YVO’S SHORTIES #59 – The Giver & The Giving Tree

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time two ‘giving’ stories and two modern classics… The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I probably would have enjoyed these better if I would have read them a long time ago, because at this point they didn’t make the impact I thought they would.

Title: The Giver
(The Giver #1)
Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Science Fiction
First published: April 26th 1993
Publisher: Ember
Finished reading: October 28th 2018 
Pages: 208

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”


Warning: unpopular opinion ahead… First of all, I have to say that I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot better if I would have read it 15-20 year ago. I have been meaning to read this so-called modern classic for years, and I think the story itself has a bigger impact on younger readers than adults. That said, the worldbuilding and story of The Giver reminded me a bit of Brave New World with a new twist. It was quite an interesting take on a dystopian world, where everything is controlled in such a way everything seems the same. This contrast with Jonas and his experiences once he starts training as a Receiver on its own is fascinating. Especially as he starts discovering more about his world and his eyes are truly opened… But somehow, I wasn’t able to enjoy the actual story as much as I thought I would. This is probably just me and not the story, especially since this modern classic is so loved. I’m glad I did finally read The Giver though, as I finally know exactly what the story is all about.

Title: The Giving Tree
Author: Shel Silverstein

Genre: Children, Picture Book, Fiction
First published: October 7th 1964
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: October 30th 2018
Pages: 64

“… and she loved a boy very, very much– even more than she loved herself.”


I have been meaning to read this picture book classic for ages now… When I came across my copy the other day I picked it up on a whim. I can see the appeal of The Giving Tree, where the tree is like a mother to the little boy, and the writing style is spot on and really flows. BUT. I did have my doubts about the message behind this story. Why? Well, the tree isn’t exactly treated with respect and only gives and gives and gives without ever receiving much in return… Not exactly a healthy relationship I would want to show to my kids. Especially since this message is never questioned and even when the little boy grows up to be old the relationship still doesn’t feel equal. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but it still made me feel slightly uncomfortable as children tend to soak up everything like a sponge.


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14 thoughts on “YVO’S SHORTIES #59 – The Giver & The Giving Tree

  1. I bought The Giver for $.99 years ago because someone recommended it to me. I still haven’t read it. In fact, I took it off my TBR and Kindle. I think that was a good decision after reading your review. I don’t think it would have been for me.
    I haven’t read The Giving Tree since I was a child! I totally get your thoughts on it. My favorite by Shel Silverstein is his book The Missing Piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Giver definitely wasn’t for me, although I know others do love it… I guess it can go either way. I haven’t tried other Silverstein books yet, but I might give The Missing Piece a go now.

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Oh, I hadn’t heard of The Giving Tree till now… I must have been living under a rock 😀
    As for The Giver, I can’t recall what I rated it but I decided to not write a review for it personally, becuse whilst it’s definitely an interesting book, certain ideas in it made me want to get super argumentative 😀 So, I thought I’d best keep my gob shut… 😀 I was probably around the 3-4 star mark as well and I decided I won’t be continuing on with the ‘series’…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It took me ages to pick up The Giving Tree as well and only because I saw it on a children classics list, so you’re not alone. 😉
      And it’s good to know I wasn’t the only one with doubts about The Giver. I wasn’t so sure about some aspects of the story either, but it wasn’t enough to warrant writing a ‘rant’ haha. I’m not going to continue the series either though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brave New World is actually one of my favorite classics so I’m surprised I didn’t enjoy The Giver better… I probably would have a better reading experience if I would have read it 15-20 years ago though.


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