by Lois Lowry
Summary: Chapters 7-9
Jonas and the other Elevens prepare for their ceremony. They line up according to their numbers, which signify the order in which they were born. Fiona is Eighteen, and Jonas is Nineteen. The Chief Elder presents a speech that details how this particular ceremony is the single time in which the differences between the children are celebrated; otherwise, it would be rude to point out how the children differ.
Jonas’ friend Asher receives the position of Assistant Director of Recreation. The Chief Elder notes that Asher received this assignment because he likes to have fun and uses imprecise language. She notes that Asher once mixed up the words “smack” and “snack” at the Childcare Center, which prompted the instructors to smack him with a wand. Jonas is happy for his friend and feels that the Assignment suits Asher.
When the time comes for Jonas to receive his Assignment, the Chief Elder skips over his number with no explanation. She goes from Eighteen to Twenty and does not acknowledge Jonas in any way. Jonas is ashamed and embarrassed. He thinks that he may have done something wrong and is being punished. Everyone observing the ceremony is confused; they are accustomed to perfection, and this seems like a major mistake on the Elder’s part.
However, the Elder announces that Jonas has actually been chosen for a special position: the Receiver of Memory. The community has only one Receiver at a time, but the person who currently holds the position is getting old and will need a replacement soon. The current Receiver looks a bit like an older Jonas, especially because he has pale-colored eyes. The Elders had chosen a different Receiver a decade ago, but that selection faltered. The Elders had been observing Jonas for a long time, and they believe that he will be perfect for the position. Receivers need intelligence, wisdom, and the “Capacity to See Beyond.” Jonas is confused by the “Capacity to See Beyond.” However, he then looks out into the...Sign up to continue reading Chapters 7 to Chapter 9 >