The Giver, Lois Lowry, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993, 179 pp
Lois Lowry is an award winning author but I had never read her before. She won a Newbury Award for this book and while it is considered to be Young Adult fiction, The Giver is fine for full adults as well. It is a great story,
Jonas is about to turn twelve, on which day he will learn what his life's work will be. This will be assigned to him, because Jonas lives in a Community where everything is planned, where there is no war, no hunger or poverty, just peace and security and predictability.
But Jonas has been assigned to become the next Giver. The Giver is a person who holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. In the Community, which you learn along with Jonas, there is only "sameness". There is not even color. There is medication for the slightest pain. Certain women have the babies, which are assigned to families, but only two per family.
So Jonas begins his training with the current Giver and learns the truth about life. In the end, he makes a choice, using what he has learned. He has never had a choice before because no in the community does. His choice will change everything.
The way that Lowry reveals the Community and its set-up is brilliant. Jonas is a fine hero. What a book!