Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue is the sequel to the first book, The Giver, also by Lois Lowry. However, this story does not follow the main character of The Giver, Jonas. Instead, Gathering Blue follows a new protagonist named Kira. 

Kira lives in a village in which its society does not accept those who have disabilities, such as Kira. Kira has had a damaged leg since birth and the society does not accept her. Recently, her mother died, leaving her with no parents,  giving her no protection from society. She is put on trial to be sent to the Field where the dead, disabled, or seriously injured are brought. In the end, the council decides that she will work as The Weaver. Her friend, Matt, helps in gathering her belongings and brings them to where Kira will stay. As her job, Kira repairs the robe of the Singer (another person given a special task), and over time, meets and befriendsThomas the Carver. As the story progresses, Kira, Matt, and Thomas grow close and together, and they uncover the dark secrets of the village. 

Gathering Blue was a good book and it has some similar elements as The Giver. Both books have a type of society that does not accept those who are not up to standard and each has a place for those kinds of people. There are many similarities between The Giver and Gathering Blue, but each book is its own book. As I followed Kira, I got to understand her want to be useful or wanted and I was able to see her growth throughout the book. And along with her, I got to find out more about the village and the secrets that are kept. I found Gathering Blue to be a calmer book than The Giver. It wasn’t as exciting and was more complex in its plot. The plot itself was a little boring, but I did find the small clues to secrets to be interesting. Although the plot wasn’t amazing, I did like the characters and their relationships. 

Kira was a very shy girl in the beginning, but still wanted to be able to stick up for herself. By the end of the book, she had grown into an independent and strong character, who was confident despite not being accepted into society. Thomas was a good friend to Kira, supportive and kind, but still made his own decisions. He wasn’t involved in the plot of the story too much, but he had a nice personality. Matt was a young kid, by the way he talks and acts; it was easy to see that. He didn’t have many manners and it was like he was living on the streets. He was a funny character but wanted to make Kira happy. He disappears midway through the book to go on an adventure, but comes back after acquiring something for Kira at a new village he had discovered. His personality was loud and ambitious and stuck out. 

Overall, Gathering Blue was a good book. Although it wasn’t as good as The Giver and wasn’t as exciting, it made for a good short read. I finished it in a couple of weeks, but I found it too short, without any real buildup. The plot was too calm and it felt like there wasn’t a climax; like it didn’t contribute to anything in the series except to introduce new characters. It felt like a filler book. Some of it felt rushed and I didn’t like the transitions into new parts of the story. Once I finished the book, I found that it ends in a cliffhanger. I have the third book of The Giver Quartet, The Messenger, and I’ll get to reading that soon. 

-Nicole R.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowery is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

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