Summary—chapter 1:  Jonas is introduced as he examines his feelings of fear vs. apprehension about the unknown.  His main concern is about the upcoming Ceremony of Twelve.  We are also introduced to Jonas’ family unit (father, mother, Lily) and friend Asher.  Rules, expectations and the set-up of the community are introduced.


Summary—chapter 2:  Jonas and his parents have a discussion about the Ceremony of Twelve.  He learns about his parents’ experiences and how they felt.  He also learns about what changes will come after the ceremony.  We learn that while some assignments are obvious, others—such as Jonas’—are not.


Summary—chapter 3:  Gabriel is brought home to spend the night with Jonas’ family.  He has unusual eyes like Jonas.  We learn about how community members are physically similar to each other.  Lily speculates about being a birthmother and discovers that is a job without honor.  Jonas reflects on an unusual incident with an apple that seemed to change appearance as he tossed it.


Summary—chapter 4:  Jonas volunteers at the House of the Old where he bathes an older woman named Larissa.  They discuss the joyous release that morning of another older community member.  We are also introduced to Jonas’ friend Fiona.


Summary—chapter 5:  Jonas dreams about bathing Fiona.  He reports this to his parents in the daily telling of dreams.  They tell him this is his first Stirrings and give him pills to make the Stirrings subside.


Summary—chapter 6:  The community attends the yearly Ceremony.  On the first day, the ceremonies of Ones through Eights are completed and we learn their significance.  On day two, the ceremonies of Nines, Tens and Elevens are in the morning.  Jonas continues to wait and wonder what his assignment will be in the Ceremony of Twelve.


Summary—chapter 7:  Jonas and his group mates are on stage for the Ceremony of Twelve.  The Chief Elder recognizes their differences and how those will contribute to their future job.  Each new Twelve is called up in birth order to be acknowledged and receive his/her assignment.  Asher is named Assistant Director of Recreation.  Fiona is named Caretaker of the Old.  Jonas is passed over, which causes him great distress and makes the community uneasy.


Summary—chapter 8:  The Chief Elder apologizes to the community and to Jonas for causing undue stress.  Instead of being assigned, Jonas has been selected to be the community’s new Receiver of Memory, which the Chief Elder says is the most honored position in the community.  She speaks about the qualities the Receiver must have:  intelligence, integrity, courage, wisdom, and the capacity to see beyond.  When Jonas looks to the audience the strange occurrence of the apple happens again; he begins to believe he might have those needed qualities.  The community chants Jonas’ name in admiration and acceptance.


Summary—chapter 9: After the ceremony, Jonas notices a slight difference in Asher’s interactions with him.  He returns home with his family and is assured that his selection is an honor.  He reads the rules for his training and discovers that he will be exempt from some of the community rules, such as those governing rudeness and lying.


Summary—chapter 10:  Jonas goes to the Annex behind the House of the Old to begin his training.  There he discovers that the Receiver has access to many things the rest of the community does not:  locked doors, more luxurious furnishings, books, and an off switch for the speaker.  Jonas learned that his role is to receive memories of the world from the older Receiver, but he does not understand how life exists outside of his community; nor is he aware of history.


chapter 11:  The older Receiver transmits a memory of snow and sledding to Jonas, which involves many new experiences (snow, sled, runners, hill).  Jonas learns that once he receives the memory, the older Receiver no longer has it.  Jonas begins to question why his community lacks the things in the memory.  We learn about Climate Control and Sameness.  Jonas experiences sunshine, then (after asking about the pain involved in his training) sunburn.  Jonas, now the Receiver of Memory, wonders what he should call the older man.  “Call me The Giver,” he responds