The Giver was written by Lois Lowry in 1993, published by Houghton Mifflin. In 1994 it won the Newbery Award, which is chosen each year and awarded to an outstanding children's book.
During the time Lowry wrote the book, there were several events happening in the world that made this book a very relevant commentary on 1990s society. In Bosnia, there was a war in which ethnic cleansing was taking place. Like The Giver, certain groups of people in Bosnia were trying to have a controlled society. At this time in history, there was also a controversial question regarding euthanasia, which means that the elderly could request assisted suicide, similar to The Giver's Release.
These themes were all very relevant to the society of the time, and The Giver explores the question of the value of a completely controlled society where "sameness" is valued.