Aren't you lucky?? :)
The Giver, Gathering Blue, & The Messenger are all books written by Lois Lowry. I had remember that I read The Giver in 7th grade, but I really didn't recall anything about the story. Once I found out that The Giver is one of the novels available for me to use with my 6th grade students, I decided I needed to read it again. As it turns out, The Giver has three companion books: Gathering Blue, The Messenger, and Son. Apparently, Son was just released in October of 2012, but I was fortunate enough that the first three were available through Scholastic's book orders, and I promptly used some of my bonus points to purchase the set. I just finished The Messenger Last Night.
Here is an overview of each book from Goodreads.com:
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.
For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man, known for his special sight. Village was a place that welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.
These books are not really like your typical books in a series. Gathering Blue really has nothing to do with The Giver at all. On more than one occasion, I found myself questioning if these were really companion books. However, each book is good in its own right, and Messenger really ties it all together. Lois Lowry has a way of ending each book that is not really much of an ending at all. She leaves you wanting more. So I will say, it was a little frustrating starting on Gathering Blue while I was left wondering about what happens to Jonas. By the end of that book, you're left wondering what will become of Kira, and by the end of The Messenger, you want to know more. Thankfully, there is a fourth and final book that I hope has a conclusion that does not leave you thinking there must be more to the story! I will definitely have to seek that book out soon!
Even if you're not a teacher of Middle School Reading or Literature, I think these are enjoyable books. :)