Standalone Books

The Anastasia Series

The Anastasia Series
Anastasia was born in 1979, at the age of ten.She's been around ever since, and she's only thirteen now. I never get tired of writing about her and her family. Katherine Krupnik, her mother, reminds me of myself.
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The Sam Krupnik Series

The Sam Krupnik Series
Sam was born when Anastasia was ten, and for a long time he existed only in the books about her. But kids liked him. Maybe he reminded them of their own little brothers. So at the request of young readers, I gave Sam his own series.
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Just The Tates

Just The Tates
Caroline and J.P. Tate are so much like real kids in real families: a bickering sister-and-brother pair, with a long-suffering single mom. They live in New York City, but in one book they spend a summer with their dad in Iowa. In truth, the Tates could exist anywhere.
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The Quartet

The Quartet
With the 2012 publication of SON, the series that begins with THE GIVER is complete.
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Gooney Bird

Gooney Bird
Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade has one student who is, shall we say, somewhat unusual. New to the school in October, by Thanksgiving she has completely entranced the entire class. And there's a whole school year yet to come
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Standalone Books
Each of these is an all-by-itself book, not part of a series. They take you from Denmark to West Virginia to Boston, - and many other places - and three of them come from my own life. (See if you can figure out which three!)
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Bless This Mouse

Mouse Mistress Hildegarde must supervise, organize, and protect the entire colony of 220 mice who live within the walls of Saint Bartholemew’s….not an easy task, especially when her arch-enemy Lucretia tries to undermine her every move.

“An impeccably constructed, good-humored adventure filled with master plans, near disasters, and brave rescues, all gently frightening for readers even younger than the target audience. Lowry creates a cozy church environment of lenient sextons, disheveled organists, and skittish Altar Guild ladies, from a mouse’s point-of-view. Fun and lighthearted.” -Publishers Weekly

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Like The Willow Tree

The flu epidemic of 1918 destroys the only life that eleven-year-old Lydia Pierce has ever known. Frightened and lonely, she enters the unfamiliar world called a Shaker community and finds a new family she could never have imagined.

Latest in the popular “Dear America” series, Like the Willow Tree is the diary of eleven-year-old Lydia Amelia Pierce of Portland, Maine. Orphaned by the devastating 1918 epidemic of Spanish Influenza, Lydia and her older brother Daniel are taken to be raised by the Shakers in their small community at Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Mourning the loss of her parents and sister, and desperately worried by her brother’s sullen anger, Lydia struggles to make sense of her changed life. As the seasons change, she gradually learns to know and love the devout Shaker sisters who become her new family.

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The Birthday Ball

Oh, it is so boring to be royalty! And unnerving, too, because in just a few days Princess Patircia Priscilla will turn sixteen, the age at which she must choose her husband-to-be! And all of the contenders are soooo disgusting!

Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fateÑfor a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, “Pat,” and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome school master. Disgusting suitors, loveable peasants, and the clueless King and Queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Pricilla calls the shots. What began as a cure for boredom, becomes a chance for Princess Patricia Priscilla to break the rules and marry the man she loves.

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Crow Call

This is my first-ever picture book, a true story about a day I spent with my father after he returned from World War II. The illustrations were beautifully done by artist Bagram Ibatoulline. He had a photograph of me at age 9, wearing the too-large plaid shirt that is described in the story. Looking at his pictures is like looking into a magic telescope and seeing myself as a child.

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The Willoughbys

Tim, Jane, and the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, are four rather ordinary children. They just happen to have extraordinarily horrible parents. And that requires some extraordinary scheming.

 

“I have a plan,” Mr. Willoughby said, putting his paper down. He stroked one eyebrow in a satisfied way. “It’s thoroughly despicable.”

“Lovely,” said his wife. “A plan for what?”

“To rid us of the children.”

Little do Mr. And Mrs. Willoughby know that while they are trying to rid themselves of their children, the children—four of them—are trying to rid themselves of their terrible parents.

This is a humorous book, of course, and no one is recommending that real children do away with their parents. (Unless, of course—heh heh—their parents are as outrageously awful as Mr. And Mrs. Willoughby!)

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Gossamer

In a story that tiptoes between reality and imagination, two people—a lonely woman and an angry boy—discover what they can be to each other, renewed by strength that comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.

Where do dreams come from? What stealthy nighttime messengers are the guardians of our most deeply hidden hopes and our half-forgotten fears? Drawing on her rich imagination, two-time Newbery winner Lois Lowry 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 this haunting novel that tiptoes between reality and imagination, two people—a lonely, sensitive woman and a damaged, angry boy—face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another. Their strength comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.

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The Silent Boy

A sensitive and moving story of a wide-eyed young girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century and the influence of the farm community around her.

 

From the prologue of THE SILENT BOY:

…. By thirteen I already knew that I wanted to be a doctor, too. I read accounts in the news of the war that was raging in Europe, and I could not wrap my mind around the reasons for it or the terrible logistics of battles far away. I listened to my parents talking to their friends, our next door neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, as they fretted over their oldest boy, Paul, who was just finishing Princeton then and should have been looking ahead to law school and to joining his father’s firm one day. But Paul was already talking of his yearning to enlist in a war that had not yet, in 1915, begun to take American boys.

But at thirteen, when I read the war news, I thought only of the wounded and how if I were a doctor I could set their bones and heal their burns. I had watched my father do so many times.

I was not yet four when San Francisco toppled in an earthquake and burned. Even so young, I heard talk of it.

At eight, I had heard of the terrible fire in New York, of the factory girls, scores of them, leaping from the windows, their clothes aflame, and dying, burned and mangled, on the sidewalk while people watched in horror. My mother had said, “Shhh” to Father when she saw me listening, but he, seeing that my interest was real and not just a child’s curiosity, spoke to me of it later. Though I was still a child, we talked of the ways in which death comes, and how perhaps, not always, but sometimes, a doctor could push death away, could hold it back, or at the very least make it come easily.

By thirteen, by the time I had the sailor dress of which I was so proud, many of those moments were past. San Francisco had been rebuilt. The Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire had brought about new laws to protect factory workers.

And on the edge of town, when I was thirteen, stood the stone building called the Asylum. It still stands there today, though newspaper editorials call it the Eyesore in an attempt at wit, and there is talk of tearing it down to make room for a housing development. Its windows are boarded over now, and the grounds are littered with debris. Sometimes, in my growing-up years, when Austin was my beau, we would walk out that way, holding hands. Sometimes I found myself glancing at the ground, wondering if I would spot the gleam and flicker of a cat’s-eye marble dropped by a boy. I wondered, then, as I still do, about the boy who had once given me a kitten and changed my life forever. His name was Jacob Stoltz.

His is the story I mean to write down now.

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A Summer To Die

Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister Molly’s beauty and popularity, and these feelings make it difficult for her to cope with Molly’s illness and death.

It was hard for Meg not to be envious of Molly. Blond, pretty and popular, Molly was the one who always knew what to say, who was giggly and fun, full of smiles and silly enthusiasms. It was Molly who had long eyelashes, while thirteen-year-old Meg had glasses. Molly who developed a figure and boyfriends the same year that Meg got Molly’s outgrown winter coat. Molly who was sure about the future, had sorted out her own goals, while Meg, determined and unsure at the same time, was sometimes angry over nothing, often miserable about everything.

Things grew even worse when they had to share a room. That’s when Molly drew the chalk line. Right down the rug and up the wall, across the wallpaper with its blue flowers. Separating them.

Then Molly got sick. At first it was just a nuisance. Grouchy, constantly worrying about her looks, never without a box of kleenex because of those dumb nosebleeds. Everyone waited on her hand and foot when she was home and was totally preoccupied with test results when she was in the hospital. Meg didn’t know what to make of the changes taking place in Molly and their parents. Until the day she realized that Molly was never going to come home from the hospital. That Molly was going to die.

Lois Lowry has written a poignant and perceptive first novel exploring the complex emotions a young girl faces in dealing with the death of a sister just at the very time when she had begun to ease her sense of jealousy and impatience into love.

“Not simply another story on a subject currently in vogue, this book is memorable as a well-crafted reaffirmation of universal values.” — Horn Book ALA Notable Book, Horn Book Fanfare Selection, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice

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Find A Stranger, Say Goodbye

Natalie Armstrong, an attractive, happy teenager about to enter college, sets out to discover the parents who gave her up at infancy.

Natalie Armstrong had everything. Beauty and intelligence, an early acceptance at college, a great boyfriend, and a wonderful, loving family. But the summer when she turned seventeen, Natalie decided to ask that one unanswered question, “Who is my real mother ?” That question sends her on a journey deep into northern Maine and into the mystery of her own past. From phone books, yellowed newspapers, and a picture in a high school yearbook, Natalie begins to piece together the identity of her biological mother and to come to grips with the strangely frightening possibility that she may meet her face to face at last.

Her search for the truth of her birth creates a confusing welter of emotions, from which she emerges with a new sense of the connection between parent and child, the old and the young and with a clearer sense of herself. This is a provocative and multilayered novel, rich in detail and with an extraordinary sensitivity to the feelings and motives of the characters.

“A sad and funny book about [a] . . . teenager who learns the meaning of loneliness and enters adulthood with the knowledge that one can indeed inherit the best of two worlds.” — Booklist, starred review

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Autumn Street

When her father leaves to fight in World War II, Elizabeth goes with her mother and sister to her grandfather’s house, where she learns to face up to the always puzzling and often cruel realities of the adult world.

“…She would stand there, watching, and would find in the sky the disparate angels of her childhood. With one small hand she would wave good-bye. It was such a long time ago.”

There were things to be afraid of in the woods at the end of Autumn Street. But the year she went to live in her grandfather’s big house – when her father went off to fight in World War II – Elizabeth couldn’t put a name to those dark, shadowy fears. She was grateful for the reassurance of Tatie’s strong, enveloping brown arms which held her when she needed comforting, and she relished her friendship with Tatie’s grandson, feisty and streetwise Charles, who called her dumb old Elizabeth but didn’t mean it, and who taught her to take risks. Together the two lonely children tried to interpret for each other an adult world -which was always puzzling and often cruel. Together, finally, on a day when snow obscured everything but terror, they left that world behind them and entered the world that was waiting in the woods.

“Readers . . . will find this emotionally charged reverie understandable and unforgettable.” — Booklist, starred review ALA Notable Book Booklist Editors’ Choice

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Taking Care of Terrific

In Boston’s famous Public Garden, fourteen-year-old Enid and her four-year-old pal, Tom Terrific, learn lots about life from new friendships with a bag lady and a saxophone player.

The summer Enid Crowley is fourteen, she doesn’t like much of anything about herself particularly the name Enid, which reminds her of a lot of awful adjectives: horrid, putrid, sordid, acrid, viscid, squalid. She definitely needs a change. And after meeting a black saxophonist, the local bag lady, a four-year-old heir to a fortune, and some other very interesting characters, Enid discovers that change sometimes involves more than you bargain for.

In the same wonderful, perceptive style that has made her Anastasia books so popular with young readers, Lois Lowry has once again written with mastery and insight about the very real problems of being young, being confused, and wanting to like yourself – if even just a little.

“Touching, inventive, believable, and hilarious . . . with a solid base of sharp characterization and some pithy commentary on our society.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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Us And Uncle Fraud

Eleven-year-old Louise Cunningham watches with wonder as a visit from her unusual uncle gives her ordinary small town a glow of something mysterious and magical.

When Uncle Claude came to visit the Cunningham family during Easter, the only possessions he carried were a shabby old suitcase and a small battered box. But he also brought with him a lot of games, secrets, and intrigues; and when he departed unexpectedly, he left many unanswered questions. What was the meaning of the strange clue he had written down for Marcus and Louise? Did it have anything to do with the missing silverware from the Leboff estate? Was Uncle Claude a thief, an imposter, or just a dream weaver? Lois Lowry has created another wonderful story of mystery and adventure and has peopled it with another one of her truly memorable and lovable families.

“In a more serious tale than the Anastasia novels, Lowry lightens tension with her same high-grade humor and brings thoughtful perceptions to a story that is also full of drama and adventure.” — Booklist Booklist Editors’ Choice

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Rabble Starkey

Twelve-year-old Rabble Starkey’s mother is hired by Mrs. Bigelow to look after her children while she’s in the hospital. Living in that huge house, Rabble feels she’s finally found a home. But soon she and her mother must question what’s really best for them.

“And there I was only thirteen years old, and Ginger Starkey, he had finished tenth grade and been out of school for three years -he was probably twenty, even-”

“And you’d never been with a guy who drove his own pickup before, and next thing you knew -”

She took the story back from me. “Next thing I knew. we was already in the next county and I made him stop so’s I could send a postcard to my mother.”

“And the postcard said-” That was Veronica asking. Veronica always liked what that postcard said.

Sweet-Ho laughed. ” ‘Dear Mama, I have gone off to get married and I forgot your molasses. By the time you get this my name will be Sweet Hosanna Starkey.’ ”

“She forgave you, though,” I said with satisfaction.

“She forgave me because I came home with a ginger-haired baby,” Sweet-Ho said, “and my mama, she was a pushover for babies of any kind and she’d never seen one with hair like that before.” She reached over and ran her fingers down through my hair. “It’s still just as pretty as your daddy’s was, Rabble.”

“This is one of Lowry’s best, glowing with natural humor even while dealing with heavy problems.” — PUBISHERS WEEKLY

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Stay! Keeper’s Story

This is the story of a dog who tells his own tale. As a pup he is separated from his mother and siblings. Through it all, Keeper can’t forget his long lost little sister. If only they could be together again, life would be perfect. But an old enemy is watching and waiting to make his move.

Born between a board fence and a set of trash cans, the hero of this absorbing new novel by Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry is a lowly stray dog. Separated from his family and abandoned at an early age by his mother, he faces every challenge with his nose upturned and lustrous tail held high. His journey out of puppyhood, in which he becomes the loyal companion to a homeless man, discovers an ear for poetry, and meets his match in his brutal rival, Scar, is a story of perseverance in a world of danger and unexpected opportunity. But through it all, he cannot forget his frail little sister, Wispy, and he will not rest until he finds her again.

Told with humor and keen insight into both canine and human behavior, the story of this proud survivor will delight dog lovers and adventure lovers alike.

“The versatile Lowry proves a dab hand at the animal saga, here chronicling the up-from-the-gutter story of Keeper, formerly and variously known as Lucky, Pal, and The Dog. As narrator, Keeper is a writer of some courtly style, and his occasional doggerel (Fur so fine! Eyes so agleam! / You rival me in self-esteem! enlivens both the elegant tone and the slapstick action. This one practically sits up and begs to be read aloud.” – The Horn Book, Inc.

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Number the Stars

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town.

“How brave are you, little Annemarie?” Uncle Henrik asks his ten-year-old niece. It is 1943, and to Annemarie Johansen, life in Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school life, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. Bravery seems a vague virtue, one possessed by dragon-slaying knights in the bedtime stories she tells her younger sister, Kirsti. Too soon, she herself is called upon for courage.

As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, the Johansens take in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is part of the family. Ellen and Annemarie must think quickly when three Nazi officers arrive late one night and question why Ellen is not blond, like her sisters.

Through Annemarie’s eyes, we see the Danish Resistance as they manage to smuggle almost the entire Jewish population, nearly 7000 people, across the sea to Sweden. In this tale of an entire nation’s heroism, Lois Lowry reminds us that there is pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

“While the novel has an absorbing plot, its real strength lies in its evocation of deep friendship between two girls and of a caring family who makes a profoundly moral choice…” — BOOKLIST

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Looking Back

It is a rare album memoir for both children and adults; it’s straightforward text is accompanied by beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking black-and-white photographs.

“I would like to introduce you to this book. It has no plot. It is about moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies. It is about things that happened, which caused other things to happen, so that eventually stories emerged.”

People are constantly asking Newbery medalist Lois Lowry where she gets her ideas. In this fascinating memoir Lowry answers many of these questions, through recollections of childhood friends and pictures and memories that explore her rich family history. She recounts the pivotal moments that inspired her writing, describing how they magically turned into fiction along the complicated passageway called life. Lowry fans, as well as anyone interested in understanding the process of writing fiction, will benefit from this poignant trip through the past and the present of a remarkable writer.

“Imagine sitting on a sofa with a friend listening with fascination while she tells you about the pictures in her photo album. That is the feeling once has when browsing through this book of Lowry’s family snapshots and reading her lively commentary on them. . . . The author’s voice comes through strongly as she shares both her happiest and saddest times. . . . Much more intimate and personal than many traditional memories, this work makes readers feel that Lowry is an old friend.” — School Library Journal, September 1998

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On The Horizon

From two-time Newbery medalist and living legend Lois Lowry comes a moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII’s most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. With evocative black-and-white illustrations by SCBWI Golden Kite Award winner Kenard Pak.

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.

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The Willoughbys Return

Although they grew up as wretched orphans, the Willoughby siblings also became heirs to the the Melanoff candy company fortune. Everything has turned out just splendidly, except for one problem: Richie Willoughby, son of Timothy Willoughby, is an only child and is quite lonely.

Winifred and Winston Poore have long admired the toys of their neighbor Richie Willoughby and finally befriend the mysterious boy next door. But just as Richie finally begins to make friends, selling sweets is made illegal, and the family’s fortune is put in jeopardy. To make matters worse, Richie’s horrible Willoughby grandparents—frozen atop a Swiss mountain thirty years ago—have thawed, remain in perfect health, and are making their way home again.

What is the point of being the reclusive son of a billionaire when your father is no longer a billionaire? What is the future without candy in it? And is there any escaping the odiousness of the Willoughbys? These are the profound questions with which Newbery medalist and ignominious author Lois Lowry grapples in The Willoughbys Return.

The incompetent parents from The Willoughbys (2008) find themselves thawed by global warming.

Henry and Frances haven’t aged since the accident that buried them in snow and froze them for 30 years in the Swiss Alps. Their Rip van Winkle–ish return is archly comedic, with the pair, a medical miracle, realizing (at last!) how much they’ve lost and how baffled they are now. Meanwhile, their eldest son, Tim, is grown and in charge of his adoptive father’s candy empire, now threatened with destitution by a congressional ban on candy (opposed by an unnamed Bernie Sanders). He is father to 11-year-old Richie, who employs ad-speak whenever he talks about his newest toys, like a remote-controlled car (“The iconic Lamborghini bull adorns the hubcaps and hood”). But Richie envies Winston Poore, the very poor boy next door, who has a toy car carved for him by his itinerant encyclopedia-salesman father. Winston and his sister, Winifred, plan to earn money for essentials by offering their services as companions to lonely Richie while their mother dabbles, spectacularly unsuccessfully, in running a B&B. Lowry’s exaggerated characters and breezy, unlikely plot are highly entertaining. She offers humorous commentary both via footnotes advising readers of odd facts related to the narrative and via Henry and Frances’ reentry challenges. The threads of the story, with various tales of parents gone missing, fortunes lost or never found, and good luck in the end, are gathered most satisfactorily and warmheartedly. — KIRKUS Reviews