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Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Saturday, 06 October 2012 in Uncategorized

It is 8:30 PM and I am headed to bed. And a fine bed it is, in the gorgeous St. Paul Hotel.

But I am feeling a little dejected.  Partly because my email has ceased working and I have spent a couple of hours with Tech Support at Comcast, with no success. And here I am with 10 days to go on an extended trip, and important communication cut off.

But also, this: tomorrow, in the NY Times Magainze, there will be an article about me and my new book, written by Dan Kois, who came this summer to meet with me and was an intelligent, thoguhtful man, with two children about whom he cares deeply. I am quite certain he didn't write the article with controversy or shock value in mind.  But it has already appeared in the online edition of The TImes... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/magazine/lois-lowry-the-childrens-author-who-actually-listens-to-children.html?ref=magazine&...this is my first reading of what he wroteand I am saddened by the tone of many of the posted comments that follow the article.  I have always been struck by, and have publicly commented on, the generosity and collegiality of children's authors. The vitriolic tone of some comments is startling.

I am very tired, having left Iowa at 5 AM, and just completed a speech and signing in Minneapolis at the end of this lengthy day, and I only read the article and its posted comments hastily and probably in a cursory fashion.  So I may be misrepresenting everything and tomorrow may have to post a "Sorry, I was completely wrong" addendum.

But readers seem to be upset by the fact that I expressed, as I often have before, my concern over the violence in THE HUNGER GAMES, which the NYT writer seems to share.

And I said—and I have often said this before, as well—that I don't read children's books. That is true. I am an avid reader but I have an extraordinarily busy life, with limited reading time, and I use it to read adult books. (Currently I am in the middle of the new Toobin book about the Supreme Court.)

It's not entirely clear why that would offend anyone. But so be it. I am what I am...a 75-year-old woman who reads adult books but writes for kids. And who is troubled by the violence  in THE HUNGER GAMES at the same time that I am impresesd by its fast-paced plot. (See? I DID read a YA book!)

Tomorrow I may re-read everything and feel better. Or maybe not.  Maybe, in any case, I will spend most of tomorrow talking to Comcast Tech Support before I go off to speak at the  St. Thomas O'Shaugnessy Educational Center. And then early Monday morning I fly to San Jose, CA, and the NY Times will be lining the bottom of birdcages everywhere.

Goodnight.  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Comments

Arline Sutherland
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Arline Sutherland Sunday, 07 October 2012

There should be a law against reading comments written about good reviews! The article itself is great. Would that one could stop right there.

The tone of many of the comments is petty, occasionally mean, and in some instances defensive. But you know all this and still it is dispiriting.

I hardly ever post on Facebook any more because whenever I do, a certain person comments. No matter what is said, I feel slimed.

I’ve been reading an article by R. Gustav Niebhur in the HDS bulletin titled, “Choosing Words Over Bullets.” Son shows how it can be done – life-giving inspiration that our world desperately needs.

My wish is that you feel gratified that what you have given touches so many hearts.

Love the image of “the NYT lining the bottoms of birdcages everywhere.”

Erika Price
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Erika Price Sunday, 07 October 2012

I just read the article in my Sunday New York Times and walked away thinking it was an interesting article and a great review for Son. I had no idea of the controversy before I'd read your post and am surprised by it. I haven't read the online comments and have no need to - I guess it's just a reminder that there is a lot of negativity out there.

I read The Giver trilogy to my boys and we've always wanted a story for Gabriel, so ... THANK YOU. I've also read and enjoyed The Hunger Games (not just for the storytelling, but for the questions it raises), but absolutley respect opinions of those who don't. How boring life would be if we all held the same viewpoint.

I can't wait to read the book and hope the debate settles down or is, at least, easily ignored. Thank you for all the wonderful treasures you've given to children's literature!

Jane Hinrichs
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I'm a wife, a mom, a writer and an artist. Currently I'm working on a young YA book called Giant Sophie. I hav...
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Jane Hinrichs Monday, 08 October 2012

I hope you are at peace now Lois. You don't have to make excuses for yourself whatsoever. Read what you want. Write what you do -- the combination must work because your books are so moving. Why do people insist on judging people? You are doing great work. Don't let others get you down. Wow, what an incredible writer you are. Maybe because you read primarily adult books you can bring a depth to your children's books that wouldn't be there if you only read kid books....

Pamela Powell
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Pamela Powell Monday, 08 October 2012

Good afternoon!
I am sure you are wonderfully busy with your tour, but my daughter is doing a presentation for her senior creative writing class in high school all about you and your life! She would be honored if you might answer a couple of questions. If you might have the time, that would be great.
Thanks so much!

Sincerely,
Kelsey and Pam Powell

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Monday, 08 October 2012

If your daughter emails me (click EMAIL on my website) I will try to answer her questions briefly

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