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The Giver by Lois Lowry vs. Mort by Terry Pratchett
Readers Anish Goel and Amani Ciccarelli at CBC Ottawa's All in a Day studio. (CBC)
Anish Goel on The Giver:
"The Giver is about a young teenage boy named Jonas, who lives in an equal, civil, idyllic society where memory, pain, suffering are all wiped out... All the civilians in that society follow tightly guided and established rules of politeness by an ever-watchful council of elders. On graduation day, when kids turn 12 and leave their childhood, they get a job that the elders give to them. Jonas gets one of the rarest and honourable positions of them all, which happens to be the receiver of memory.
"The really big idea of this book is conformity. One moral in this book is don't blindly accept the rules of society. Know what you're doing and the dangers that exist with conformity and unexamined laws. I think Lowry did a good job depicting our world... and how there's no really such thing as a utopia."
Amani Ciccarelli on Mort:
"It takes place in an alternate universe. Mort is a boy. He goes to an apprentice fair, but no one chooses him. It's the stroke of midnight and he's really disappointed. Then suddenly, Death rides up and asks Mort if he wants to be his apprentice. And Mort says sure.
"I think the characters are all really relatable. Mort is trying to figure out himself. I feel everyone's trying to do that, but especially at this age. Death feels lonely and is trying to figure out how to be happy. It's really sweet and relatable. Sometimes people you don't expect may have different feelings than you expect. Also it's a scary topic, death, and knowing how to manage the ideas of it."
The winner: The Giver by Lois Lowry