My favorite book, hands down, is The Giver. It’s obvious because my copy of this book has been read and reread more times than I can count. I recently found an autographed copy of the book at Half-Priced Books for $4.50! I couldn’t believe it. It’s in almost as bad shape as my original copy, but I didn’t care. My sister inherited the old copy (at her request!) so it’s in good hands.
Anyway, for whatever reason, few people know about the companion novels to The Giver; Gathering Blue and Messenger. I don’t remember who told me about Gathering Blue, but I am so happy they did, because the two books tie the series together. Until you read Messenger, you don’t know how much you wanted to know what happened to Jonas at the end of The Giver.
Today I’m reviewing Gathering Blue, however. I cannot review Messenger if you haven’t read the other two, so I will leave it be, for now. The Giver may be a review for a later time, but since so many have read it, I chose to focus on the second book in the “series”, Gathering Blue.
Unlike The Giver, where Jonas’ society has evolved beyond ours, Kira’s society has devolved. It’s a rudimentary village where people are murdered for being different, and its a dog-eat-dog world. Kira, who was spared by her mother despite a twisted leg, doesn’t fit in. She’s sweet, kind, and caring; willing to help a poor, scraggly boy, Matt, whom everyone else would cast off.
Kira also has a gift. When she works with thread, embroidering, something happens. The thread comes to life in her hands, and creates something magical and special. So when her mother dies, and Kira is left alone, she’s taken in by the village officials, to mend the special cloak that is part of the annual storytelling that reminds the villagers of their past.
As Kira learns the art of dying and creating the threads, she learns that there is no plant that can make the color blue.
This book is about Kira’s attempt to find the color blue, and the special plant that used to grow there, but does no longer.
Gathering Blue seems to leave you hanging, like The Giver does, but Messenger ties the two together in a way you would never even consider. If you like The Giver, try Gathering Blue. If you haven’t read The Giver, then what are you waiting for??