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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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Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is now in Spanish.
La comunidad donde vive Jonas es idílica. Es un mundo sin conﬂicto, sin desigualdad, sin desempleo, sin dolor... pero también sin elección. A los ciudadanos se les asigna una pareja y un trabajo. Nadie hace preguntas. Todo el mundo obedece. Excepto Jonas.
Al cumplir doce años, es seleccionado para desempeñar un trabajo muy especial, y comienza a recibir lecciones de un misterioso anciano conocido como el Dador. Poco a poco, Jonas aprenderá que el verdadero poder reside en los sentimientos. Sin embargo, cuando debe salvar a alguien a quien ama, su propio poder es puesto a prueba.
Ganador de la Medalla Newbery y un bestseller del New York Times, El dador es un clásico moderno que se ha traducido a más de cuarenta idiomas además de convertirse en largometraje.
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.
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)
Gooney Bird Greene returns for more adventures in this chapter-book series from Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry, with Middy Thomas’s black-and-white illustrations bringing the classroom to life throughout.
Mrs. Pidgeon’s second grade class has a lot to celebrate in February: presidents’ birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and school vacation. Of course, the students are talking about their awesome vacation plans every chance they get. It can be hard to focus on subtraction problems when you’re heading to Hawaii or Florida in seventeen minus seven days! But most of the class (twelve minus three of them, in fact) will be staying home during vacation. Can Gooney Bird Greene keep spirits up while everyone is feeling down? Gooney Bird has a great idea that sends her and her classmates on a snowy spin through U.S. history and geography…
“Gooney Bird doesn’t need much help putting herself on the map. She’ll be famous for years to come.”—Kirkus Reviews
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)