The book was good, but I am still not sure about the ending. It was kind of ambiguous. It leaves you wondering exactly what happened to the main character. Still, It is a great study about a closed society, and I am using it for a Literature unit for my student.
Based on other reviews, it is clear that there is apprehension among some people about this book. But it is important to not just focus on the content, but how it is presented. This is a very deep story with some touchy subjects and I will agree that you should read this before letting your child. Or at least read with your child so you can input your influence where you feel needed.
Though overall, the book doesn't shine a favoring light on the events that occur in the government portrayed. And yes there is the subject of sexuality in the book, but at the very least it can be a way of introducing there views you believe they ought have on the matter, rather than them learning about it first from their peers.
It's a beautiful story that in the end teaches that anything can be overcome, and that what the truth will always find a way of flourishing even in a world where the term deceit is unheard of. In a world where everyone is blind to the true nature of what they are doing.
I am currently a student in college studying to become an elementary school teacher. I was assigned this book for a children's/adolescent literature class. As I began to read this book, I got a very uneasy feeling, and it just got worse as I progressed through the book. I am honestly appalled that this book would be considered children's or adolescent literature. I do not believe the argument that this book is meant to bring up good discussion. Think of Phil. 4:8 - Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure...think about such things. Although the main character in this book is grieved by "release" of the people, I do not see anything true, noble, or pure about this book. This book is not appropriate for children. Perhaps it has a place in a Biblically-based worldview class like the one I took in high school, but I would never allow my own children to read this book until at least the later years of high school. Honestly, this book made me feel sick as I was reading it. As the children's song goes "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see...Oh, be careful little ears what you hear..." We are instructed in Proverbs 4:23 to "guard your heart." I believe we are failing the youth of our nation-which has already strayed terribly from faith in God-by exposing them to literature such as this. Public schools will not discuss this book from a Christian worldview, so I deeply worry about what messages our students will be indoctrinated with.
A lot of people complain that this book has elements in it unsuitable for child readers. If you are trying to decide whether to let your child read it, I strongly suggest you consider the following.It is absolutely true that this book portrays some appalling behavior, such as the killing of a baby. It is shocking. HOWEVER, the book CLEARLY condemns this behavior. Some people who criticize this book think that, because it shows these things, it must be supporting them. It does NOT support them. It teaches children to hate such things. It teaches children that evil things are sometimes hidden away, or done in the name of goodness, and that being a responsible citizen means refusing to accept such things and standing up against them. To be honest, I'm a bit worried about people who can't see this... The bad people in this book hide books away so that no one will ever learn to question their society. The parents who won't let their children read this book seem to be doing the same thing.