Friday, January 25, 2013

BIZZARO BOOK CLUB: Son by Lois Lowry

Bizarro Book Club is Back!
(this happens every two months, click here for last time)
Here are the logistics...
  • We came up with a set of questions that will allow us to discuss the book without really giving anything away for those of you who haven't read it.
  • We  both answer each question.  We've written our answers beforehand so as not to be influenced by the other person's ideas.
  • We do have a chance for rebuttal or additional commentary after we've read what the other person wrote. 
  • If you've read the book and you want to weigh in with your own answers, reactions to ours, etc. we'd love that! 
Are you still there?  Great!  We read Son by Lois Lowry (FYI this is the last installment in a series of books that began with her very famous 1994 Newbery Medal winner The Giver ).  Here we go....

#1- CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT THIS BOOK IS THE LAST BOOK IN A SERIES... WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE LOIS LOWRY WRITE ANOTHER BOOK AFTER THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY?  ARE YOU GLAD SHE DID?

Whit- I was thrilled she wrote another book! I hated the end of the 3rd book and I thought it was the lamest of ways for the series to end. I think you knew that didn't you Robyn?  Also, I have a question here relating to the first book, the Giver. (Robyn and I read that for the first time in an elementary ed class in college-- at least that was the first time I read it, Robyn? Anyway when we originally read it and talked about the ending in class some people thought Jonas and Gabe died at the end and I was like LIVID when they suggested this! I was certain beyond certain that they made it!  What did you think Robyn? I can't remember? )

Robyn- I was pretty much unhappy with the third book 'The Messenger' in every way.  It was a huge disappointment to me.  Because of that, I was a little trepidatious for this book... BUT I enjoyed this one very much.  I actually read The Giver for the first time in middle school, must have been right around when it was published.  I also remember the discussion in that ed class concerning the fate of Jonas & Gabe.  I thought it was a ridiculous notion that they died in the end.  We were together on that one Whit (I do remember how distraught that made you btw).


#2- THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THE BOOK, CLAIRE IS ORIGINALLY GIVEN THE JOB OF BIRTH MOTHER IN THE SAME COMMUNITY THE GIVER IS SET IN.  ALL OF THE CHILDREN ARE ASSIGNED JOBS WHEN THEY TURN 12.  WHAT JOB WOULD YOU HOPE FOR IF YOU LIVED IN SUCH A SOCIETY?

Whit- I think I would want to be given the job of nurturer (which is with the infants) or in the childcare center (toddlers and preschool).  That is probably kind of obvious since I went to college for early childhood and elementary ed.

Robyn- Probably the child care center or as a teacher.  I'm pretty sure it would stink to work at the fish hatchery (cause fish stink... get it?!?).  This was kind of a dumb question for us (since we went to school for the same degree... oops,  ha ha.)


#3- THROUGHOUT THE STORY CLAIRE IS IN SEARCH OF HER SON, WHEN SHE FINALLY FINDS HIM SHE DOESN'T REVEAL WHO SHE IS.  DO YOU THINK THERE ARE ANY OTHER FACTORS (OTHER THAN HER ACCELERATED AGE) THAT STOP HER FROM GOING TO HIM?

Whit- The only factor that stops her is the fact that Lois Lowry wanted to mess with us! Seriously she could have told him and he still could have fought off trade master and then they could have gone back over the cliff and gotten Einar or lived there, that would have been awesome!! (No disrespect to Lois Lowry, she rocks, of course.)

Robyn- I shouldn't read your answers before I write mine!  oh well.  OK- so I think Claire is worried that if she goes to her son he may reject her.  ALSO, I think she views him as a happy well adjusted kid and doesn't want to mess that up... BUT if it had been me- I would have certainly gone to him straight away!  Lowry really drew things out for suspense.

Whit- Yes, you're much nicer than me, she draws things out for suspense...but then she hurries the final battle sort of climax and the reunion portion is just implied...which has nothing to do with this question...sorry!


#4- THE VILLAN OF THE STORY (HE WAS INTRODUCED EARLIER IN THE SERIES AS WELL) IS KNOWN AS THE TRADE MASTER.  HE HAS THE ABILITY TO GIVE YOU YOUR GREATEST DESIRES BUT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THEM YOU MUST TRADE SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU YOU.  WHAT DO YOU THINK THE TRADE MASTER WOULD ASK YOU TO TRADE AWAY?

Whit- Okay, this is weird for me to be discussing on the internet, anyway I am frightfully honest...not blunt, though I am that too, but I feel way way guilty if I do not tell people the truth. I can't help it, its weird and awkward sort of too but it definitely makes me me.  Also, and again this is weird to be discussing on the internet...I don't have anything to ask him for...I mean, sure there are things that would be nice to have (like less laundry), but really I have my greatest desires already (perhaps that makes me sound like a simpleton). I think people get caught up in the 'what if's' when the 'do haves' are really so wonderful, you know?

Robyn- The trade master would certainly want my hilarious sense of humor, I mean what else do I have to give... other than my good looks, amazing parenting skills, unmatched house keeping abilities.  Could he possible want my sarcasm?  Oh that's a bad trait?  hmmmm well I don't know then...

Whit- No fair, you are much more clever and didn't say anything that sounds weird or embarrassing...so perhaps he would want your cleverness, and as I said above you are nicer than me, and also more positive and flexible and more patient...I think there is clearly more than one thing he could ask you for...how many wishes do you have?

Robyn- Well, I think the top of my list would have pets that take care of their own poop... and then maybe for it to be summer right now... I could use a clean van...  

#5-RATE THE BOOK ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, TEN BEING AS GOOD A TRIPLE SCOOP ICE CREAM CONE AND ONE BEING A CAN OF WET DOG FOOD.

Whit- So, I'm giving this a 9. High, I know.  Here's the thing. I am totally the kind of person who likes the have a nicely tied up ending with no cliff hangers. So, this was an awesome way to wrap up the series. 

Robyn- The Giver certainly gets a 10 from me.  Though I have enjoyed reading all of the sequels to the original book... they've gotten a little convoluted for me.  I think I'd give this one a 7.  I did like how Lowry managed to tie up all the loose ends though.

Whit-  I agree The Giver is the best of them, but I'm also very glad that she didn't stop with just that book because as we've established above, I had to know what happened...so I'm glad I did get to know, you know. WAIT epiphany! What if someone just read the first and the last and skipped the middle two... that would work right? 'Cus you'd get all caught up about the middle two in the last one. Thoughts?

Robyn- I think the whole trade master part of this book might really throw you if you hadn't read the other ones... I don't know.  I did really enjoy Gathering Blue (book 2) for what it's worth.  It would be interesting to have someone just read books 1 & 4 though... interesting idea.


And, that wraps it up!  Has anyone out there in internet land read this book?  Have you read the other books in the series?  Are we spot on? Way off?  Do you enjoy reading futuristic alternate society novels?

If you'd like to join in on our next Bizarro Book Club, we'll be reading Shannon Hale's Princess Academy: Palace of Stone .  It's the second in a series, if you haven't read the first Princess Academy (Newbery Honor Book) it's a great one and a quick read.  Next Bizarro will meet here in two months some friday at the end of March.
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