ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

The Giver: Serving The Greater Whole
An excerpt from Brave New Schools
With Correlation to The 21st Century Global Village
and Discussion with School Personnel

This article by Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries is an extremely dynamic and flowing presentation of one of the most corruptive and destructive tools availble to public education.

Berit first accounts the book through interaction with Laura, a fourth grade student who experienced the book by oration from her teacher. Berit's relation of the horrors of the experience are inescapable -- infanticide by lethal injection to the baby's brain in the name of convenience and manipulation of entire populations for the good of the State! Shades of Hitler Germany!!!

Next, Berit identifies how The Giver parallels Hillary Clinton's Village concept: state control of entire populations, usurping of parental rights and control, inhibition of individuality, and mandatory community services -- all to the "Fatherland."

That the principal of Laura's school refused to remove the book because of his/her "reluctance to stifle academic freedom" is ludicrous. How in the Holy name of Jesus can this kind of fantasy poison be of any value. Tell me what educational objectives are served by such infectious tripe? How can presentation of infanticide and socialistic controls as acceptable and even desirable be of any traditionally educational use? And this is not to mention the fact that The Giver presents graphic murder of babies as a necessary part of life and presents it to they who were babies not that long ago!

As your brother in Christ, I beg you to do whatever you morally can to remove this book from the shelves of our schools. We are likely to pay dearly if we don't. We have enough influence by our culture to desensitize us to murder and governmental manipulations and to set the stage for moving into the village concept of general acceptance of whatever is dealt to us -- we do not need another book to help cultivate this cancer through our kids! Heavenly Father, help us. Heal our land!

Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
P. O. Box 177
Granbury, TX 76048-0177

The Giver: Serving The Greater Whole
An excerpt from Brave New Schools
by Berit Kjos

Laura's fourth-grade teacher was reading a new book called The Giver. The story seemed sort of strange and spooky, but most of her classmates at Adams Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa, liked it. After all, it had won the 1994 Newbery Medal--and was dedicated to "all the children to whom we entrust our future."1 Therefore it had to be good--didn't it?

The book told about a special community where every child felt safe, ate plenty of food, took pills to stop any pain, and lived in a family no larger than four. Overpopulation was no problem since new babies were limited to fifty a year. Born to professional "birth mothers" instead of real mothers, the newborns were placed in Nurturing Centers where older children helped care for them during volunteer hours. To keep people comfortable and free from stress, handicapped babies and low-weight twins were "released" to go to a mystical "Elsewhere."

Each December all the children advanced into the next age group. At the Ceremony for the Ones, the healthy babies born during the year were assigned to selected families. Jonas, one of the Elevens, still remembered when his sister Lily was a One and came to live in his family. This December, she would become an Eight and receive her first voluntary service assignment. On the same day, all the Nines would get their first bicycle, and the Tens would get special haircuts. The new Elevens would soon have to take daily pills to quench the strange "stirrings" that came with puberty.

Each group of children--up to Twelve--learned to follow the rules for their age, succeed in school, complete their service assignments, and share their dreams and feelings with their designated family. Sometimes Jonas preferred to hide his feelings, but that was against the rules.

As they neared December once again, Jonas and the other "young adults" waited anxiously for the Ceremony for the Twelves. This year, they would receive their permanent Assignments--their place to work during their productive years. These Assignments were chosen by the Committee of Elders who had been observing every child. Jonas, who had intuitive power to "see beyond," was chosen to be the Receiver of Memories - the one who would know the past. The former Receiver, who now became the Giver, would place his hands on Jonas' back and psychically transfer all past experiences and distant memories to the boy. Eventually, Jonas would become the community's source of wise counsel and secret wisdom - like a tribal shaman.

Laura and her classmates listened, imagined, absorbed, and pondered. Sometimes Laura felt uncomfortable--as when Jonas had to bathe a frail, slippery Old woman during his volunteer hours at the House of the Old. But the worst part came when Jonas' father, a Nurturer, had to "release" the smaller of two newborn twins.

As the teacher read from the book, Laura pictured the scene she heard: Jonas and the Giver were watching the Release on a video screen. They saw a small windowless room with a table and scale--the same room Jonas had seen during his service work at the Nurturing Center. "It's just an ordinary room," he said to the Giver. "I thought maybe they'd have it in the Auditorium, so that everybody could come. All the Old go to Ceremonies of Release. But I suppose that when it's just a newborn, they don't...."

Suddenly, Jonas saw his father enter the room with a tiny newchild. He put it on the scale and noted the weight. "'re only five pounds ten ounces," he said, "A shrimp!"

A shrimp? Laura could identify with the tiny infant. She, too, was a low-birth-weight twin. Feeling shaky, she listened closely as the teacher continued to read:

His father turned and opened the cupboard. He took out a syringe and a small bottle. Very carefully he inserted the needle into the bottle and began to fill the syringe.... [Then he directed] the needle into the top of newchild's forehead, puncturing the place where the fragile skin pulsed. The newborn squirmed, and wailed faintly.

"Why's he--"

"Shhh," the Giver said sharply.

His father... pushed the plunger very slowly, injecting the liquid into the scalp vein until the syringe was empty....

As Jonas continued to watch, the newchild no longer crying moved his arms and legs in a a jerking motion. Then he went limp. His head fell to the side, his eyes half open. Then he was still...

His father tidied the room. Then he picked up a small carton that lay waiting on the floor, set it on the bed, and lifted the limp body into it.... He opened a small door in the wall... It seemed to be the same sort of chute into which trash was deposited at school.

His father loaded the carton containing the body into the chute and gave it a shove. "Bye-bye, little guy," Jonas heard his father say before he left the room. Then the screen went blank.2

Stunned, Laura stared at her teacher. Would they really kill a baby if it didn't weigh enough? The horrible image of the tiny infant, murdered and thrown down a chute like a piece of garbage made her sick. Her thoughts raced on. How could the kind Nurturer kill it! What if it had been her! She was just as tiny when she was born. And she already been thinking about death. Only weeks ago, her own grandmother had died.

She rushed home from school and burst into the house. "Mom, Mom," she cried, "Guess what my teacher read today!" She poured out her story, while her mother, Elaine Rathmann, listened quietly.

The next day, Mrs. Rathmann, a member of the local school board, visited the school. When she suggested that The Giver might be inappropriate reading for fourth-graders, the principal indicated his reluctance to "stifle academic freedom."

Next, she told the teacher how the book had affected her daughter.

"But I didn't tell the class what I believed," he answered. "I let them come to their own conclusion. My children know fiction from nonfiction."

But that doesn't matter, thought Mrs. Rathmann. Sometimes an exciting story can transmit horrible images and socialistic messages more easily than a history lesson.


The Giver fits into the flood of classroom literature that force children to think the unthinkable and reconsider the values they learned at home. It also models many of the pitfalls and imagined perfections of the utopian school-centered community being implemented by today's national and international change agents:

  • State surveillance and control of health, wealth, attitudes, beliefs, values and behavior.
  • State controlled child care, health care, training of parents, vocational guidance and work assigment.
  • Mandatory "voluntary" service.
  • Personal privileges conditioned on compliance.

    In many parts of our country - as in the envisioned community -- teams of professional "experts" are already replacing parents as ultimate decision makers in the lives of children. As suggested by the slogan, "It takes a whole village to raise a child," they will make sure parents are trained to follow the prescribed guidelines for parenting. If this new system is implemented by AD 2000-2001 as planned, all who refuse to conform will find their parental authority usurped by trained educators and community leaders.

    A sensational fantasy? Not at all, as you will see in Chapter 7. Since many of the specific strategies are hidden behind "sugar-coated" promotion and misleading labels, few see the danger. Some are silenced by the politically correct notion that discernment spells intolerance. Others simply don't believe that America could really change all that much. After all, we have our Constitution!

    Could we have become a nation of listless frogs, drifting blindly in cultural waters that are nearing the boiling point? Laura's mother, a school board member, would probably answer yes. She saw the blind drifting both in her daughter's classmates and among the other parents.

    "The Giver desensitized students to the new values," she told me. "Though the last part showed the downside, the book helped make the futuristic community seem normal. Their conclusions would be based on the biased information they were given."

    "Did other parents share your concern?" I asked her.

    "I don't think so. They didn't want to be disturbed. No one else was willing to say, 'I won't let you teach this to my child.'"

    "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

    Note: Years ago, a young boy in Zaire named Kyosa was "chosen to know" special tribal secrets.3 He is now a scholar in African spirituality, but his mystical initiation echoes one of the many ominous themes in Lois Lowry's Newbery Award Winner, The Giver. Like all Newbery winners, this popular book can be found in classrooms and libraries from coast to coast. Some states add study questions and special programs to amplify its message.

    Brave New Schools (Harvest House Publishers) is available through Christian bookstores and by calling 1-800-829-5646.


    1 Lois Lowry, The Giver (New York: Bantam, 1993).
    2 Ibid., 148-149.
    3 San Jose Mercury News, January 6, 1996.

    You are welcome to go to the

    [Top of the CAP Home Page], the [CAP Table of Contents]

    or the

    [Sex, ABC and Disney: Hoffmans vs Broward County School Board Table of Contents]

    or leave us an email message or comment at

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Tax exemption applies in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you.

    In the blessed name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

    ©1997 ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)