Jonas's community is a perfect society. There is no pain or hunger, everyone is provided for, and there are no problems. A set of Rules governs everything from the formation of families, to standards for behavior, to the age at which a child receives his bicycle. Jonas is an Eleven, and like all other members of his age group, he will soon take part in the Ceremony of Twelve, in which he is assigned to a particular job for the rest of his life in the community.
Jonas is chosen to be the next Receiver of Memory, the most important member of the Committee of Elders. The Receiver of Memory is the only member of the community who can recall the past, before the community adopted "sameness" as a solution to its problems. During their times together, the elderly man becomes the Giver, passing on the memories and the knowledge Jonas will need in order to gain the wisdom necessary to lead the community. Jonas soon discovers "sameness" has erased not only color and weather, but love and compassion. When a baby is scheduled to be "released" he devises a plan to flee, sacrificing all to save the child and give memory back to the community so once again all will understand right from wrong.
An excellent book choice to teach sanctity of life!