Gathering Blue (Giver Quartet Series #2)

Gathering Blue (Giver Quartet Series #2)

by Lois Lowry

Hardcover(Large Print Edition)

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Lois Lowry won her first Newbery Medal in 1994 for The Giver. Six years later, she ushered readers back into its mysterious but plausible future world in Gathering Blue to tell the story of Kira, orphaned, physically flawed, and left with an uncertain future. This second book in the Giver Quartet has been stunningly redesigned in paperback.

As she did in The Giver and later Messenger, in Gathering Blue Lois Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786230488
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 12/28/2000
Series: Giver Quartet Series , #2
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lois Lowry’s work has won numerous awards and honors, including two Newbery Medals—the first for Number the Stars, and the second for The Giver. She is the author of The Willoughbys and the Anastasia Krupnik series among many other books. To learn more, visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

“Mother?” There was no reply. She hadn’t expected one. Her mother had been dead now for four days, and Kira could tell that the last of the spirit was drifting away. “Mother.” She said it again, quietly, to whatever was leaving. She thought that she could feel its leavetaking, the way one could feel a small whisper of breeze at night.
Now she was all alone. Kira felt the aloneness, the uncertainty, and a great sadness.
This had been her mother, the warm and vital woman whose name had been Katrina. Then after the brief and unexpected sickness, it had become the body of Katrina, still containing the lingering spirit. After four sunsets and sunrises, the spirit too was gone. It was simply a body. Diggers would come and sprinkle a layer of soil over the flesh, but even so it would be eaten by the clawing, hungry creatures that came at night. Then the bones would scatter, rot, and crumble to become part of the earth.
Kira wiped briefly at her eyes, which had filled suddenly with tears. She had loved her mother, and would miss her terribly. But it was time for her to go. She wedged her walking stick in the soft ground, leaned on it, and pulled herself up.

Copyright © 2000 by Lois Lowry

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Lowry returns to the metaphorical future world of her Newbery-winning The Giver. . . . Plenty of material for thought and discussion here, plus a touch of magic and a tantalizing hint about the previous book’s famously ambiguous ending." (6/15/00) Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Lowry is a master at creating worlds, both real and imagined, and this incarnation of our civilization some time in the future is one of her strongest creations." —Booklist, starred review (6/1/00) Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

Reading Group Guide

1. Discuss what gave Katrina, Kira’s mother, the courage to stand up to the people of the village and spare Kira’s life, when the custom in Kira’s society was to destroy babies born with birth defects. Do you think Katrina was aware of her daughter’s gift? Katrina never created the color blue. Do you think she knew that her daughter would someday find the secret of creating blue?

2. At the beginning of the novel, Katrina dies and Kira is left homeless. Kira is fearful, especially when Vandara, a vicious and angry woman, tells her that she is worthless. Discuss the strength Kira displays when she faces the Council of Guardians. How does Kira show strength and courage throughout the novel?

3. Discuss the way children are treated in Kira’s society. What is the difference between abuse and neglect? How is Matt both abused and neglected? What is his role in the story? How does Matt contribute to Kira’s growth as a person and an artist?

4. Vandara is known throughout the village. “People whispered about her. She was known, and respected. Or feared.” (p. 15) How can someone who is feared be respected? Discuss whether the women of the village fear Vandara more than they respect her. How do you know that they don’t really agree with Vandara regarding Kira’s fate?

5. What qualities determine the difference between skill and art? Debate whether Katrina was a skilled weaver or an artist. At what point in the novel does Kira display the true qualities of an artist?

6. Why is the history of the people called the Ruin Song? The scenes on the Singer’s Robe represent Ruin, Rebuilding, Ruin Again, and Regrowth. How does this symbolize the history of our world?

7. Kira has always been told that beasts killed her father. When Kira tells Jamison that Annabella says there are no beasts, he replies, “She’s very old. It’s dangerous for her to speak that way.” (p. 128) Do you think Annabella knows the truth about Kira’s father? Discuss whether Jamison is responsible for Annabella’s death.

8. Matt is concerned that Kira might be held captive at the Council Edifice. How is it that he has a better understanding of the meaning of captivity than Kira does? Debate whether Kira and Thomas, the young carver, are indeed held captive even though they are allowed to roam. At what point does Kira realize that she isn’t really free?

9. What do Kira, Thomas, and Jo have in common? Interpret the following statement: “They were forcing the children to describe the future they wanted, not the one that could be.” (p. 212)

10. At the end of the novel, Matt brings Christopher, Kira’s blind father, to meet her. How does meeting her father alter Kira’s concept of her purpose in life and her contribution to her society’s future?

Prepared by Pat Scales, Director of Library Services, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville

Customer Reviews

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Gathering Blue 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 788 reviews.
Amy-la More than 1 year ago
Pain. Thats all Kira feels. Pain from her crippled leg, pain from her mother's death, and pain from being deemed useless in a community where physical prowess means everything. Lois Lowry brings us yet another riveting tale about the future. But this time it is different. Where as The Giver shows a future where there is no color and no difference, Gathering Blue is a world full of color. It is about dealing with trying to find a place in a society that does not want you, that can't use you. This village appears to bring out the worst of human nature. The villages are full of greed and jealousy and hate, and they have no place, not in the village and not in their hearts, for the newly orphaned Kira, who can't do the hard labor in a village that demands for it. As Lois Lowry weaves the story of Kira, our young heroine, we are swept along on a journey of self-discovery. And it is one that will lead us to find the dark secretes that lurk in human nature. Gathering Blue is an unforgettable story, one that will leave you breathless and wanting for more.
booksatruestory More than 1 year ago
Gathering Blue is about an orphan girl, Kira, with a gift of dyeing and weaving threads. The community and the characters are completely different from The Giver. The story feels nothing like The Giver until you get to the end, where Lois Lowry ties the two books together in a beautiful way. And yes, you get to find out at the end what happens to Jonas. I liked contrasting this society with that of Jonas’s from The Giver. In some ways this community is worse off because there is poverty, hunger and no education. But in some ways this community is better than Jonas’s because there is color, personality, deep family love, and some freedom. Not a lot of freedom, but some. I loved the naming system in this world. I found it very creative. How many syllables your name has is a status of how old they are. I loved how beautiful the writing was. Lois Lowry is a master and making you turn the pages. With every page you get a sense of something else being not quite right (as she said at her signing) and that’s what kept me glued to the story. She goes into a lot of depth of what the main character is thinking and feeling which I loved. The story sucked me in all the way until the ambiguous ending. I have a feeling she likes those… She said at her signing that she likes leaving things up to the imagination. If the ending is done right, I say that I have to agree. And Lois knows how to end it just right. I found this book to be another powerful story from her about family and love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Language Arts teacher for 5th/6th grade. We have read both The Giver and Gathering Blue. Both books are excellent teaching tools for the classroom. My classes loved them both. I am ordering The Messenger to preview as I may also add that book to my classroom.
Rosemarie Goldman More than 1 year ago
Im only eleven years old and it is one of my favorite books!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason why i read this book is because for school i had to read a science fiction book. I hated the book at first it was boring and slow. In the middle of the book things speeded up. To tell you the truth this is the best book ever! And if you dont like it in the begining keep reading it gets better! THIS IS A MESSAGE TO THE AUTHOR OF GATHERING BLUE PLEASE MAKE A SECOND BOOK I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FURTURE!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kira the crippled but brave girl is a social outcast in a society who rejects non-laborers. Not only that but she is orphanded and is now forced to grow up and take rrsponsibilities. Later kira expects to fight for her life in court but unexpectedly ends up having a higher place in the city. But is it really what it appears? Is this the right place for Kira? Find out in the smashing novel Gathering Blue and meet kiras new friends that she meets along the way. Over all this book is truley amazing. Really well thought out and will have you reading untill the last page then wanting more. Very good book reports too! Has all of those element that teachers love!
Sara Hovis More than 1 year ago
I loved this as much as The favorite book. I couldnt put it down.
Patrick Jones More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished it yet but it's AWESOME!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gathering Blue is okay, but you have to read The Giver first.
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, was a book about a young girl, named Kira, in a society slightly after the one we live in today. With her mother being dead, and her father taken by "beasts", she is now an orphan. She has to go up to the council of elders to see whether or not she should be put to death. With the ruling given as no, she has to now live as a servant for the community, threading and dyeing clothes. She meets new friends, and learns new talents. Eventually, she learns that there are secrets in this village, that even she doesn't know. I enjoyed the book, and the whole "I need to make blue" thing, but where was the connection to "The Giver"? That book was fantastic. This book was its "companion" and it was only average. The only connection I find is that they are both cities in the future that are nothing like our own. What would have been a good ending is if they showed us an epilouge saying something along the lines of, "20 years later... Kira and Thomas are married with a baby boy named Jonas..." I know that it wouldn't be THE Jonas, but it would still be a connection to "The Giver". Overall, this book was alright, but nowhere near as good as "The Giver".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom bought me this book and I thought it looked really stupid! But i stated reading and I started to love it! I enjoyed how a girl with such little strength accomplished so much! One thing is dont read it before you go to bed it is not a thing to read before you go to bed, I loved this book you have to read it (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some people say that these books arent related to eachother. Well, they are SO WRONG! The first two books dont seem very related, but you will see if you read the other ones. They will all fall into place!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
REALLY ENJOYED this book #2 of The Giver quartet. Although it starts off slow, the reader will thoroughly appreciate the detailed chapters that lead to its climax towards the very end. Looking forward to the continuation which is The Messsenger.
sissy_sassy More than 1 year ago
wow this is the second book i read by Lois Lowry and i loved it...its an amazing story, i also read the Giver, before this one and now im on to the next book in the trilogy. definitely recomend this book. just dont read it at night unless you have a lot of time to spare, :) i think i have found a new Favorite only thing i did not like is the end, it just leaves u wanting more but other than that i loved the book...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone says that this book is the sequel to The Giver, but it is not. It is a companion. This book is awesome if you want to learn a good life lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book, thinking it was a sequal to "The Giver" and that it would pick up where Jonas left off. I admit, I was a little dissapointed that it was a whole different book. But, I didn't want to waste 6$, so I read on. I was supprised that I started to really enjoy this book, not as good as "The Giver" but still worth the 6$.
TheSue More than 1 year ago
Wasn't sure how it related to the first book until the end. Then it all came together and I couldn't wait to read The Messenger, which was an incredible book as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for kids 8 and older. This is kind of part of a series, First book: the giver Second book: gather blue Third book: the messanger
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im on chapter 16 and this book is amazing! Can't wait to read what's next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a summer assinment for school and it was okay but i liked it alot! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I as many others was made by my school to read this book. The book was amazing. I totally suggest that all of you book lovers should read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd give it a 3 out of 5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A teacher read us The Giver in 1995 (7th grade), I hated it. Found it too disturbing. But in 2009, I thought Gathering Blue sounded good. I read it and liked it. I then reread The Giver (saddened by it this time...still distubing) and appreciated the story. Then read The Messenger. I recommend all three, the connect, and are worthy the readings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, but was`nt it suppose to be the companion book to The Giver? If you read The Giver read on but if not stop reading this, read TheGiver, then finish this. Maybe this is where Jobas ended up. If so then Louis Lowrey should have mentioned him. I liked this book but se no resemblince between these two books.
Manaal Sheikh More than 1 year ago
If u like/ love The Giver then u would love Gathering Blue !!!!!!! When ur done with those 2 go and read the Messenger !!!!!!!!!!!!