Jonas is an eleven living in a futuristic community where rules are strictly applied to everyone . The ceremonies are happening soon and Jonas will be attending his twelfth ceremony, where he will be given his assignment. He is very nervous, since he doesn't know what he will get.
At the ceremony, the Elder Chief starts calling each of the twelves one by one to receive their assignment. Jonas waited patiently and anxiously, however she skipped him and continued to call the names of the other twelves. At the end of the ceremony she explained it was because he had been specially chosen to be The Receiver, an assignment with a lot of honor.
Jonas started his training shortly after the ceremony with the current receiver whom he called " The Giver". He first received happy memories such as sunshine, colors and feelings. Sadly, later on he also had to receive excruciating memories such as warfare and injuries.
During his training one day, Jonas was curious about releasing., so the Giver decided to let him watch the release of the twins. Jonas was horrified. After watching the release, Jonas and the Giver made a plan and put it to action. They knew that they had to change the why the community thought and acted. Jonas escaped with Gabriel from the community to release the memories for the people to bear. This was the only way they could change the community.
Their escape was extremely difficult. Searchers were flying around using body heat to identify Jonas and Gabriel, forcing Jonas to give memories of the cold to Gabriel and himself to cool their bodies. It was raining and snowing, they ran out of food and Jonas injured his knee.
Jonas was starting to lose hope, but he knew that he had to keep going and that he had to find a new community where he and Gabriel would spend their future lives. At the end of the book, Jonas says that he starts to see hills full of snow and colorful lights everywhere, meaning that he believes that he is close to another community. The story ends with a cliffhanger, therefore we don't know what happens to Jonas or Gabriel.