The Forbidden Truth: The Giver (ft. Lois Lowry, Karina Yan Glaser, & Anne Ursu)
Play • 33 min
Children’s literature offers a rehearsal for the real world. A safe place for young readers to practice seeing beyond the easy narratives that are handed to them by their communities or that they might see in the media or even that they are taught in schools. It is the foundation for critical thinking. Children come to books already having a deep and wide emotional landscape they will use to navigate the world. Books can pull back the curtain on how things work and give kids a head start on making their corner of the world a little brighter.

In this episode, Karina Yan Glaser and Anne Ursu reflect on the influence of Lois Lowry’s powerful Newbery award-winning, The Giver, and explain how their books disclose the injustices of patriarchy, power, and pallidity on society. Lois shares her personal experience of having her books banned and ponders the future of children who have not been exposed or provoked through literature.

To learn more about Lois Lowry’s, Karina Yan Glaser’s, or Anne Ursu’s books, visit

Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at Learn more at And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

[5:50] Lois, Karina, and Anne recount the purposeful words used to describe the nefarious conditions in The Giver.

[12:46] The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy was, in part, a response to Anne Ursu’s rage after witnessing the patriarchal narrative during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

[16:32] Karina shares the principal theme of her book, A Duet for Home.

[22:34] Characters who challenge misinformation is a theme that runs through The Giver, A Duet for Home, and The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy.

[25:33] Anne contends that by banning books and taking away history our ability to empathize will also be eliminated.

[26:26] Lois’ book, Number the Stars, has also been added to a few banned book lists.

[29:11] Lois’ advice for authors who find themselves on a banned book list.

Continue Your Journey:
Lois Lowry
Karina Yan Glaser
Anne Ursu
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