There's is an 11-year old boy named Jonas who lives in a utopian society. He is quite different from his other peers in a variety of ways. He is about to receive his future job and become an adult in the Ceremony of Twelve.
In this society, people's future occupation is decided for them by the elders in the Ceremony of Twelve. In the story Jonas worries and is anxious about what his future job will be.
They were at the Ceremony of Twelve. But while everyone got their jobs, Jonas did not and it caused a lot of confusion and uproar. But the elders announced that Jonas has been selected to be the new Receiver of Memory.
While training as the new Receiver, Jonas asked the giver about the tradition of release. Then the giver gave Jonas a glimpse of what it was. Jonas saw his father killing a newborn. Jonas was shocked at this discovery and broke down into tears.
When Jonas family talked about Gabriel's future release, Jonas panicked because what he saw at training. So Jonas ran away with Gabriel in his arms. They hid away from the community and spent a lot of days in the forest.
Jonas and Gabriel spent the next days cold, hungry and afraid of people finding them. But they develop a bond of love. And it ends with Jonas and Gabriel sledding down a hill together from a memory that Jonas was given.