Lois Lowry's Blog


Quoth the Raven

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 05 October 2009 in Uncategorized

Well, the Ravens didn't slink off the playing field muttering "Nevermore" yesterday, but they DID get beaten by the Patriots, and I was right there on the 50-yard-line enjoying every minute.

Pats game 2

This photo (pre-game) shows nothing except how very good my seat was. Many thanks to the Kraft family, who own the Patriots, and who have an almost-11-year-old granddaughter who is a book-lover.

I remember high school football games from my adolescent years (until I went to an all-girls school for my final two years of high school) and I remember being COLD. Games were on Friday nights and thogh we bundled up, it seems in my memory as if my feet always froze.

When I was in junior high school, in Tokyo, my older sister's boyfriend was a football star. Funny, I remember that his number was 41----that goes back 60 years!  The games were played in Meiji Stadium, in Tokyo, which had been built for the pre-war Olympics; and during the summers we swam almost every day in the Olympic pool there---I seem to remember that we could walk there from our house, but I could be wrong---maybe we took some sort of bus. Even as kids (I was 11, 12, and 13 in Tokyo) we made our way everywhere by bus and train, and sometimes bike, very easily and safely.

During spring vacation, and also again one summer. I went alone by overnight train to the city of Kure. A friend of mine from Tokyo had moved with her family down to an island called Eta-jima in the inland sea, very near Hiroshima, and reachable by boat from Kure. Her family met my train, I suppose, and took me over to the island for a lengthy and wonderful stay.  Just a couple of years ago, reading the terrific novel "The Great Fire" by Shirley Hazzard, I recognized the island of Eta-jima as part of the setting, though the author mis-spelled its name (I emailed my friend Allen Say, who spent his childhood near there, to corroborate the fact of the mis-spelling I suspected).

Etajima copy

I just looked online, googling Eta-jima, and came up with photos that transport me back in time. The village on Nagako, on the island: 


I would not have been looking for BEER as the sign says, not at age 12---but I certainly wandered and out of all the shops. And here is the ferry to and from Kure; I was a passenger on it many, many times:


But now I have wandered down memory lane way farther than anyone would possibly want to follow me!

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Erika U Monday, 29 November 1999

That's horrible! Number the Stars is a wonderfully insightful novel that I completely enjoyed when I was in school (In the US). Maybe had the authorities read the book they would understand why it is SO IMPORTANT to be taught and read by ALL! I do hope this ban is lifted...

pokane Monday, 29 November 1999

Contacting the American Library Association Office of Information Freedom might be one step the teacher could take.
http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/index.cfm">http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/index.cfm" rel="nofollow">http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/index.cfm">http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/index.cfm
Maine State Library

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Good idea. And I have just contacted PEN American Center, an organization dedicated to preserving intellectual freedom, to see what they advise.

marjorie Monday, 29 November 1999

aaaack. what on EARTH could they have objected to?? i'd ask PEN, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom for input. they deal with American bans and challenges, but may have Thoughts.

Samantha Monday, 29 November 1999

I think that Number the Stars was a great book! I don't think that they should ban it in any school! It was great!

Jon Arntson Monday, 29 November 1999

I certainly agree, NUMBER THE STARS is amazing and profound. I'm not stating an opinion but asking a question: is it the author's job/place/responsibility to fight for their book's right to be an available read? The school district neighboring the one I graduated from banned Harry Potter from their elementary libraries. This appalled me, especially since I live in Michigan. It was eventually reinstated because parents of the students found the decision ridiculous. I am wondering if the same thing might happen in Turkey.
It's either a matter of wait and see or take action. As a writer, I have no idea what to do. If I were published, maybe my actions would be more vehement.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

I don't harbor any illusions that I can change the mind or attitude of the Department of Education in Turkey. But I think it's important that attention be called to such a violation. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to do that.

Anthony Monday, 29 November 1999

Hey Lois if you can read this, I'm a student of Central Middle school, In NJ, and i read The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. I'm working on a 4th book to the sequel :) it's called "The Caver" it's about the boy named Thomas from Gather Blue and it includes the life of Jo, Thomas, Vandara, AND Jamison :) hopefully you could read it some time!

Gael Lynch Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm wondering if this were made VERY public, perhaps by sending this letter to the NY Times would cause a little more global pressure to have the Turkish authorites read it! I can only imagine how you must feel. It's awful. How courageous of this teacher to takes steps to make it more public.

Robert carlo hawkins Monday, 29 November 1999

Hello my name is Robert Hawkins! I currently go to central regional middle school. The 8th grade, I am a huge fan of The Giver, Messanger, and Gathering Blue. My class has read these books and I just fell in love with them. I was wondering if you would consider writing another book that tells us about everyone like the giver, Jamison, vendara, and see if kira and leader (Jonas) get married. That would be amazing. My teachers are Mrs. Viteillo & Miss Muccino. Our class is considering to write an anthology to the three books. Maybe you could come and help us because we all have great ideas and who know their charactors better than the author. I'm not trying to be an annoyance but I just loved all the books in that series. There's so much that I and everybody would want to know!
     P.S. Your Giver books are the first books I have ever read and enjoyed! Thank you for the amazing books!

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Robert: Thanks. Sounds as if your class has been having a good time with those books! I am, actually, in the process of writing a fourth one---but it's HARD.

love the trilogy Monday, 29 November 1999

Wow! I didn't know that you are writing a fourth book. But then it wouldn't be a trio if it had four books to it.
(sorry, i do not want to reveal my real name in front of the public since it is not safe.)

Robert carlo hawkins Monday, 29 November 1999

Oh my god! Really I want to know so much! umm maybe you could tak to my teachers and maybe we can help or something if it is hard! When I saw you wrote back I almost cried I'm so happy to be talking to you. Thanks bye

Marissa Cullings Monday, 29 November 1999

As a teacher, I can only imagine how frustrating this was for the teacher who wrote you. I teach The Giver, and once got a note from a parent questioning the appropriateness of the book. The note had me fired up, to say the least. I responded to this parent with a note defending the literature as well as a copy of your Newbery Acceptance Speech. I didn't hear back. This incident happened 4 years ago, but as a teacher, I am still scarred. It's offensive when someone suggests that you are making dangerous, thoughtless choices with your carefully selected books. My principal was supportive of my position. I can't imagine how offended I would feel if this opposition had come from a higher authority and my principal had supported them instead of me. As a teacher, it's so important to feel validated and respected by the community. My heart goes out to her.

Jaden Monday, 29 November 1999

Number The Stars is a great book! It is too bad that the turkey school band the book.

Shane Monday, 29 November 1999

I think that they should actually read the book instead of just reading one paragraph
because I read the book and I thought It was amazingly awesome.

liam Monday, 29 November 1999

Number the Stars was a great book. Why bann it? The people who banned the book should read the whole thing and more of your books.

Tribalwars3001.blogspot.com Monday, 29 November 1999

I have read Number The Stars in our reading class. I see nothing wrong with it unless the Turkish officials don't want the students reading about the Nazi atrocities. But they should be able to learn about it so they know what happened in the second world war.

brittany Monday, 29 November 1999

Hi, what they are doing in Turkey, I think is rude. I have read the book and thought it was great! I LOVED it. They should not band it, until they read the book. It was the first book that grabbed my attention.
Brittany at major school Saskatchewan.

Alissandra Monday, 29 November 1999

I love Number the Stars! It's one of my fave book ever! There's no reason to ban it!

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