Messenger (Giver Quartet, 3)

by Lois Lowry

Paperback, 2018





Clarion Books (2018), Edition: Reprint, 192 pages


In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

192 p.; 8.25 inches

Media reviews

While ''Messenger'' may tie the three stories together just a little too neatly, it is still far from a sweet resolution. Up to the last anguished page, Lois Lowry shows how hard it is to build community. I suspect that many young readers will want to return to all three stories.
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This book is about a boy named Matty who came to the Village six years ago and now they want to close the village to newcomers. Matty must send messages to those who are planning to come and move to the Village including where he originated from. I didn't really like this book as it didn't interest
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me and its description's were weak and vague. I didn't like the way the author wrote the book especially at the end of the book where it was unclear what happened. I think it is a good book for people who like science fiction books. I also didn't like this book because it had mythical things like "using your gift to change the world."
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User reviews

LibraryThing member aria
I bought this book with excitement. I had read the books preceding it, "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue", and had loved all of the literary elements that had made them so popular among English teachers. I want my money back. I really do. The book had no sparkle, the metaphors were blatantly obvious.
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I was disappointed by the way the old characters were portrayed. They had no purpose, only there to appease the readers. The wonderful writing of "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue" is gone. I don't recommend this book at all.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
I was grateful to see this book tie the other two books in the series together. I still find myself wishing I understand how everything works in this world. And how it all got to be this way. I didn't like the ending - it wasn't very fair!!
LibraryThing member bkhall
The beginning of The Messenger starts out with the people of Village living in a utopian society where everyone welcomes outsiders and provides for one another, governing as a democratic unit. True to Lois Lowry’s style, the perfect community doesn’t last long and Village encounters problems
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that stem from the local Trade Mart, where one can trade off more than just materialist possessions. Matty, the main character, watches as his community declines; their values move from being selfless to being selfish. One of the main issues in this book is whether or not to continue to welcome outsiders or close off Village; readers will see how this mimics some of the debates happening over immigration in the United States.

The Messenger is a companion novel to The Giver and Gathering Blue. I actually listened to it on audio book and it was a little under four hours – great for a short road trip this summer. This is an easy book to read that will leave you thinking long after you finish reading. I think teens that enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series would probably like this book as well.
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LibraryThing member AngelaB86
I think Messenger had a promising beginning, and interesting plot, but the ending was kind of...blah...for me. I don't know how to elaborate on that without giving it away, so I'll just leave it at that.
LibraryThing member kapilalove
13 (or thereabouts) year old Mattie lives with Seer, and we come upon his story as he discovers both a secret power he has, as well as his own disturbing realization that the Village he has called home for 6 years, once a welcoming place for all sorts of people -- including petty thieves as he was
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when he came there -- is now building a wall to seal itself off from others who would like to come and live there. The people are changing, too - they're bartering their own selves for goods like "gaming machines," and fur coats. Seer sends Mattie to bring back Seer's daughter, Kira (whom we meet in the book Gathering Blue), and together, they must make the journey back through the forest before it swallows them up. Will they be able to make it back in time too, before the wall is built? This is a companion novel to Gathering Blue; it is helpful to read the Lowry novels in sequence, beginning with The Giver.
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LibraryThing member 1morechapter
It's very hard to describe Messenger without giving away parts of The Giver and Gathering Blue. This is the third book in that trilogy. So I'm not going to say anything about the book, other than I enjoyed it very much but consider it to be the weakest of the three. It was nice to have a sequel
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that wrapped up (somewhat) the other two titles.
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LibraryThing member GennaP5
This was a good book to read. It always kept me interested. I would first read The Giver before this book. It is about a boy named Matty who lives in a community. Matty has this speacial gift. The gift is to cure people and animals. When Matty has to go on an important mission he learns how
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speacial his gift really is.
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LibraryThing member taylorh
Conclusion to The Giver Series
Jul 07

This book answered questions for me about the series, many of which I didn't even realize I had until I was presented with the end result. Part of what I had enjoyed about the previous two was the open ending. It is a complete story on its own, but I really
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really recommend reading The Giver then Gathering Blue first. Memorable and thought provoking.
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LibraryThing member kmcgiverin05
This book is great for upper intermediate ages and is full of twists. Lowry really takes you into her created world, and it is hard to put the book down.
LibraryThing member TakeItOrLeaveIt
didn't leave a lasting impression but I guess i'm glad Jonas (from The Giver) made it somewhere worthwhile.
LibraryThing member mochap
heartbreaking 3rd book in the series. very moving
LibraryThing member Aerrin99
This book falls somewhere between The Giver and Gathering Blue - the story and characters are far stronger than what Lowry offers up in Gathering Blue, which makes her metaphors and meaning feel less cumbersome and preachy than what we saw in the other book. It's also free of the wince-inducing
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dialect that pervaded the second in the series.

It's not as eloquent or creative as The Giver, but it's still a strong work that uses familiar characters and an unfamiliar world to make interesting points about greed and selfishness and community.
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LibraryThing member RBeffa
I picked up Messenger looking for answers and closure. This will be a little spoilery, so read no further if that bothers you. This is the third book in a series of related books that began with "The Giver". I was glad to find that Matt, my favorite supporting character from "Gathering Blue" had
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returned to become the featured character along with Kira's father, also from "Gathering Blue". Both of the books that preceded "Messenger", "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue" left their stories untold.

Messenger proved to be an inadequate finish for me, and ultimately a disappointing one. I'm not sure what to call what goes on in this story, but the fantasy and mystical elements really spoiled it for me. We had bits of that referred to in the prior novels, but one could consider the elements in "Gathering Blue" as a form of artistic gift, and the memory transfer process in "The Giver" was in need of a rational explanation, I will admit. What goes on in "The Messenger" doesn't have any sort of rational explanation. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the story. It was just that there were elements to this that for me made it less than it should have been.

I can see the allegory here pretty clearly, a comment on modern society. The Village that accepted all who came, the hungry, the sick, the needy, the damaged was changing. For the worse. We are closing our doors. Greed and jealousy were replacing the old values of caring, of sharing and openess. Unfortunately the manner of the allegory, with the Faustian trades of one's self for material things and improved superficial changes to one's body pushed the magical mystery tour into high gear. Perhaps most importantly, I could discern no reason why all these good people would rather suddenly make bargains with the devil. The simultaneous appearance of Matty's magical healing powers and the Forest itself becoming evil ran the story off the road, and as a result, the story became a fantasy and a lot less believable.

If one has read the first two novels, or at least the second, then "Messenger" is going to provide some small bits of closure, but important storylines of the prior novel are still left unraveled. I don't think it would be all that worthy of a read if one had never read either of the first two books.
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LibraryThing member Alejandrogu
The story is a bout a kind of utopian village. The main character is Matty which is the messenger, he is the only one who the forest likes. Matty haves a great power that will come in handy later on.I really like this book, it answer the question that the giver left my that was "what happened to
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Jonas?". It resulted that Jonas became the leader of the village and has mastered the power in seeing beyond.
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LibraryThing member NoahK
Last in the giver triliogy, Matty must bring Kira to hi village
LibraryThing member porch_reader
From almost the first sentence of the book, Lowry creates a world that is not like our own. Through the eyes of Matty, a boy who is entering adolescence, we learn about Village, its residents, and the changes that may soon change it forever.

Although [The Giver] is still my favorite Lowry book,
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[Messenger] was also an excellent read. Not only has Lowry created an interesting world, but she reveals it slowly. At first, Village is deceptively similar to our world. But gradually, the differences come to light. Lowry is also incredibly good at writing adolescent characters. Matty is faced with both with the normal challenges of adolescence as well as major changes in Village. As he faces both sets of challenges, he's stretched in ways that help him to grow. Perhaps because both sets of changes are presented together, they feel believable in a way that would not be possible without the inclusion of the typical adolescent changes (falling in love, negotiating an independent identity).
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LibraryThing member melydia
Matty is the messenger for Village, the one who can brave Forest to deliver messages between various settlements. The story begins at a pivotal moment in his life: he's discovered a wonderful and terrifying ability, he will soon receive his True Name, and Village, founded as a sanctuary for
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refugees, is considering closing its doors. It is the third of a loose trilogy that began with The Giver (a truly excellent novel) - that is, it takes place in the same universe and has some overlapping characters. I never read the second book, Gathering Blue, but I didn't feel like I needed to. Truth be told, I wasn't that impressed with this story. It was too predictable, even for a young adult book. Maybe I'd have liked it better had I read Gathering Blue (or at least more recently read The Giver) but I doubt it. Usually I like dystopian tragedies but this felt forced. All in all, not one of Lowry's better books.
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LibraryThing member kerath25
I felt this book to be a wonderful work that speaks of how even communities conceived in the best of ideals can falter. It has a wonderful lesson that we can apply to our own situations today, but does not thrust it upon the reader. I love how Lowry takes concepts that are normally very difficult
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to describe, let alone defend, and works them into a world that we can understand their importance.
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LibraryThing member dste
Messenger continues the story of Matty, who was known as Matt in Gathering Blue. Matty now lives in Village with the blind man named Seer. His life has improved immensely in the time that he has spent in the friendly and welcoming community. Now, however, there is something sinister in the air. The
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once caring community has started to become selfish, a vote is looming to close the borders of Village to outsiders forever, and Forest is taking on a life of its own to harm and even kill those who try to pass through it. It's now or never for Kira to come to Village, and Matty, as Village's messenger, is the only one who can venture through the increasingly dangerous Forest to bring her.

I felt as though a major purpose for this book was simply to provide closure to the previous two books in the trilogy- The Giver and Gathering Blue. Although this made the plot feel a bit off, I was personally thrilled to find out what had become of my favorite characters from the past books. I also felt as though the mysterious powers finally became clear to me in this book. It was a short read, but a good one. I'd recommend it, but only if you've read The Giver and Gathering Blue first, as you will be missing out on huge elements of it otherwise.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
This book is just such a page turner. You just can't help but be pulled in emotionally to Matty's life and problems. You almost with this was a movie at times so you could really get a feel of what's happening. This story is very emotional and fun to read.
4Q, 4P; Cover art: Awesome!
The book is best
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suited for Middle School on up.
It was selected since reading (and owning) the companion "Gather Blue."
Grade: 11th
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LibraryThing member princessofthesea
Subject Area: Language Arts
Genre: Fantasy
Because this book has a time and place that are made up by the author (Village, forest, etc.) it falls in the Fantasy genre. The storyline is completely impossible in reality. For example, it would be impossible for a forest to start
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attacking travelers.However, the author makes the impossible seem believable in the way that she writes. It is also interesting to consider the metaphor that the author may be presenting.
(Stars for Setting)
Age: Middle School - High School
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
A good conclusion to the tale that began with The Giver and Gathering Blue. Having read the first two some time ago, I was glad to see a few memorable characters return and finish their stories. I liked the character of Matty and the message of the story, but I was a little disappointed by the
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book's conclusion.
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LibraryThing member PhoebeReading
This is clearly the weakest link in Lowry's loose trilogy of speculative YA novels. There's an air of unaccountable mysticism about--we receive no explanation for the Gifts of the main characters, the nature of the sinister Trade Market, or what, precisely, is going on in the Forest that leads our
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hero to eventually martyr himself. It's that ultimate sacrifice that leaves me mostly unsatisfied with the novel; if the Forest is an illusion, it's unnecessary for Matty to sacrifice himself, and the Deus Ex Machina results of his actions imply that he could have just done it much earlier, saving himself. Was Lowry trying to give us a Lewisian Jesus allegory? Who knows--but it's not really enough to satiate the reader.
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LibraryThing member AnFa0822
A fantastic read. It was a bit slow, and had only a bit of action, but, at the same time, it had action in emotions and the ways people live. I did enjoy this amazing book, that tied together death, love, change, and a new world all together.
LibraryThing member Hdeel
for the past six years Matty has lived in village and flourished under the guidance for seer who's a blind man known for his special sight and seemed to know everything that you think he is see things but he is not actually. Village was once a place that welcomed newcomers but something sinister
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has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. now he must make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.
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½ (1344 ratings; 3.8)
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