In this second book of the Giver Quartet, Lois Lowry creates another community in which people have banded together in a post-war society. In Gathering Blue (Lexile: 680; Interest Level: Grades 3-6), the people in Kira's community are cold, hungry, and mean. They look up to the strong, and they shun the weak. This is a problem for Kira, who was born with a bad leg. She was protected as an infant and child, but now her mother has died, and the community thinks she has nothing to offer except the space she lives in, which they would like to use to create a pen for the children.
When a particularly mean woman chooses to force Kira out, the Leaders hear the arguments and then choose a different path for Kira, asking her to learn to dye yarns and use the sewing skills her mother taught her, and the special knack she has for sewing, to work on the Singer's Robes for the annual celebration. What Kira doesn't know is the price this honor will cost her. Is she willing to pay the price for a comfortable place to live? (240 pages)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.