The Giver Quartet Series
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his seemingly-utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of 'Brave New World,' in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.
This vibrant work of dystopian fiction has become a benchmark in the genre, and has been echoed by numerous authors in recent time, including Veronica Roth ('Divergent' series) and Scott Westerfeld ('Uglies' series). 'The Giver' is a good introduction to the dystopian genre, and one which examines issues of conformity and obedience to authority without the gratuitous violence of some other series aimed at older teens.