Monday, November 11, 2013
The central character, Kira, who has a twisted leg, is orphaned and must learn to survive in a society that normally leaves the weak or disabled exposed to die in the fields. In Gathering Blue, Kira needs a reason for the Council of Edifice to keep her in the village and not take her to the Field (which is certain death at the hands of The Beasts). Kira has a gift for embroidery, and the Council keeps her around to mend and update a beautiful robe that shows the history of their society. In the course of the book, she begins to learn the art of dyeing thread different colors, except for blue, which nobody in her community knows how to make. She also learns the truth of her village and the terrible secrets they hold.
Gathering Blue is the sequel to The Giver. There are more communities with different sets of rules and ways of being in the world created by Lois Lowry. Kira is orphaned, her father being killed by The Beasts when she was barely born; her mother through getting ill. Kira is strong-willed, yet has no one to speak for her. This story of a young girl discovering and uncovering her way through an often duplicitous world captures most people who read it. The created world is fraught with dangers.
Why read about dangerous worlds where innocence is challenged by power? Why are so many young people drawn to this story?