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About Lois Lowry
A CONVERSATION WITH LOIS LOWRY ABOUT THE GIVER
Q. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
A. I cannot remember ever not wanting to be a writer.
Q. What inspired you to write The Giver?
A. Kids always ask what inspired me to write a particular book or how did I get an idea for a particular book, and often it's very easy to answer that because books like the Anastasia books come from a specific thing; some little event triggers an idea. And some, like Number the Stars, rely on real history. But a book like The Giver is a much more complicated book, and therefore it comes from much more complicated places--and many of them are probably things that I don't even recognize myself anymore, if I ever did. So it's not an easy question to answer.
I will say that the whole concept of memory is one that interests me a great deal. I'm not sure why that is, but I've always been fascinated by the thought of what memory is and what it does and how it works and what we learn from it. And so I think probably that interest of my own and that particular subject was the origin, one of many, of The Giver.
Q. How did you decide what Jonas should take on his journey?
A. Why does Jonas take what he does on his journey? He doesn't have much time when he sets out. He originally plans to make the trip farther along in time, and he plans to prepare for it better. But then, because of circumstances, he has to set out in a very hasty fashion. So what he chooses is out of necessity. He takes food because he needs to survive. He takes the bicycle because he needs to hurry and the bike is faster than legs. And he takes the baby because he is going out to create a future. Babies--and children--always represent the future. Jonas takes the baby, Gabriel, because he loves him and wants to save him, but he takes the baby also in order to begin again with a new life.
Q. When you wrote the ending, were you afraid some readers would want more details or did you want to leave the ending open to individual interpretation?
A. Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don't do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don't want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds.
Q. Is it an optimistic ending? Does Jonas survive?
A. I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending. I think they're out there somewhere and I think that their life has changed and their life is happy, and I would like to think that's true for the people they left behind as well.
Q. In what way is your book Gathering Blue a companion to The Giver?
A. Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, one that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as the world of The Giver has. It was fascinating to explore the savagery of such a world. I began to feel that maybe it coexisted with Jonas's world . . . and that therefore Jonas could be a part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes at the end of Gathering Blue. Originally I thought he could be either Jonas or not, as the reader chose. But since then I have published two more books--Messenger, and Son--which complete The Giver Quartet and make clear that the light-eyed boy is, indeed. Jonas. In the book Son readers will find out what became of all their favorite characters: Jonas, Gabe, and Kira as well, from Gathering Blue. And there are some new characters--most especially Claire, who is fourteen at the beginning of Son-- whom I hope they will grow to love.
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1994 Newbery Medal Winner
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.
Winner of the 1990 Newbery Medal.
Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
This ebook includes a sample chapter of SON.
They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.
Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.
From the New York Times Bestselling and two-time Newbery Medal-winning author of The Giver and Number the Stars, comes a delightfully tongue-in-cheek story about parents trying to get rid of their four children and the children who are all too happy to lose their beastly parents and be on their own.
The Willoughby children—Timothy, twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister Jane—are fond all old-fashioned things, but especially old-fashioned adventures. What they aren't fond of, however, are their parents. Truth be told, their parents aren't the fondest of them, either, and they're concocting an evil plan to get rid of their children once and for all!
Both parents and children have plenty of dastardly ideas and tricks up their sleeves. The only thing they don't have is any idea of what lies between them and a happily-ever-after.
Complete with a cheeky glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and wonderfully old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature like Mary Poppins and A Christmas Carol.
Now a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard, and Brenton Thwaites
This first-ever Lois Lowry single-volume collection includes unabridged editions of the Newbery Medal–winning The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Lois Lowry's groundbreaking dystopian series comes alive in a single volume. An affordable addition to the shelves of teen fans and collectors alike.
Now in graphic novel format, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is accompanied by renowned artist P. Craig Russell’s beautifully haunting illustrations.
Placed on countless reading lists, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is the first book in The Giver Quartet that also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life.
Witness Jonas's assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.
Through Gooney Bird and her tales, acclaimed author Lois Lowry introduces young readers to the concepts and elements of storytelling. By demonstrating some of the simple techniques that reveal the extraordinary in everyday events, this book will encourage the storyteller in everyone.
Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young readers.
On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.
In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind readers of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.
Katy Thatcher, the bright and curious daughter of the town doctor, was fascinated by her father’s work, and even as a child she knew that she too wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to know about people. Perhaps it was this, her insatiable curiosity, or simply the charm of Jacob’s gentle intimacy with animals large and small, that fueled their friendship.
Although Jacob never spoke to her or even looked at her directly, Katy grew to understand him from the moments they spent together quietly singing to the horses. She knew there was meaning in the sounds he made and purpose behind his movements. So when events took an unexpected and tragic turn, it was Katy alone who could unravel the mystery of what had occurred, and why.
A two-time recipient of the Newbery Medal, the New York Times-bestselling author of Number the Stars presents a sensitive, moving story of a young girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century and the influence of the farm community around her. Through Katy’s eyes, readers can see the human face so often hidden under modern psychological terminology and experience the haunting impact of her friendship with the silent boy.
“The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katy’s world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the century.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)