Lois Lowry's Blog


For starters

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Tuesday, 28 March 2006 in Uncategorized

This is, to be honest, an experiment. I'm lookng for a way to update readers to news about new books, signings, speaking engagements, and the ever-changing world of movie-making. I don't want to get sucked into a bottomless pit of back-and-forth conversations, nor do I want to schmooze about my family doings: how cute my grandkids are, or how fascinating our day-to-day life.

BUT: from time to time there is news, and I'm trying to see if this might be a good way to put it out there.

For starters: the new book, GOSSAMER, is not officially "out" yet...its publication date is mid-April. But the copies do exist...I've just today received a carton which I will shortly sign and mail off to those same kids and grandkids I swore (see previous paragragh) I wasn't going to blather about.

And it has been reviewed; this from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:

Lois Lowry. Houghton/Lorraine, $16 (144p) ISBN 0-618-68550-2

Lowry's (The Giver) spellbinding story centers on a clever, curious young dream-giver. Littlest One is learning the nocturnal task performed by her kind, which entails gently touching objects belonging to a human, thereby gathering "memories, colors, words once spoken, hints of scents and the tiniest fragments of forgotten sound" and combining them to create dreams. The most challenging task she must master is to "bestow" the dream on a sleeping human. Under the tutelage of a caring, patient elder, Littlest begins to hone her skills in the home of a lonely 73-year-old woman who takes in John, an angry, unhappy foster child. Through Littlest's gathering process and John's resultant dreams, as well as through the dreams of John's estranged mother, Lowry poignantly reveals the boy's sad past. Some of the novel's most moving scenes center on the growing trust between John and his foster mother, as his bitterness and low self-esteem begin to abate. Littlest demonstrates her tenacity and talent when she successfully counters the curse of the four-legged Sinisteeds, renegade dream-givers who have been "consumed by the dark side" and who inflict powerful nightmares on their victims, including John. Lyrical, richly descriptive prose ushers readers into a fascinating parallel world inhabited by appealingly quirky characters. While she gathers fragments, Littlest demonstrates an unusually delicate touch that enables her to gain deeper insight—a gossamer touch that earns her the name in the title. With her exquisite, at times mesmerizing writing, Lowry displays a similar skill. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)


MOVIE NEWS: "The Giver" will be directed by Vadim Perelman, the immensely gifted director who brought the Andre Dubus book "House of Sand and Fog" to the screen and to some Oscar nominations. Although I am not involved in the making of the film, the producers, director, and actor Jeff Bridges, who will likely play the title role, have been very generous in allowing me to peek over their shoulders as they work on this project.

I have THEATER NEWS as well but will save it for another post.

Happy Spring. I have a zillion crocuses in bloom in my bleak New England yard.

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Susan Putt
Susan Putt
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Susan Putt Thursday, 08 October 2015

Dear Ms. Lowry -

After having read several of your entries, I believe I understand (and sympathize with) how you feel about mass letters from students. I honestly don't know whether I fall into that category or not. If I do, I'll accept that and not be the least bit offended.

I am an English Professor at a small, private university in Ohio. In my Children's and Young Adult Literature class, we just finished discussing The Giver today. The discussions from these 19 and 20 year old students have simply blown me away. The interesting thing is that these are not English majors. A large proportion of the class, in fact, are pharmacy students taking the class to fulfill a general education requirement. I often get comments from pharmacy students that my class is their favorite because it's so different from their major classes where they are lectured at with facts. This is a wonderful opportunity to read critically, dig, wonder, analyze, and express their ideas. There are some days when I feel as though I don't even need to be in the room to see these young people go into depth about what they've read. It is exhilarating!! After finishing The Giver, with the open ended ending, they are left with so many questions. It's interesting to hear that what is "obvious" to one person (such as the interpretation of Jonas' and Gabe's deaths) didn't even occur to another student! We are continuing by reading the rest of the quartet. They have heavy academic loads, so I try to assign only about sixty or so pages between our class meetings. But, there are days that I feel I might as well just assign 'the book,' as they can't put it down and end up reading ahead. I must admit though, I save my reading for that class to do only after I have all of my freshman writing grading done and I can 'treat' myself.

Before we began the readings, more than one student told me that they had read at least The Giver (if not some of the other books in the quartet) before - usually at a junior high school age. But, without fail, after reading it again at this point in their lives, they claim that 90% of what they gain from the book, they never even saw before. What a wonderful compliment to the writer!

So, the bottom line (I'm sure you were waiting for that) is to ask if you would be willing to Skype with us during one of our classes. I know the students would be absolutely blown away, and if I opened it up to other faculty and students, there assuredly would be standing room only. I would definitely prepare my students for the opportunity and I feel strongly that you would find the experience most enjoyable.

Please let me know if this is even a remote possibility. You would be able to make an even deeper impact on the lives of many young people.

Blessings -
Susan Putt
Ohio Northern University

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