As a middle school teacher, I’m always asking my students what they are reading, and this took me back to middle school. In their Language Arts class, they read the book The Giver and were very interested in it. On their own, many of them went of and borrowed the next book in The Giver quartet, Gathering Blue. I knew that since I enjoyed the book when I read it in middle school, I needed to read this book too.
This is a different community than the community in The Giver. In this community, as you age your name changes. A young person has a one-syllable name, as they get older, then gain a two syllable name, then a three- syllable, and finally a four-syllable name. We follow Kira, she is unique in this community because she has a bad leg, and had a bad leg from birth. This is odd because if you aren’t “normal” you are taken to the field and said goodbye too. Not only does she have a bad leg, her father was killed by a beast on a hunt before she was born.
We meet Kira in the field, not because of her leg, but rather because she is saying goodbye to her mother, who is dying from a disease. When she returns to her home, she finds that it has been burned, something that she was expecting due to her mother’s illness. Her neighbors want her to leave, as they feel they need her space for their children. Luckily for Kira, she has a special talent and is taken in by a guardian.
Kira uses her special talent to repair a robe that is seen once a year a gathering of the community. She has help from a friend, Matt, who travels with her when she is learning how to use part of her talent. She also moves into a new home and is neighbors talented boy Thomas.
As Kira learns more about her talent and the community that she is in, she also begins to learn that everything in her community may not be what it seems.