Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore #1) (Paperback)

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(Young Adult)

Staff Reviews


I mean, just read all of Ursula LeGuin, okay? She will transport you to places where the magic you know is out there becomes real, and will also give shape to your vague sense of what is wrong. Whether you need more after the Earthsea series or you just love fantasy YA (or realistic, relationship-driven YA for that matter), Gifts is a mesmerizing story about what it might mean to relinquish a toxic power, and how understanding the diversity of our gifts might help to heal the damage caused by tradition.  (Plus, magic.)

Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene


Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability—with a glance, a gesture, a word—to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness. The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill.

In this beautifully crafted story, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of the proud cruelty of power, of how hard it is to grow up, and of how much harder still it is to find, in the world's darkness, gifts of light.

About the Author

URSULA K. LE GUIN was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929, and passed away in Portland, Oregon, in 2018. She published over sixty books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature, and translation. She was the recipient of a National Book Award, six Hugo and five Nebula awards, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Praise For…

"A brilliant exploration of the power and responsibilty of gifts . . . Provocative."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Intriguing as a coming-of-age allegory . . . rich in the earthy magic and intelligent plot twists that made the Earthsea novels classics."--Booklist (starred review)

"Science-fiction icon Le Guin probes the natures of fear, power, and love in this darkly beautiful, quietly provocative novel."--Family Fun

"Fantasy, artfully spun by an American master." --Parade

"One can recommend this book without hesitation to teens looking for a great fantasy read that does not follow the standard quest format."--VOYA
Product Details
ISBN: 9780152051242
ISBN-10: 0152051244
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2006
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Annals of the Western Shore