Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man — the man called only the Giver — he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
Not only is The Giver a superlative example of character development, this novel provokes opinions from students on philosophical issues surrounding the structure of human society. My students loved writing an additional chapter to the book. The chapters were short enough to allow for sharing time, and it was amazing to me to see their creativity.