This book follows a boy named Jonas as he comes to understand what his society is like and as he decides what he is going to do about it.
The first part of the book shows Jonas worrying about what sort of job he will be assigned. This part ends with him being assigned a very special job as the "Receiver of Memories."
After that, Jonas spends the next part of the book getting memories that show how different his society is from the kind of world we live in.
The last part of the book shows Jonas deciding he hates the society and running away from it.