentally killed one of the Socs. Now Ponyboy and Johnny have to escape the police and the Socs by hiding out. After the tragic killing, the Greasers and Socs agree to a gang war in Tulsa. I enjoyed the book and I’d reccomend this to readers who enjoy exciting novels with dramatic changes. One change I’d make if I were the author would be if the Greasers and Socs could achieve peace with eachother and end the practice of gangs. However towards the end, the Socs become somewhat more friendly with the Greasers.

4 Stars.

The Giver by Lois Lowry, reviewed by Ali A.

The Giver is a science-fiction book about a land in the future where no one has any freedom. The Chief Elder controls what your job will be, who you will marry, how many children you can have, what you will be named, when you can have a child, what you can eat, etc. Basically, the Chief Elder is a dictator. However the people who live in this Utopian land don’t feel restrained and instead feel happy that they can live in a world without any major problems. The reason the residents of this land feel this way is because the Chief Elder forces the residents to take a pill that restricts any feelings or emotions. This pill even makes it so that people can only see black and white out of their eyes! The Giver revolves around the life of a 12-year old boy named Jonas. In this Utopian land when a child turns 12 the Chief Elder selects each child’s future career based on the child’s skills and interests. As Jonas is at the ceremony and the Chief Elder assigns the careers, he skips over Jonas’ name. Jonas fears that he wouldn’t get a career and would be banished from the land, but instead he got an extra special job called “The Giver”. The Giver is the only job in this city that isn’t allowed to take pills, meaning they can feel all emotions and can see color. The reason for this is because the Chief Elder doesn’t allow residents to experience “memories”, so all memories of people go to The Giver. A lot of these memories are painful, but it’s Jonas’ job to experience them so that he can keep the community safe. As Jonas spends more and more time going through memories without the pills, he starts learning how bad his community really is, from killing babies and elders to lack of freedom, so Jonas decides he has to escape his backwards land. I’d rate The Giver a 2/5 because the storyline is very hard to understand. To fully understand what goes on in this story, you’d have to read Son and Messenger, but if you would read one of those books first, you wouldn’t understand what goes on in those stories without reading The Giver. I’d rate The Giver a lot higher if Lois Lowry did a better job of structuring her books that way readers could understand what’s going on.

2 Stars.