Jonas lives in a perfect world that has no war or fear or pain. But when he turns twelve he is given the "job" of working with the Giver. Through the Giver, he learns the truth about his world and it is both pleasurable and painful. Then, because of this new knowledge, he realizes someone he cares about is in danger of losing his life. Jonas must make a decision that will not only affect this other person's life but also his own!
This book has half a dozen awards, and for good reason. Here's a children's novel that doesn't insult your intelligence. You have to pay attention to figure out what's really going on, but it's a very interesting science fiction-ish story.
This is a really great book. The only reason it didn't get the highest rating is that the ending is a little disappointing. But don't let that stop you from reading it!