I can’t tell you how old I was the first time I read Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER, published in 1993. I do remember that it had a profound impact and I’ve carried it with me ever since (in that figurative, literary way, of course.) If you are feeling fuzzy, here’s a refresher… Jonas, a 12 year old boy in a post-apocalyptic world void of color, originality and feeling is assigned a job as the Receiver of Memories and it’s all downhill (or, uphill) from there.
Little did I know, the story continued! At the tail end of 2019, my eyes were opened to the subsequent stories. From 2000-2012, the author released three more installations and having read them as an adult, I can speak to their power and brilliance. If you have not yet read GATHERING BLUE (2000), THE MESSENGER (2004) and SON (2012), please do so… soon. The incredible cast of characters will leave a lasting impression, I promise. The lessons are invaluable and incredibly applicable, years after their release. There’s one in particular character that I can’t stop thinking about. His name is Trademaster.
Trademaster, the ultimate antagonist is as despicable as Jonas’ eyes are blue, and carries with him the stench of despair. Like his name implies, he offers the other characters something they want, in return for something they have; but it’s not what you think. Often what’s given up isn’t tangible or obvious, which his where is true power lies. The small things traded eventually become life-altering, and his power grows infinitely more dangerous and deadly.
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