“We’re encouraging everyone to read the book, “The Giver,” by Lois Lowry, said Library Director Peg Burington. “There will be books at the library to check out and with funding from the Waupaca Library Foundation, we are able to provide honor books for the people in the community.”
Twenty books will be distributed to public places in the community to encourage reading.
“If you find a book, please read it, mark your name in the reading log and give it to a friend or drop it in a public place for someone else to enjoy,” she said.
The library will host a viewing of the film, “The Giver,” starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, at an “after hours” program at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28.
A discussion will follow the movie.
“The Giver” is the story of a utopian society in which all people are free of oppression, pain and poverty.
The people adhere to the ideal of “sameness.”
Freedom of choice has been eliminated, along with strong emotions, not only negative but positive. There is no joy, no color and no love. The main character, Jonas, is chosen to be the one who keeps all the memories of the society. He is subjected to unbearable pain, war and disease as well as pleasure.
“The book makes a strong case for an individual’s freedom to decide their own fate. I think it points to the idea that a perfect world would in fact be flawed,” Buringotn said. “It is our individuality that allows us to explore, to find meaning and to make mistakes that allow us to learn.”
She said that theme fits in nicely with the library’s “Hero” theme for the year.
“We chose to share a book that addresses an individual’s right to make choices. The book has been challenged in schools across the country,” Burington said.
Since its release in 1993, “The Giver” has been one of the most controversial books in American schools.
Between 1990 and 1999, “The Giver” ranked 11th on the list of the books most frequently requested for removal.
In the 2000s, it was 23rd, just two spots below “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
The event is to be held in conjunction with the traveling exhibit, “Kurt Vonnegut: His Life and Works.”
This exhibit, created by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indiana, includes displays, artifacts and two interactive iPad kiosks that give visitors a glimpse into Vonnegut’s life, manuscripts, notes and drawings and the permanent collections at the Memorial Library.
This national traveling exhibit will run from Aug. 10 through Sept. 19.
Books that have been censored or challenged will be on display.
“Vonnegut was an often censored or challenged author. For those who protect the First Amendment and free speech, he was a hero. Even today his works are challenged,” Burington said.
On the topic on censorship, Lowry said, “Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.”