Lois Lowry's Blog

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Katherine and me

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 25 January 2010 in Uncategorized


 Motoko Rich realizes that bookclubs aren't for everyone (NYTimes, Sunday):

....There is a different class of reader, though. They feel that their relationship with a book, its characters and the author is too intimate to share. “The pursuit of reading,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “is carried on by private people.”

Ms. Stead remembers having had especially intense feelings about books when she was young. “For me, as a kid, a book was a very private world,” she said. “I didn’t like talking about books with other people very much because it almost felt like I didn’t want other people to be in that world with me.”

Particularly with the books we adore most, a certain reader wants to preserve the experience for reflection, or even claim the book as hers and hers alone. Lois Lowry, an author of books for children and a two-time winner of the Newbery for “Number the Stars” and “The Giver,” said she recently read that Katherine Paterson, also a two-time Newbery winner and now the national ambassador for young people’s literature, had named “The Yearling,” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, as the most influential book of her childhood. “I felt a twinge of ‘no fair, that’s mine!’ ” Ms. Lowry said. “I hastily backed off from that feeling because I know and love Katherine, and it’s O.K. that we share the same book.” ....

Katherine emailed me gracefully that she felt the same twinge when she saw that I had named "The Yearling" in Anita Silvey's recent book.  No, mine! she thought briefly—which just goes to show that both Katherine and I can revert with no warning to the mentality of nine-years-olds: scrappy and self-absorbed. It serves us well, I think; but it is probably a good thing we didn't choose—let me think—psychiatry or the priesthood as a profession.

A knowledgable reader (see comment to last blog) has identified our animal tracks as that of a bobcat.  Yikes.

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Comments

Guest
Sarah Guenther Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm a public librarian in the Hill Country town of New Braunfels, Texas and your blog is on my daily reading list. What you said about libraries is so true! We just added a Starbucks coffee kiosk, a cooler for cold drinks, and a snack machine. We, like many other libraries, are increasingly busy and these new "niceties" seem to encourage folks to stay longer and explore everything we offer. I love to see a patron browsing the new books, coffee in hand, looking for something good.

Guest
lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Oh, I love hearing about that, Sarah! My childhood memories of libraries—though very fond— always involve the "Shhhh" factor. Now they are such congenial spaces, where people can talk and sip and stroll and smile. My German granddaughter, when she was 13, asked once after a library visit, "How much does it cost to use the library?" (she had been watching people at the computers) and ever since, has marveled at this American phenomenon.

Guest
T. Crockett Monday, 29 November 1999

There's a govt. website that shows the frequency of names over the years. I feel like saying it's done by the census, but I might be wrong. The Kindergarten 1st grade set seems to be as full of Sophias and Sophies. When I was in school there were oodles of Jennifers in my year. I can't explain the why of it, but it's certainly a reality.

Guest
Annika Black Monday, 29 November 1999

Love the photo
(even with the hairless dog)!
Thank YOU for sharing our exciting news.
Annika Black
Youth Services Librarian
Bridgton Public Library

Guest
Kelsey Monday, 29 November 1999

I also seek out the public library when we visit a new town on vacation. LOVE public libraries. Even though our house is overflowing with books for the children we still make nearly weekly visits, especially in the summer.
As for names, who knows? My daughter is Harper, inspired in a roundabout way by Harper Lee, even though I know (and knew) that Harper isn't really her first name. And my son is Michael, named after both of his grandfathers.

Guest
Debbie Monday, 29 November 1999

I, too, love to seek out libraries.
I think Emma is back in vogue. "E" names are all the rage right now. I have granddaughters, Evalynn, Emerson, and a grandson Eli, all under 3 years old. My friends all have new granddaughters, Ellie, Emma and Emery. E's are "in".

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