Jonas is newly-turned twelve-years-old and eager to be trained for his new assignment as an adult. He lives in a community without the knowledge of hunger, pain, or passion – where everyone is safe and secure, although no one is free. When he is given the job of being the new Receiver of Memories, a position much honored by all, he discovers just what everyone is hiding and discovers a world he didn't know existed, which leads him to the biggest decision of his life.
People take pills to suppress their natural hormones
Young people bathe elderly people (no sexual intent implied). A boy dreams about bathing a girl he likes.
A boy thinks about how beautiful a girl’s hair is.
Parents discourage the use of the word “love.”
A boy sees vivid memories where he sleds down a hill and breaks his leg, vomits, is involved in war, and gets badly sunburned. They do not happen to him in real life, but he hurts after he sees the vision and requests medicine.
A teacher reminisces about smacking a child every time he makes a mistake.
Explicit detail of a scene where a man cheerfully kills a baby.
Discussion about suicide
A boy flees with a baby when he is told the baby will be killed. They suffer hunger and cold as they travel.
Christian Principles: Minimum
There is nothing about God or an afterlife or the Bible, but there are clear principles of right and wrong that the community as a whole has violated. Jonas is passionate about fighting for what is right and saving the life of a child, but, in so doing, he forces his standards on everyone else. Totalitarian government /communism is portrayed as evil.