The Giver is a speculative novel set in a Community that, throughout the course of the novel, becomes clear is dystopian. The Community strives to maintain “Sameness” which means that the members do not feel pain or experience struggles, but neither do they have memory, emotional depth, nor enjoyment. The main character is twelve-year-old Jonas, who is about to find out what his life’s assignment will be. He becomes the Receiver of Memory, a position established so that one person is able to have the knowledge of history to help the Community when needed. Jonas has difficulty receiving all of the memories and realizing what it means for the Community he is a part of. The Giver is worth reading with your young adults. Full of symbolism, young readers will gain the most from this novel through discussions and scaffolding from adults.
Published 1993, Houghton Mifflin