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Listening to the Silence

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The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell
The Giver - Lois Lowry

Jonas is apprehensive. He is twelve, and twelve means receiving your adult assignment and beginning training for what you will do with the rest of your life. He has good reason for his apprehension, for he is not assigned a job, he is instead selected for the mysterious position as The Receiver of Memory. When he begins his training his whole life begins to change, unravelling everything he previously thought he knew about the world, leading him to question if he is strong enough to do what is necessary.


I have heard much praise for this book and it has lingered on my pile of books to read someday for years, but it wasn't until my son read it and declared it one of his favorite novels that I felt compelled to read it immediately. I liked it. I get why he loved it. I don't get why so many adults love it. This is a book clearly intended for middle readers, ages 9-12, and I think for that age range it is a great example of dystopian literature. That said, it is a very simplistic novel. I wanted the themes of the book to be explored more fully. I needed more information on how and why the world had become as it was. I was looking for more emotional depth and growth from all the characters. I desired more complexity and conflict. So did I enjoy it? Certainly. But for me, one book in this world is enough. I will be looking instead for more books that are more fully developed.