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*****= An all-time favorite
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by Lois Lowry

Reviewed July 21, 2004.
Walter Lorraine Books (Houghton Mifflin), Boston, 2004.  169 pages.

Messenger is a sequel to The Giver and Gathering Blue.  Matty lives in the Village, where Jonas, of The Giver, fled, and where the father of Kira, from Gathering Blue, lives.  Kira’s father is blind, and lives with Matty.

Matty prides himself on being one of the few who can travel through the Forest without harm.  He knows all the paths, and takes messages back to the villages where people escaped from.

But something is changing in the Village.  People are making trades at the Trade Fair, and those people are changing.  They no longer want to welcome anyone new from the outside.  Matty must go warn Kira, so she can come before the Village is closed, but now the Forest is starting to turn against him as well.

There’s magic going on in this book, with Matty discovering a strange gift within him, with the Forest’s hostility toward those who venture into it, and with the strange power in the man who runs the Trade Fair.  None of that magic is explained very deeply, so it’s hard to understand why the Forest turns on Matty.  It is clear that he is needed to make things better.  We can only hope that the same events won’t happen over again.

Reader comment:  Rachel gives this book four stars.

Reviews of other books by Lois Lowry:
Gooney Bird Greene
Gooney Bird and the Room Mother
The Birthday Ball
Looking Back

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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