Jonas is a young boy. He lives a very safe life with a lot of order and rules. There are many rules and everyone follows them. The citizens’ lives are planned for them and they don’t often make a decision by themselves.
They try not to say anything different. One rule is that you must never say anything that will make another person uncomfortable. Every husband and wife is matched by a special committee. Each family has two children, one boy and one girl.
When Jonas and the rest of his group become the “Twelves” in December, they get special jobs. Because Jonas is smart and respected, he is given an extra special job. His new job is to become the Receiver of Memories. The Receiver of Memories is the only person in the group who can see all of the memories in the past. He must keep these memories secret until he trains another person to take his place. This job is really difficult. This person knows things that others do not, and they also have to deal with all of the sadness from the past.
At first Jonas is really excited. But he soon learns some truths about the people in the community. He comes to understand that this kind of life is unfair. He wants to allow people to make their own choices. Jonas comes up with an interesting plan to change the community. He decides he needs to move the community to another place. In his plan, they will get their memories back and be able to live a good and fair life.