Jonas, a 12-year-old boy, lives in a Community isolated from all except a few similar towns, where everyone from small infants to the Chief Elder has an assigned role. With the annual Ceremony of Twelve upcoming, he is nervous, for there he will be assigned his life's work. He seeks reassurance from his father, a Nurturer (who cares for the new babies, who are genetically engineered and so Jonas's parents are not related to him) and his mother, an official in the Department of Justice, and is told the Elders, who assign the children their careers, are always right.The day finally arrives, and Jonas is assembled with his classmates in order of date of birth. All of the Community is present, and the Chief Elder presides. Jonas is stunned when his turn is passed by, and he is increasingly conspicuous and agonized until he is alone. The Chief Elder then explains that Jonas has not been given a normal assignment, but instead has been selected as the next Receiver of Memory, to be trained by the current one, who sits among the Elders, staring at Jonas, and who shares with the boy unusual pale eyes. The position of Receiver has high status, and Jonas quickly finds himself growing distant from his classmates, including his close friends Asher and Fiona. The rules Jonas receive further separate him, as they allow him no time to play with his friends. They also allow him to lie and withhold his feelings from his family, something generally not allowed in the regimented Community.Once he begins it, Jonas's training makes clear his uniqueness, for the Receiver of Memory is just thatâ€”a person who bears the burden of the memories from all of history, and who is the only one allowed access to books beyond schoolbooks, and the rulebook issued to every household. The current Receiver, who asks Jonas to call him the Giver, begins the process of transferring those memories to Jonas, for the ordinary person in the Community knows nothing of the past. These memories, and being the only Community member allowed access to books about the past, give the Receiver perspective to advise the Council of Elders. The first memory is of sliding down a snow-covered hill on a sled, pleasantness made shocking by the fact that Jonas has never seen a sled, or snow, or a hill for even the memory of these things has been given up to assure security and conformity (called Sameness). Even color has been surrendered, and the Giver shows Jonas a rainbow. Less pleasantly, he gives Jonas memories of hunger and war, things alien to the boy. Hanging over Jonas's training is the fact that the Giver once before had an apprentice, named Rosemary, but the boy finds his parents and the Giver reluctant to discuss what happened to her...The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide as of 2014.