This is beautiful story, and it makes me cry every time I read it.
It is about a future society, where there is a place for everyone and everything. No one is left out or needy, everyone has the job that they enjoy most in the entire world, everyone's spouse is their perfect complement. Children are raised attentively and carefully by their perfectly attuned mothers and fathers. Everyone always says exactly what they mean. The weather stays a comfortable seventy degrees, and cloudy - no sunburn, no glare, no dangerous ice or cold rain.
Everyone is content; any possible choice is always the right one, and can only lead to further contentment.
At the end of his eleventh year, when each of his peers is assigned to their dream career, Jonas is singled out. He is to become the new Receiver; the old Receiver, nearing the end of his years, asks now to be called the Giver. Jonas is to receive the memories held in trust by the Giver, and use them to advise and steer the community's leaders after the Giver can no longer do so. These memories are the collective memories of humanity: Jonas learns about colors (blue sky, green grass, red apples), about grandparents and families, and love, and pain and war and death. He feels snow, sails on the ocean, lies dying on a battlefield, and sees kittens playing. He attends birthday parties, holidays, and funerals. He learns about the ghastly veil his society has drawn over death.
At first, Jonas is appalled, and confused, and very frightened. He had never realized that life had ever been different; he had never felt any real emotion, or any real pain. He begins to try to make others understand - but they have no basis for any of the concepts, and simply turn back to their contented lives, bewildered for only a second or two by this strange child - this strange man.
Jonas and the Giver both conclude that the decision made long, long ago to gain eternal contentment at the price of color, music, animals, real emotion, and anything that is not sameness was the wrong one, even though pain, also, is no more.
Jonas prepares, and sets out to remake that choice for the people of his community.
I can't do the story justice
It ends too soon.
The Giver received the Newbery Award
in 1994. Lois Lowry
is also the author such books as Number the Stars
and the Anistasia