Things I remember about this book:

  • Every child was selected for a certain job/career;
  • If twins were born, one was always killed;
  • Seeing colors for the first time (describing the color of an apple);
  • Seeing war and death and poverty.

Does anyone have any idea what this book might be?

  • 3
    Just a suggestion, but you might want to change the title of your question to something more specific to your question. – Nellius Feb 2 '11 at 15:13
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    "one was always killed seeing colors for the first time (...) seeing war and death and poverty" Sorry, I have no idea what you mean by this. Could you clarify it? Thanks :) – user296 Feb 2 '11 at 16:08
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    Sounds a lot like reality to me (except for the killing of twins). You sure it's SF? – Raskolnikov Feb 5 '11 at 17:34

That book is most certainly The Giver by Lois Lowry. There are two others that she wrote along the same lines called Gathering Blue and Messenger that form a trilogy. I loved reading them because they reminded me that in order to understand how good some things are, we have to remember how bad other things can be.

  • The Giver was part of a Trillogy? Wow, I never knew that. I remember reading it in grade 5. Kind of messed up. – Gorchestopher H Aug 2 '12 at 16:32
  • Actually the Wikipedia link below says that it's now part of a Quartet. The last being released in 2012 – Michael Brown Jun 21 '13 at 21:01
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    It's a movie now, too. With The Dude playing the part of the Giver. – Wayne Werner Feb 8 '16 at 21:18

The color bit sounds like The Giver. Come to think of it, there was an early selection for careers and infanticide, as well.

Widely praised, but I found it a bit weak.


I don't remember the exact details about senses and conditioning, but Huxley's Brave New World fits with the job-specific breeding.

  • That was my thought too, but it's been a bit too long since I have read it to remember all the specifics – johnc Feb 4 '11 at 3:34
  • Yes, this is exactly what I though when I read the description. – Trufa Feb 4 '11 at 17:32
  • Does sound like it, however I don't remember colors as being a part of the story. There were the Alphas, the Betas, the Gammas, and the Deltas I think? Each were bred for a specific station in life as well...there was no choice at birth of which way you went. – the_e Feb 4 '11 at 19:26
  • Yeah I thought Brave New World right away but there are distinct differences here. Never anything about twins or colors in that one. – Michael Brown Jun 21 '13 at 20:59

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