Review: Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry cover shows a girl's face in the top left corner and silhouettes of trees across the bottom. Unspooled threads are scattered across the whole cover.

Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet #2)
Lois Lowry
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published September 25, 2000

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Gathering Blue

Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue continues the quartet beginning with the quintessential dystopian novel, The Giver, followed by Messenger and Son.

Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.

The House Swap on Goodreads

My Review

I thought that I’d read this book before, but either I did and have zero memory of it, or I’m mixing this one up with a different book. At any rate, I decided after listening to THE GIVER on audiobook that I would try to read the whole series this year. GATHERING BLUE is the second book in that series, though it doesn’t appear to connect to THE GIVER in any obvious way.

The first few chapters have some intensity to them. Kira has just come from a grief ritual honoring her mother, who has died. Upon her return to her village, she learns a powerful woman named Vandara intends to have Kira put to death so she and the other village women can have the land where Kira and her mother lived. Kira expertly navigates a conflict with Vandara, turning what could have become a violent confrontation into a visit to the elders for counsel.

I liked Kira’s character. In addition to being smart, she’s artistic and kind. Her mind whirs with patterns and ideas for embroidery. She takes care of a young boy named Matt and his little dog. I enjoyed the scenes getting to know her.

The Series So Far

The only issue I have with the book is kind of the same issue I had with THE GIVER. There’s a point in the story in which a minor character reveals something super important to Kira. She’s a passive observer. I wish that she uncovered that knowledge herself somehow, instead of waiting quietly and wondering.

The book kind of ends in a weird place, too. It’s unclear what Kira will do with her new knowledge. The third book in the series, THE MESSENGER, tells the story of the boy Kira cared for, though he is older at the start of that story. I’m hoping that book will address some of my unanswered questions.

Gathering Blue on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Kira was born with a twisted leg and walks with a limp. She has chronic pain from her leg. Disability in Kidlit posted a review about how the story handles her disability..

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Kira carries a small scrap of fabric that she has embroidered in her pocket. The scrap seems to have a kind of magic to it– warning her before something bad happens or reassuring her when things will work out okay.

Violent Content
A group of women surround Kira, several holding stones, in a tense confrontation that teeters on the edge of violence. Kira worries about the woods and field where beasts prowl. Her mother and a village elder told Kira her father was killed by beasts on a hunt with the other men.

Drug Content
Kira wonders if someone was poisoned.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

  1. I read The Giver so many years ago. I didn’t know it was part of a series. I’ll try to check this out. Thanks for your review.

    • Kasey says:

      None of the other books in the series have gotten even close to the same attention as The Giver. They’re more like companion novels than a series following the same characters from one story to the next. I hope you enjoy the book if you end up reading it. 🙂 Thanks, Rosi!

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