The Giver

the-giver-lois-lowry

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1994

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

Random House: 1993

179 pp.

Age: 10+

Interests: science fiction, dystopia, morality, questioning authority, freedom

Next: the rest of ‘The Giver Quartet’: Messenger, Gathering Blue, Son

More science fiction: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l’Engle, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, The Martian Chronicles or Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Also by this author: Number the Stars, Autumn Street, The Silent Boy

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The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant

Rated: PG – for fantasy action and mild language

Length: 86 minutes

Age: 6+              Commonsense media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: plenty!… fishing boat goes down in storm (fisherman survives); the robot gets zapped at power station in a loud scene; scared boy runs away from robot; stressful scene in which robot is hit by a train; government agent menaces boy and threatens to take him away from his mom; boys fall from building but robot saves them; big ending has lots of action as army attacks robot and he returns fire; a nuclear missile is launched, heading directly for the town

Intense Scenes: robot learns about death when he sees a stag shot dead by hunters; during battle it briefly appears as if Hogarth is dead but he is soon pronounced unconscious; the moment when townspeople realize they are all going to die when the missile lands is quiet but intense; plus final climax in which robot saves the town is very, very sad and moving (but hang on for the ending!)

Language: “oh my god!”, a few “hell”s, and “you just blew millions of government dollars out of your butt!!” – these warranted the PG?

Bad Behavior: villain smokes a pipe, a boy drinks a little too much espresso and goes a little haywire in a funny scene

Interests: science fiction, robots, action, history (Cold War era)

Next: book The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, other movies written/directed by Brad Bird: The Incredibles, Ratatouille

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The Iron Man

aka: The Iron Giant

by Ted Hughes

London: Faber and Faber, 1968

62 pp, 5 chapters

Ages: 7 and up  (could be read to younger children, though space creature is pretty scary)

Interests: sci fi, robots, space, dragons

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WALL-E (2008)

Rated: G
Length: 98 min
Age: 4 + … watchable at 4, better understood by 5 or 6          Commonsense Media sez: 5 +

Scary factor: our main characters are chased about, but nothing very threatening; Eve has a gun in her arm that she shoots at inanimate objects; in one scene she accidentally sets some huge oil tankers ablaze – no danger to characters, but it’s big and fiery, so may be alarming; a bad robot falls a great distance and breaks apart

Intense: some sad moments near the end when Wall-E seems broken-down/dead, but Eve is looking after him and it’s easy to allay concerns (“He’ll get better!”) because he does!

Language: one ‘heck’

Interests: space, robots, spaceships, environment
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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.