Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US TPB Amazon Canada TPB
Class/Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Houghton Mifflin, Sep 2000, $15.00, 215 pp.
Kira knows she has no one to care about her, not even her uncle, now that her beloved mother Katrina died. Her father died before she was born. Her mother barely kept Kira alive when their people wanted the newborn with the deformed leg left in the Field of Leaving. Kira knows that her neighbors hate her for her twisted leg and though a recognized skilled weaver will probably force to leave the village.
Kira becomes frightened when the Council of Guardians summons her. To her shock, they bestow on her the honor of caretaker of the sacred Singer’s robe, a garment that depicts the history of the world. They need her skills to repair damaged segments of the ceremonial garb. Kira moves into the Council Edifice, a structure that survived the Ruin that destroyed a previously advanced technological world. However, her new haven soon feels like a prison as the Guardians tell Kira what to do. She begins to question society, leaving her to wonder what she can do to make the world a freer place.
GATHERING BLUE is an intriguing post apocalypse look at a society in which artistic creativity wars with the “common good”. Middle school readers will enjoy the story line that depicts a young girl learning about responsibility while challenging the absolute dictatorial adult authority that rules her activities. Although Kira seems feeble at times for her sacred role, the ensemble is fully developed and provide insight into a society struggling to survive. Hopefully future books will give the audience deeper looks at why the Ruin occurred, but for now readers have this novel and Lois Lowry’s previous tale, THE GIVER, set in the same world.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner