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About Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After studying at Brown University, she married, started a family, and turned her attention to writing. She is the author of more than forty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader's Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. Several books have been adapted to film and stage, and THE GIVER has become an opera. Her newest book, ON THE HORIZON, is a collection of memories and images from Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and post-war Japan. A mother and grandmother, Ms. Lowry divides her time between Maine and Florida. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com
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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In Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic, twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.
Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. Everyone is the same. Except Jonas.
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. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test—when he must try to save someone he loves—he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?
The Giver has become one of the most influential novels of our time. Don't miss the powerful companion novels in Lois Lowry's Giver Quartet: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
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.
The unforgettable Newbery Medal–winning novel from Lois Lowry. 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.
A modern classic of historical fiction, Number the Stars has won generations of fans.
"Readers are taken to the very heart of Annemarie's experience, and, through her eyes, come to understand the true meaning of bravery." (School Library Journal)
This ebook includes a sample chapter of SON.
The thrilling and long-awaited conclusion to the Newbery Medal–winning Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry.
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. 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.In this thrilling series finale, Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal–winning book, The Giver.
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.
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)
Where do dreams come from? What stealthy nighttime messengers are the guardians of our most deeply hidden hopes and our half-forgotten fears? This imaginative novel confronts these questions and explores the conflicts between the gentle bits and pieces of the past that come to life in dream, and the darker horrors that find their form in nightmare.
In a haunting story that tiptoes between reality and fantasy, two people—a lonely, sensitive woman and a damaged, angry boy—face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another, renewed by the strength that comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.
“Lyrical, richly descriptive prose ushers readers into a fascinating parallel world inhabited by appealingly quirky characters.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A beautiful novel with an intriguing premise.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
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.