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1. The Giver
2. Gathering Blue
3. Messenger
4. The Worlds of Lois Lowry 3 Copy
5. Number the Stars
6. Gossamer
7. Anastasia at your Service
8. The Silent Boy (Readers Circle)
9. Giver
10. All About Sam (Sam Krupnik)
11. The Willoughbys
12. The Birthday Ball
13. Taking Care of Terrific
14. A Summer to Die
15. Anastasia at this Address (Anastasia
16. Looking Back: A Book of Memories
17. Crow Call
18. Gooney the Fabulous (Gooney Bird)
19. Gooney Bird Greene
20. Anastasia on Her Own

1. The Giver
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 208 Pages (2006-01-24)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385732554
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When Jonas turns 12, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. Now, it’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.Amazon.com Review
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and nounemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen tobe the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders andan old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about hisutopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. Withechoes of Brave New World, inthis 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people mightfreely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stablesociety. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-freesociety can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3273)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Escape From Reality!!
The John Newberry Award winning children's novel, The Giver, was such a pleasure to read. I remember reading it as a child and feeling consumed into another time and place, and being so interested by the characters I was reading of, and years later I felt the same way. A great book to "get lost in" as it really forces you to think about the world we live in.The story follows a young boy who exists in a world of what they call, "sameness." In this world everything is controlled leaving no chance of fear, anger, uncertainty, or any other unpleasant emotions. When Jonas, the young boy, turns 12, the path that is assigned to him will change his life forever, and this wonderful story takes you on the journey with him and his teacher ("the giver").This is a story of hope, courage, human nature, love, passion, self-discovery, and so much more! A must read for all young adults and older!!

4-0 out of 5 stars this book will make you mesmerized by copper dakota
Do you like dystopias? Do you wonder how this world will turn out? Are you a pessimistic person? This book is one author's story about a world that prejudice against the different has taken over. The main character in this book is a boy named Jonah. He lives with his father and mother. Although these are not his birth parents they treat him as their own son. But one major part of a parent is their love. In this book feelings are mild. No pain no love and no hatred. The Community has no feelings and death is not painful. The old people in the community take a painless shot and then they are dead. Only one person in the community can feel sorrow, hurt, happiness and all the feelings we feel. Another thing that this Community has abolished is color. All people can see is a dull gray. Again the same person that has feelings can see colors.
Jonah is nearly 12 years old. This is when jobs are assigned. He hopes for a simple job that involves his interests. But nothing of the sort is given to him. The people at the community have been watching Jonah and he has been assigned the job as the Givers apprentice.
The Giver is a person in the community that carries all the memories of the world. All the rainbows, the pain and the world as we know it. The Giver is the only one who knows the memories. And now the giver is growing old and he must pass his knowledge to Jonah. It is a hard time for Jonah because all he ever knew is begin reversed as he sees the world that he lives in is cruel and harsh and all the people are naïve. Finally a plan is made as Jonah tries to save the world as he knows it from utter destruction.

5-0 out of 5 stars OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
I had to read it in my 8th grade english class, which was a million years ago, but I remember it being the best book I've ever read in school, and everyone in my class loved it as well. You should definitely read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars amazing book
very good book. reading it for a socitety project in sixth grade. i would reccomend this to 6th grade and up. it is about a boy named jonas and he is living in a somewhatrisk free society. when jonas is chosen to be the new receiver of memory, he realizes the problems in his community. very good book! have fun reading!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Giver
As every Newbery Medal winner, The Giver is a very well written children's book. Its deceptively simplistic language reveals a rather horrifying dystopian world. This is a world where people are not given freedom to decide anything for themselves - their spouses, children, careers, future, even clothes or haircuts are all pre-planned and pre-selected for them. They are not allowed to even own their feelings and dreams. Their sexuality is suppressed. Of course, it is done for common good - to preserve peace and serenity, to avoid any disturbance, be that war, hunger, over-population, or simply personal discomfort of pain. Only two people in this community are able to understand what people miss out on. The main character Jonas is one of these people.

The Giver is a good book, but:

- it is too young; experiences of a 12-year old are too simplistic and lack edge for my liking;

- in terms of dystopian setting I found a couple of Lowry's aspects of the Community hard to accept. I believe that no matter how restrictive and oppressive a society is, feelings of love and attachment to one's children or parents remain intact, unlike in this book where family connections are very easily severed and forgotten. Secondly, this story claims that people do not experience a feeling of love, for instance, because they don't have a memory of what it is. IMO, feelings are not something we learn or recollect, this is something that we experience involuntarily.

In spite of my complaints, I am interested in reading the sequels. ... Read more

2. Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 240 Pages (2006-01-24)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385732562
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world—and to find out what exists beyond it.Amazon.com Review
Lois Lowry's magnificent novel of the distant future, The Giver, is set in a highly technical and emotionally repressed society. This eagerly awaited companion volume, by contrast, takes place in a village with only the most rudimentary technology, where anger, greed, envy, and casual cruelty make ordinary people's lives short and brutish. This society, like the one portrayed in The Giver, is controlled by merciless authorities with their own complex agendas and secrets. And at the center of both stories there is a young person who is given the responsibility of preserving the memory of the culture--and who finds the vision to transform it.

Kira, newly orphaned and lame from birth, is taken from the turmoil of the village to live in the grand Council Edifice because of her skill at embroidery. There she is given the task of restoring the historical pictures sewn on the robe worn at the annual Ruin Song Gathering, a solemn day-long performance of the story of their world's past. Down the hall lives Thomas the Carver, a young boy who works on the intricate symbols carved on the Singer's staff, and a tiny girl who is being trained as the next Singer. Over the three artists hovers the menace of authority, seemingly kind but suffocating to their creativity, and the dark secret at the heart of the Ruin Song.

With the help of a cheerful waif called Matt and his little dog, Kira at last finds the way to the plant that will allow her to create the missing color--blue--and, symbolically, to find the courage to shape the future by following her art wherever it may lead. With astonishing originality, Lowry has again created a vivid and unforgettable setting for this thrilling story that raises profound questions about the mystery of art, the importance of memory, and the centrality of love. (Ages 10 and older) --Patty Campbell ... Read more

Customer Reviews (287)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as The Giver, but still well done.
I read this book right after finishing The Giver because I saw that it had been labeled as The Giver #2.While this book is another form of distopia/utopia, it doesn't really tie into The Giver (however, I just started reading The Messenger today, The Giver #3, and it ties the first two books together).

I enjoy utopia kinds of books and this one fits that bill.Without giving a full synopsis, the girl's mother has died, her father died long ago, and now she is given the important job of mending The Singer's robe (which her mother used to do).With this job, she gets to live in a special house/building where she meets another child who has lost his parents and he is working on The Singer's staff.However, their wonderful lives are not all they seem on the surface.

Well written story that I think all children/young adults should be required to read or have read to them.Actually, I think they should read all three books, not just this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars I read this book last in the trilogy and somehow it made sense.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry 2nd installment in her trilogy

Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, should had been killed, as per the custom of her village, but her mother, Katrina, saved her.Kira is spared after her mother's death because she is a gifted weaver.When Vandara, an evil woman tries to kill her after her mother dies, but the Council of Guardians tries their case and Kira is spared because of her ability.She is trained by an older woman, Annabella to make the colors and she is to repair the robe that is used every year at the Gathering.

She is assigned a room at the Council edifice where she meets Thomas, a carver, who was also spared for his abilities.They become friends and discover that there is also a young woman, Jo, who has the gift of song and is also being trained by the council of guardians.

While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by mysteries and secrets.With the help of Matt and his dog, Branch, she discovers a place where blue exists, the truth about
Kira's father, and the existence of better worlds.Kira must make a decision of fleeing the world she lives or try to change it.

I read this book last in the trilogy and somehow it made sense, because I knew who Christopher, Kira's father was.He was the Seer in Messenger and is the one who comes to get Kira to solve the problems in his world in the second installment of the trilogy. By knowing this, the book makes more sense.

It is not as well written as the other two, but still it is a wonderful read.

Perhaps it is because I haven't read the Giver in awhile, but I was hoping for the companion novel to be just as exciting and captivated as I remembered the Giver to be. I did not feel captivated by this book, I felt it was very predictable and the ending was very abrupt and unfinished. I think this book has a good plot and overall good storyline, however, I do not think it was developed as brilliantly by Lowry as she had developed Jonas's world. Don't get me wrong, the book was fairly entertaining, just not very insightful and not very captivating.

5-0 out of 5 stars It follows THE GIVER, but it can stand on its own, too.
This book, the next in Lois Lowry's trilogy THE GIVER, GATHERING BLUE, and THE MESSENGER, also is a spellbinding story.Unlike the society in THE GIVER, this book shows a different society -- it is less high-tech -- but it has challenges of its own, and we see these through the eyes of Kira, the main character.Kira has a lame leg, but is extremely gifted in needlework and embroidery and has an almost supernatural gift of finding visual insights through her work.

She lives in a society intolerant of physically disabled people, but they are willing to put up with them if they have certain talents that the oligarchy-in-charge wants.How she plies her talent in the midst of a cruel society where she has lost her mother and desperately wants to find her father makes for a fascinating drama.Added to this is a small waif-like boy named Matt and his skinny, loveable and faithful dog Branch, both of whom prove to be extremely imiportant in the circumstances that follow in the book.

The ending is triumphant, but may be surprising.And you get the idea that the story really isn't "over" although Lois Lowry certainly puts closure to this particular novel.

The book that follows is THE MESSENGER, but GATHERING BLUE will stand by itself as a fine book to read on its own.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lowry Continues to Entertain... in Most Areas
Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue is the next installment in The Giver series, the first having been wildly successful, though is dubbed a "companion", as it has no relevancy to the plot of The Giver. The question is: "is it worth reading?" Depends. Address the points below to find out if this next installment in the series is worth going to the bookstore to purchase.
The story revolves around a girl, presumably in her teen years, named Kira. Kira's mother passes away at the beginning of the book. Her father has said to have been killed by a beast during a hunt, so she must protect herself from a group of village women, who want her to leave the community and go to the Field (where she would die), due to her crippled leg, which keeps her from marrying, working, or raising children. She overcomes other challenges aided by her tyke* friend Matt and her talented friend Thomas the carver, and unlocks secrets within the alienating community. Her reputation as a masterfully talented artist grows as she develops new threading techniques throughout the book, which give her a significant importance in the village. I shall try not to dive further into the plot, in the case that you decide to read the book.
The style in Gathering Blue remains the only thing that links it to The Giver. The creepy atmosphere of the community in which the story takes place and the ominously emotionless tone of the author create a mysterious tint to the tale that actually motivates the reader to continue and discover what happens next. Relatively complex, though not to the point of being grandiloquent, vocabulary contributes to the tone, and is satisfying and understandable: "... and she could hear the high, haunting melody that the child had sung in her magical voice, solitary in her room,
before they had forced her from it and given her their own song to sing." If you are a fan of The Giver, the similar though still enthrallingly gripping style of the story will not disappoint, and those that have not read the previous book will find the style fresh and creative.
Assuming you read the introductory summary in paragraph two, you may have interpreted that Gathering Blue is predicable, and it is. Very predictable. This is where the story suffers a bit. Even though the story is so well delivered and makes you want to continue reading to find out what happens next, I found that I already knew what was going to happen, and was just hoping the next event in the book would be surprisingly unexpected. Though the story continued to keep me excited though unsurprised until a partially inspired (though honestly quite confusing) conclusion. How many times have you heard of the protagonist with half a family trinket (in this case a necklace) that is completed at the end of the tale by the other half belonging to a long-lost relative? That's right, it happens here too. Gathering Blue is a story with a creative idea, though is utterly predictable in continuing that idea.
Gathering Blue is by no means a bad book, though suffers due to its predictability. If you are a fan of the series, this story will not disappoint due to author Lois Lowry's still wonderfully creative style. The story may also amuse others not familiar with the series, though if you're looking for something completely new and unpredictable, I recommend you look elsewhere. ... Read more

3. Messenger
by Lois Lowry
Mass Market Paperback: 176 Pages (2009-01-13)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$3.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385737165
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man, known for his special sight. Village was a place that welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

From the Trade Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful finish to the series
Excellent conclusion to The Giver trilogy.This book is important for youths and adults to read.There are many underlying lessons within the text that I would just nod my head at while reading.

I don't want to give an overview of the plot, as I'm sure others have already done so.Just know that it's a quick read for adults and I found this one more interesting than Gathering Blue.Even utopia places where everyone helps everyone else and is accepting of differences like Village can become corrupt and hateful.The ending is a bit surprising, sad, and beautiful at the same time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy successor to "Giver"
Lowry brings us another wonderful book - targeted at teens, but hardly childish. This takes place in the same world as "The Giver," but the magical and fantasy elements come through more strongly. And, as with its predecessor, Lowry respects her young readers' intelligence. She doesn't avoid complex topics, and omits the sugar coating that leaves so many other books for this audience so vapid.

This raises many issues, such as the value of intangibles. It also echoes some of today's debates, when a nation of immigrants votes to restrict immigration. (Sound familiar?) Other elements defy glib analysis - that man-vs.-nature relationship with The Forest, for example, sidesteps all the eco-fable cliches you might expect.

Although Lowry presents her premises clearly, I didn't find the follow-through on some of her thoughts wholly satisfying. Decisions go into effect with far-reaching implications, none of which seem to be pursued. Matty, the teenaged lead character, ends the story somewhat more abruptly and with less context than I might have hoped. Another way to say the same thing is that Lowry creates an open-ended story, one that the reader will likely fell obligated to complete in his or her own imagination. Perhaps this doesn't rise quite to the level of "The Giver," but it still offers plenty to think about, as well as more tantalizing glimpses into Lowry's inmagined world.

-- wiredweird

5-0 out of 5 stars The second installment of Ms. Lowry's trilogy is just as fantastic as the first
Messenger by Lois Lowry - 3rd installment of the trilogy

In this book we find that Jonas is the Leader of a Village that welcomes newcomers (like him) and offers hope and homes to people fleeing poverty and cruelty from the surrounding places.In this book the protagonist is Matty, who for the last six years has flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special "sight."

Evil comes to the village as the trading market starts making the villagers trade their "soul" for material things and thus they lose themselves. All of those who have traded have hardened their hearts and vote to close the village to outsiders.

It is up to Matty and his puppy, Frolic,to make one last journey through the increasingly treacherous Forrest--which has change to evil, same as the villagers have--to seek the Seer's daughter, Kira, who has a special gift. Marty must cross the forest and bring her back to the Village before the forces of evil take over his town. Aided by a secret power he possesses and the Leader's help, Matty will heal the people who have nourished his body and spirit; willing to pay the ultimate price.

The second installment of Ms. Lowry's trilogy is just as fantastic as the first.Again, I could not put the book down and read it in one day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Books
The book came in the shape is was listed as and arrived right when it was promised!

4-0 out of 5 stars The value of keeping one's identity, nice finish to the trilogy
Messenger attempts to put together all the pieces from the first two companion books, The Giver and Gathering Blue. Similar to the other two books, Messenger deals with a society which is dystopic in nature, where mass thought seem to take control of community, and where individuals must not only question their roles, but be wary of what it is to be a just person. Many times individuals must question the choices of leaders, or the masses, and break away from them if it for the common good. Matty, the protagonist, experiences this type of conflict in trying to comprehend the greed that is overtaking society. He also comes to understand what his gift is, and how he must use it for a moral purpose.

What I like about Lois Lowry books is that they have a deeper level of meaning which goes beyond the tale; Messenger is no different. In Messenger, one of the themes explored is the negative effects greed has. Greed can come various forms, wanting possessions or changing who you are. A lesson presented is that people should never barter who they are, even their shortcomings, physical defects, etc, for personal gain. Many characters change in ugly ways when they trade part of themselves to attain wealth, possessions, or physical gains. Matty's friend, Ramon, boasting about getting a Gaming Machine, seems to tempt Matty into an envious position of also wanting something to occupy his time. However, it becomes obvious that Ramon's family must deal with consequences of trade later in the novel. Mentor, a well-respected village member, also changes into an ugly person when he trades away his good qualities for his own gain. He loses his physical defects, but becomes a bitter, angry, greedy individual.

Messenger stresses an important aspect that the other two books emphasize--the importance of finding one's calling, or gift, and using it for the right reason. Although Matty resents much of what Seer says, reacting like a typical teenager to the wise old man, by novel's end the lessons the Seer have presented make a significant difference in Matty's role. Matty, knowing he must assist Kira through the forest in a last-chance hope of reuniting with her father, uses spiritual wisdom taught to him to keep him focused in the book's final climactic moments.

Messenger is an easy simple read. You could probably finish the book in one day's time. But, it is a fun book, which moral attached. I would probably rank Messenger in between The Giver and Gathering Blue, with The Giver (five stars) being the far superior book from its sequels and Messenger (four stars) ranking slightly above Gathering Blue (four stars). All three books are definitely worthy reads dealing with dystopic society. Having some information about the previous two books definitely helps in the reading of Messenger, but it isn't a necessity.

... Read more

4. The Worlds of Lois Lowry 3 Copy Boxed Set (The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger)
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: Pages (2006-08-22)
list price: US$26.85 -- used & new: US$16.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385733895
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When Jonas turns 12, he is singled out for special training from The Giver. Now, it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets--and an extraordinary power of her own.
Matty has always been proud to be Village's Messenger. But now that Village is closing its once-welcoming doors, Matty must make one last journey through the treacherous forest, and must make a great sacrifice to save the place he loves.
The Worlds of Lois Lowry are brought to life through three extraordinary characters, and the unexpected connections among their lives. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Books
LOVED "The Giver" when I was a child. These books are great sort of 'dystopia' novels for children, as well as for adults. The additional sequels aren't quite as inspirational as the original, but they're entertaining nonetheless.

The book quality is decent, given it's a relatively lower-end paperback book set.

4-0 out of 5 stars 3 Wonderful Books
I can pretty clearly remember the first time I read The Giver. I was probably nine or ten, and had developed a love for reading.I read hundreds of books, but the only one that really stood out to me or made a real impression was The Giver. I was too young to catch some of the subtleties, but I could still understand the emotion and plot of the book. It piqued my interest and I have loved it ever since. I just recently decided I should reread the book and get the other two with it just for kicks.I found myself blazing through them, and enjoying them all even though I'm not a fan of children's books in general.Although the greatest book of the series will always be The Giver, the other two were still interesting reads.In some ways I think The Giver was cheapened a bit by having the story half-continue on into the other books (with the same character) However, that was not my choice to make, it is Lois Lowry's world, and her characters to do with as she pleases. Overall, I enjoyed these books, and they would be a good set to have if you liked the Giver or if you have kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars A treasure for all ages
I bought this collection as a last minute add to my cart. I have read each of them and loved them. They are considered young adult fiction, but that is too narrow a classification. My twenty-something daughter origianlly loaned copies to me and I am in my 50's! They are for adults as well! Just as CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia are not only for youth, neither are Lois Lowery books. I am pleased to be able to reread my own copies and proud to have them in my bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stories
Adults and kids alike will love these.Give as a gift to a pre-teen or like I did a birthday gift to a friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger
I received the books in a timely manner and they were like new.
And I also enjoyed reading them. They were very interesting books ... Read more

5. Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
Mass Market Paperback: 136 Pages (1998-02-09)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440227534
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated". Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life. An ALA Notable Book. A "School Library Journal" Best Book of the Year. Teacher's Guide. BDD Online-Teacher's Resource Center.Amazon.com Review
The evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark is one of the greatuntold stories of World War II. On September 29, 1943, word got out inDenmark that Jews were to be detained and then sent to the death camps.Within hours the Danish resistance, population and police arranged a smallflotilla to herd 7,000 Jews to Sweden. Lois Lowry fictionalizes a true-storyaccount to bring this courageous tale to life. She brings the experience tolife through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen, whose familyharbors her best friend, Ellen Rosen, on the eve of the round-up and helpssmuggles Ellen's family out of the country. Number the Stars won the1990 Newbery Medal. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (777)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Holocaust story for children
I listened to this as a quick audio book.I have been fascinated by stories of the Holocaust for years, especially children's stories like Anne Frank.This story was interesting as it was told in Denmark from the point of view of a Danish girl whose friend was Jewish, but the Danish girl was not.

I liked the narrator's innocence in the story.She did not know what was going on because her parents did not tell her.When she started to figure out that they were keeping information from here, or flat out lying, she asked a parent or uncle.However, when asked, it was explained to her that sometimes it is better not to know.One can be braver in the face of danger if they do not know all that is going on.

I also enjoyed Lowry's portion after the end of the story where she explained that while the characters themselves were fictional, a lot of the events in the story were factual events.Lowry wanted to give a voice to some of the youth of the Resistance and I think she did this quite well, in a story set up not just for adults to understand, but children and young adults as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better condition than I was expecting!
I had been looking for this book for quite some time and was pleased at the price and speed of delivery. My expectations were exceeded when it came to the condition of the book. I'm very pleased!

5-0 out of 5 stars number the stars review
oh my gosh. this book is such a good story. i love it so much. it mostly talks about world war two and how the nazis caputered the jews or what the jews do for their holiday but man.... this is rocks..

5-0 out of 5 stars Great service
Really quick and easy service.I got the book at a great price and it was in great shape.

4-0 out of 5 stars worth reading
This is a very good book and definitely worth reading.For me and my daughter, who was 11 when we read it, it just wasn't a great book. It did not pull us in the way a great book does, it didn't stay with us for long.
What I did like about this book was that it was a relatively gentle way to present the holocaust to a child.My daughter resists anything that she thinks is going to be too sad, and this book is one she could get through.She could relate well to the girls in the book and the story is powerful enough to have an impact without being overwhelming. ... Read more

6. Gossamer
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 176 Pages (2008-01-08)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385734166
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Littlest One is a tiny creature slowly learning her job of giving dreams to humans. Each night she and her teacher, Thin Elderly, visit an old woman’s home where she softly touches beloved objects, gathering happy memories, and drops of old scents and sounds. Littlest One pieces these bits together and presents them to her sleeping human in the form of pleasant dreams. But the dreaded Sinisteeds, dark fearsome creatures that plague their victims with nightmares, are always at work against the dreamgivers. When the old woman takes in John, an angry foster child with a troubled past, the Sinisteeds go after him with their horrifying nightmares. Can Littlest One, and her touch light as gossamer, protect John’s heart and soul from the nightmare of his dark past? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

1-0 out of 5 stars it put me to sleep
i was reading it and i literally fell asleep! the story plot line was dumb. who cares about saving someone from having nightmares. not me

5-0 out of 5 stars A book full of gentle spirit and ethereal beauty
Without a doubt, Lois Lowry's books stand out when compared with some of the other fare on contemporary bookshelves --- and thankfully Lowry has been recognized for it. In 1990, she won her first Newbery Medal for NUMBER THE STARS, a fictionalized account based on the true story about a group of Christians in Denmark who saved their Jewish neighbors from persecution during World War II. She received her second Newbery Medal in 1994 for THE GIVER, probably her most well-known book to date. Now her audience can experience the joy of reading the much-lauded GOSSAMER in paperback --- a book that is so beautifully written and so poignant in message that its glowing reception from booksellers, media outlets and, of course, readers has given new meaning to the expression "three time's the charm."

GOSSAMER tells the story of a group of mythical creatures (for lack of a better expression to describe them) who create and distribute dreams. After being assigned to various households by their leader, Most Ancient, the creatures settle into their roles as dream weavers by "touching" objects in the house (photographs, articles of clothing, trinkets on a bureau) and gathering memories from them. After they acquire enough meaningful fragments, the dreamgivers combine them to create a story, or dream, to bestow on the sleeping inhabitants. This process is how dreams are born.

So, too, are nightmares conjured up by the evil Sinisteed Hordes, who attempt to undo all the good that the dreamgivers impart by banding together to flood their victims' subconscious with dark and stormy thoughts. If enough insidious nightmares are inflicted upon these sleeping individuals, their waking hours can become increasingly negative and damaging until they can no longer remember how to be happy and at peace. In this agitated state, they are a great risk to those around them and to society as a whole.

In addition to providing a unique and imaginative explanation as to where dreams and nightmares come from, GOSSAMER also tells the moving story of an angry boy and a lonely old lady who are brought together under unfortunate circumstances. John, the boy, has been uprooted from his abusive home, and the woman suffers from loneliness after the death of her husband. As a way to find companionship and to give back to the world, the woman agrees to take John in for a summer until his real mother can get back on her feet. The bond that forms between the two isolated characters is so subtle yet so ripe with feeling that by the book's conclusion you wonder how they ever could have been apart. Finally, Littlest One and Thin Elderly infuse John's and the woman's dreams with enough peace, love and positive energy to enrich their souls and ward off negative thoughts, and the result is pure magic.

Lowry's 2006 offering brims with sentiment and wisdom. It is evident that she has taken great care to write a narrative that will both teach and touch its readers. A book full of gentle spirit and ethereal beauty, GOSSAMER succeeds on all levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Awesome "Fairy" Tale
Gossamer by Lois Lowry is a wonderful fantasy book. At the un-named lady's house, fairy world, and a school, Fastidious, Littlest One, John, and his mom each have their own problems, but Fastidious, Littlest One and John all must face the sinisteeds and try to make it through the horrible nightmares given. When the sinisteeds come to invade John's dreams, Littlest One must save him from that dreadful fate. Littlest One has a job that requires facing the sinisteeds and winning. Will Littlest One complete or fail training, and receive her new name? With a theme of dreams and nightmares any Lois Lowry fan who likes serious books will love Gossamer.

4-0 out of 5 stars A most charming thimbleful of diamonds shining brightly
This story shows once again, how very fertile Lowry's mind is, and how very well she can apply those unique perspectives to lifelike situations.While the beginning left me wondering if the apprentice dream-giver, Littlest One, and her mentor and responsibilities weren't entirely too cutsie an idea for me, I'm glad I persisted.Littlest One and the `grownup' dream givers are cleverly made and the evil nightmare-inducing sinisteeds a most appropriate counterpoint to the dream-givers, who focus on giving good dreams.Littlest, as she is known, and her master end up working the house of a kind retired woman who takes in a troubled foster boy.His life has been problem-filled, particularly when one considers the hostility he projects on others as expression of the horrors he has faced.He wants his mother back, and she wants his return as well.The sinisteeds also have designs on the boy, John.It becomes Littlest's goal to ease him out of his difficult mental state, one which the sinisteeds identify as a weakness that they can exploit.The long and short: it's an enjoyable story, a fast read for an adult and an appropriate one for intermediate grade readers, and I recommend it to both groups.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lives up to Lois Lowry standards
I read this book because I really enjoyed reading The Giver and Number the Stars. These are two books I've considered re-reading since I am now young professional age.

Gossamer is a cute story about a new dream-giver that shows curiosity and excitement over everything that is new to her--which is everything! She is young and full of innocence but at the same time a wise young..thing..

John is a troubled boy who is inflicted with nightmares and is Littlest One's first assignment.

These 2 stories are pulled together through the chapters of the book that are actively about him, and through Littlest and what she sees when she touches his belongings to gather information and memories to incorporate in the dreams she gives John.

I really enjoyed this book and read it really fast(it's short), however felt a little bit of a hanger at the end leaving me wanting to know more. I'll leave it at that so I don't spoil anything. ... Read more

7. Anastasia at your Service
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 160 Pages (1984-01-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440402905
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Twelve-year-old Anastasia has a series of disastrous experiences when, expecting to get a job as a lady's companion, she is hired instead to be a maid. Sequel to "Anastasia again". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MAID!!!!!BY Shelby
Anastasia, a 13-year-old girl, just moved.All her friends are on vacation to places like Aspen, CO, so they can't do anything.Anastasia is going to work as a companion to elderly rich ladies; Mrs. Bellingham is her old wealthy lady. "This is going to be great!" she said. The first day she had to be a maid for an emergency.She polished silver, cleaned carpets, and set tables.Day after day of work, she was a maid even if there was no emergency.One day they had another party, but this time it was for her granddaughter's, Daphne's, birthday.Daphne and she became wonderful friends, and Daphne was going into 7th grade as Anastasia was.Daphne and Anastasia were so mad at Mrs. Bellingham they designed a prank.Will they do it? Read Anastasia at Your Service to find out!I recommend this book to all readers, because it is interesting and funny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cute book
This is one of my all-time favorite Anastasia books.You start reading it thinking it is going to be boring, because, after all, what can be exciting about a book about helping an old lady?Well, you are in for a pleasant surprise because the humor and lesson Anastasia learns just draws you in.It is a really cute story.

2-0 out of 5 stars what I think.
I would not recomend this book because there was no suspense, no
action, no nothing.it was dead!

5-0 out of 5 stars Anastasia at your Service
This story is about a girl named Anastasia Krupnik who is on summer vacation. She is a twelve year old girl who is a maid for a wealthy old lady named: Mrs. Bellingham. But Anastasia wanted to become a companion instead of maid, she was too scared to tell Mrs. Bellingham. So she works hard and does what the other maids tell her to do. Anastasia worked VERY VERY hard.Anastasia has another problem at home too. Her brother, Sam, a two-year-old boy had a terrible accident. One night he was getting something and he fell out his window which is a tall height. Anastasia was at Daphne's house. Anastasia met Daphne at Mrs. Bellingham's party. Daphne is Mrs. Bellingham's granddaughter. When Anastasia found out she was really sad. The people at the hospital had to shave his hair. Now that Sam is bald he calls himself Bald Eagle. Then he talks about a lady named Ms. Flypaper. His family think she's an imaginary friend. He talks about her often when he finally got home. At the end of the summer Anastasia and Sam went to Mrs. Bellingham's place to get Anastasia's pay. When Sam saw Mrs. Bellingham he was shocked to see her again. Ms. Flypaper was Mrs. Bellingham because she volunteers at the hospital. She was the one who took care of Sam. I really enjoyed this INTERESTING book. It was a nice story and I hope others would like it too! You should read these Anastasia Krupnik series because it is very detailed that you actually think you are right there watching it happen!

4-0 out of 5 stars AnastasiaAt Your Service
Anastasia At Your Service is about a 12 year old girl who put an ad out to be a companion to an elderly, wealthy, woman. Instead Mrs.Bellingham who is a rich old woman who Anastasia works for made Anastasia servant. Anastasia became friends with Mrs.Bellingham’s granddaughter Daphne. Anastasia and Daphne agree that Mrs.Bellingham is really mean. So they have a plan to humiliate her at a party, but how will they do it? If you like drama, comedy, and mystery you should read this book by Lois Lowry. ... Read more

8. The Silent Boy (Readers Circle)
by Lois Lowry
Mass Market Paperback: 208 Pages (2005-01-11)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440419808
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Precocious Katy Thatcher comes to realize what a gentle, silent boy did for his family. He meant to help, not harm. It didn’t turn out that way.

“The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katy’s world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the 20th century.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Silent Boy review by a children's book lover
The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry is a sweet tale.I haven't quite figured out what Lowry's themes are about, but according to her website, they are about human connections. I'm not sure I agree.But anyway, this is a delightful book. Not in a silly kind of way, like some of her others, but because the main character, Katy, has no prejudice and has an open, curious spirit.While the title would lead you to believe that the story is a bout the boy, it isn't really.The Silent Boy, Jacob, seems to me to only be a peripheral character. The child does not speak, and because of that is called many awful names that Katy seeks to understand.

I chose this book because I though it would address children with disabilities.Jacob is eventually sent to an asylum where they care for mentally ill and possibly disabled people.I was hoping for more insight into Jacob's disability but I guess that would have been too difficult a topic for a children's book.Each chapter contains a vintage photo which helps the reader visualize the characters.It is an interesting feature.
The Silent Boy is a fine book and an enjoyable read. I give it 3 paws!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book That Strikes Close To Home
Growing up I had a great uncle, my grandmothers brother who had a condition simular to Jacobs. He was born a normal boy in the 1920's but when he was around 4 or 5 he contracted a very bad case of measles. He was one of the rare cases that developed encephalitis or swelling of the brain. As such he suffered severe brain damage.

While my uncle didn't have the exact same symptoms as jacob, he dealt with the same type of prejudice from people who didn't understand him, who ridiculed him and over reacted to the things he did. And like Jacob he was institutionalized for it (though thankfully for only a short period of time).

This book deals heavily with those issues that face the way we treat the mentally handicapped even today. Told 80 years after the fact, it becomes clear that this was a defining issue in Katy's childhood, the one that made her realize that there is definate injustice in the world.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Book for Mature Audience
I hadn't thought much of the book through most of it, however, toward the very end an event happens that touched me deeply. It's quite hinted at that something dreadful took place and before I got to the unveiling of that, I didn't know if I could continue reading this and thankfully, quickly realized I was on the wrong track.

I ache at the unfairness of it. Yes, the occurrence itself was sad, however, the resulting consequence to a particular individual did not seem fitting.

Giving it 2 stars doesn't seem fitting either and yet most of the story was quite prosaic. Not much happening except day-to-day events of the young main character. However, the climactic event really peaked it out. At that point, it had an Of Mice and Men feel to it, hence the mature audience bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ms Lowry Does it Again
I adore reading children's literature.A gifted author can put into a few pages what a less gifted author cannot fit into 500 pages.Ms Lowry is to be admired because her books are different.She is not stuck in one genre or type of book.This book also delivers on many levels.

Ms Lowry gives us the narrator Katy and a vast cast of supporting characters.Her mother and father.Her father is the town doctor.I enjoyed the scenes with father & daughter when he goes on calls & takes Katy along.He seems to be a wise man.In a era when children did not learn the facts of life, he tells her where babies come from, complete with pictures.Katy's best friend Jessy is a character totally different from Katy.Jessy drops things, says the wrong thing at the wrong time.Katy is aware of this in a very mature manner.Naomi the cook is seldom directly seen.She just conveniently leaves food.Naomi left a pie for supper.

The story really begins with the arrival of Peggy the teenage hired girl.Peggy is a level headed practical girl.Peggy's flighty red haired sister, Nellie, works for the neighbors.Peggy & Nellie come from the country to earn money.Through Peggy we meet her brother Jacob, who roams the country petting the animals, but doesn't talk.Many people in the town think he is touched or perhaps deaf/mute.Katy befriends Jacob & takes an interest in his comings & goings.

The story ends with Nellie getting into trouble & being sent back to the farm.Katy hears the adults discussing this in whispers.So she is not sure of what has happened to Nellie.
I won't give away the ending.But the book takes a rather abrupt turn with Nellie's departure.The story doesn't have a happy ending.Many people are hurt by the turn of events.

This story would be a great book club book.It would be suited for mature kids over the age of twelve or so.I don't think younger children should read this book.But I think older girls or boys would find this a well written book.And it's a book any adult could enjoy also.It is the rare writer who can write in such a way that doesn't talk down to children and that adults can also enjoy.

2-0 out of 5 stars silent boy review
The book was described as used and the cover pages were bent, however when I received the book the binding is also broken and the pages are about to fall out. ... Read more

9. Giver
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 176 Pages (1994)

Isbn: 0006748287
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific read
I was required to buy this book for a class.I had never heard of the book before.It became the kind of book that was difficult to put down once I began reading it.Somewhat unusual story line, but as a future teacher, the book contains so many great concepts from which to teach from.Highly recommend it, though I would probably not involve children until late middle school. ... Read more

10. All About Sam (Sam Krupnik)
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 135 Pages (1989-10-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440402212
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Anastasia Krupnick's many fans have known her little brother Sam for a long time. For the first time, he gets to tell things the way he sees them--and he's worth listening to. Illustrated.Amazon.com Review
Sam's big sister Anastasia (Anastasia Krupnik, Anastasia at Your Service)thinks he's, well, there's no other word for it, weird. Theirparents say he's precocious. But Sam knows, even on the morning of hisbirth, when there are bright lights, and he's cold, and someone ismessing around with his belly button, that he's just Sam. And as theyounger brother of the original drama queen herself, Anastasia, Samdeserves a book all to himself. From those early moments at thehospital, to his first steps and words, to his lively days of nurseryschool, Sam escorts the reader through his mischief-filled life. Hishighly developed--and hilarious--verbal skills allow readers to getbehind the fascinating logic of a toddler: Why won't it rain lipsticksand plastic pretzels if he flushes them down the toilet? And the Kingof Worms most certainly does deserve a prize at the pet show. Award-winningLois Lowry has an uncanny ability to understand children ofany age. Without ever patronizing, she manages to make their foibles wildlyfunny and unerringly true. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

This book is mainly about Sam Krupnik. He has a sister, Anastasia Krupnik, and a mom and dad. Sam is a decent enough little boy, but he doesn't behave totally well. Anastasia annoys her little brother and her little brother annoys her.His mom and dad take care of him well, but also get irritated easily. The book tells about his life from newborn to toddler. It was boring in some parts in my opinion, but good enough. It was funny too. I recommend this book to all ages.

Jaime S. a.k.a StarGirl

5-0 out of 5 stars A Review About All About Sam
A Review About All About Sam

I thought All About Sam was great because it was a cute story!! The good thing was when Sam's family moved to the new house.I always wanted to move to my beach house in Ocean City, Maryland.
My favorite character is Sam because he has a great personality and he's funny!My favorite part is when Sam once put his mom's earrings, his pretzel and some of his mom's lipstick and other stuff in the toilet.He thought that if it rained the stuff that he put in the toilet would fall out of the sky.I loved All About Sam a lot.There is a sequel to it - it's called Attaboy Sam.I wish I could read it again!! I also wish to read Attaboy Sam!!


3-0 out of 5 stars All about Sam
This book is a good book that I will read again.Sam is nice and he has a sister that is crazy, she does this thing with a code that I think is weird and so did Sam in the book. You shouldbe sure to read this book!

Maggie H. 4th grader

5-0 out of 5 stars Sam Is The Best
I really loved this book it made me laugh alot

Allie G. Age 9 Holland, P.A.

5-0 out of 5 stars All About Sam lit response
I think when Sam grows up he'll have many friends.
1. Sam is going to be a funny person. When I read the reviews it gave me the idea that he is going to have a real adventure. He is a bit fruity. When he gets a bit older he causes a lot of MIESTEF!!!!! ... Read more

11. The Willoughbys
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 176 Pages (2010-03-23)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385737769
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Willoughby's—Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane—are old-fashioned children who adore old-fashioned adventures. Unfortunately, the Willoughby parents are not very fond of their children, and the truth is that the siblings are not too keen on their parents either. Little do the Willoughby kids know that their neglectful mother and father are hatching an evil plan to get rid of them! Not to worry—these resourceful adventurers have a few plans of their own. But they have no idea what lies ahead in their quest to rid themselves of their ghastly parents and live happily ever after. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

3-0 out of 5 stars ho hum
Parent/child and child/parent interaction bothered me.Wanting their parents to go on a dangerous vacation and hoping something would befall them was a little strong...but then so was abandoning the children and even selling the house out from under them...while blistfully enjoying a vacation w/o giving the well-being of their children a second thought.It did, however, have some interesting plot twists that I did not see coming. I guess I expected a different type story from the title.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quirky fun for the whole family
I picked up the audio version of The Willoughbys for a family roadtrip with my husband and kids (we're in our early thirties, kids are 7, 4, and 2).We all thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way in which it was read--so much fun we listened to it more than twice--some parts were so good we had to re-listen.Even the younger two enjoyed listening, even if they didn't really get the story (I'll not soon forget the chants of "mo' Wiwwobees" from the backseat!)

1-0 out of 5 stars Lowrey really wrote this?
Terrible.Obviously borrowed material thrown together in a trite, predictable, sometimes ridiculous story.If Lois didn't write it, it would never have been published.

5-0 out of 5 stars A laugh out loud book for all ages...
Four children dream of being proper orphans. Like the good orphans in old-fashioned stories. They don't like their parents too terribly much (their parents don't like them either), so they decide to send them on a dangerous vacation hoping that they will meet an ill fate. They receive a nanny but are disheartened when they get good news from their parents. They meet a hermit that they gave a baby to and they all become good friends and who knows maybe even more.

This book was laugh out loud funny. I love how this was written, so proper sounding, yet ridiculously fun. I definitely recommend you pick this up and read it. It will only take you a very short time and you will be giggling about it until the end. I can't say too much about it without giving it all away. I love the glossary in the back and the Bibliography of all the "old-fashioned" books the kids wanted to style themselves after. The writing was very thorough and correct as we have come to expect from this writer. Definitely not the Lois we know from The Giver or Number the Stars, I quite like how outrageously delicious this novel is. READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT! Thank you and good day.

P.S. this book may put you in a silly mood for quite some time.

First Line:
"Once upon a time there was a family named Willoughby: an old-fashioned type of family, with four children. "

Favorite Line"
"They forgot you , dear. I was actually quite surprised after they left and I settled in and found four children. They had told me they had three."

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest childrens book I have ever read.
I teach fifth grade and bought this book for my classroom library. I love this book. I have since bought several copies. This book is very smart in that it uses higher level thinking in it's humor. I have also given the book to a few adults and they love it as well. As an educator I have read dozens if not hundreds of books geared for children and this is by far my favorite. I would recommend this book to all people over the age of 9. The book also has a glossary in the back that explains some of the more elevated language in the book, a great way to expand a child's vocabulary! ... Read more

12. The Birthday Ball
by Lois Lowry
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2010-04-12)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 054723869X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Bored, bored, bored. It’s all Princess Patricia Priscilla can think as her sixteenth birthday approaches. It’s less than a week before the Birthday Ball, where she will choose her husband from a group of unappealing suitors.


But things around the kingdom get pretty interesting when Princess Patricia Priscilla disguises herself as a peasant and starts attending the village school. She may not be spending her days in the comfort of the castle, clothed in silk, but at least life in the village is fun. It doesn’t hurt that the new schoolmaster is young and handsome.

In this tale of mistaken identity, creamed pigeons, and young love, the two-time Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry compares princesses to peasants and finds them to be exactly the same in all the important ways.Amazon.com Review
Product Description
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 fate--for 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 schoolmaster. Disgusting suitors, lovable peasants, and the clueless king and queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Priscilla 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.

A Q&A with Lois Lowry, Author of The Birthday Ball

Q: In the book, Princess Patricia Priscilla disguises herself as a peasant to attend school. Have you ever gone anywhere incognito?

A: Funny you asked! Back when I used to write for the Maine Times, I once took off my wedding ring and went to a singles dance. Such events were unusual back then--this would have been early 1970s. I remember meeting--and dancing with--a guy whose occupation was gravedigger. "That's seasonal work, of course," he said.

Q: Many of your books end with people finding strength or love or hope in another human being. Do you set out to impart a message of kindness in your work?

A: No, I never set out with anything. But when on my Facebook profile there was a place to fill in "Religion," I typed in "the Dalai Lama." I did so not because I am Buddhist--I'm not--but because I remembered reading that he once said "My religion is kindness." That seems the best sort of message, to me.

Q: Your first book was published in 1977. How do you think publishing for young people has changed since then? And have you noticed a difference in how kids interact with authors and the kinds of questions they ask you?

A: Writing for kids has become a very trendy occupation. Probably soon "children’s author" will replace "lawyer" as the answer to "What is virtually everybody becoming?" And so it is now a more competitive field, which is probably a good thing, because competition always raises the quality. But on the downside, it has become more commercial, I think, and sometimes less literary.
As far as kids' communication, in the early days it was handwritten, heartfelt letters. Now it is more often unpunctuated, school-assignment e-mails. With wonderful exceptions, of course.

The covers of Lois Lowry's books often have interesting stories and personal connections to Lowry. Here she talks about a few:

The Giver (1993):
I was doing a magazine article about Carl Nelson, a painter who lived on an island off the coast of Maine. By the time I wrote The Giver, he had died, but I had saved some of the photos I had done and used one the cover.

Messenger (2004):
This features a wonderful boy named Jesse, fourteen years old when I photographed him, and growing his first mustache. He offered to shave but I told him he didn't need to; I shaved off his mustache with Photoshop.

Number the Stars (1989):
The photograph on Number the Stars is of a family friend's daughter, taken originally as a portrait. Anna Katerina Johnson, who was ten when her parents hired me to photograph her in 1977, now has four children of her own.

The Silent Boy (2003):
This cover photograph was taken by my grandmother's sister, Mary Fulton Boyd, in 1912. She grew up in Pennsylvania, and after college went to New York to study photography--such a bold step for a woman in that era! I always admired her, and she left me her photographs when she died.

The Willoughbys (2008):
Illustrated by me!

(Photo © Neil Giordano)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Birthday Ball
I've recently become a father to a beautiful, four-month old baby girl. My wife and I, both elementary teachers, have already begun to fill her bookshelves with books like PINKALICIOUS and FANCY NANCY. I mention this only because a book like THE BIRTHDAY BALL is not a book I would normally gravitate to. I'll blame it on a new-found second nature, the grabbing of the lavender covered book, adorned with a sloppily drawn princess front and center, off our local library's shelf. But truth be told, it's authored by none other than Lois Lowry. The Lois Lowry of NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER fame. So on the record, it was because of my princess of a daughter that I grabbed this book. Off the record, I actually wanted to read it!

Princess Patricia Priscilla is terribly bored. Her mother cannot hear a word she says and her father is too busy tending to his collection of butterflies to care what she's up to. So bored she sits, in her castle, day after day with her chambermaid Tess tending to her every need. Until one day, Patricia coerces Tess into borrowing her identity and disguising herself as a peasant. She wants to dirty herself up. She wants to play in the streets, unnoticed. More than anything, she wants to go to school. But there's one problem. In mere days, Princess Patricia Priscilla will turn sixteen. And according to the Law of the Domain, age sixteen is when she must become a bride. Three unlikely suitors are traveling from far and wide to make their intent to marry public at Princess Patricia Priscilla's sweet sixteen Birthday Ball. But what will Princess Pat's intentions be?

This book was not at all what I expected. Here I was feeling less of a man for picking up this lavender princess story, only to find it filled to the brim with burping and farting jokes! It was actually hilarious. Something's come about with Lois Lowry in recent years. Books like NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER are no more. Instead, she seems to be sticking with the sly parodies like THE WILLOUGHBYS and THE BIRTHDAY BALL. Her incredible sense of storytelling is still present, no doubt. While I found some of THE WILLOUGHBYS to be funny, much of it utterly confused me. The same cannot be said for THE BIRTHDAY BALL. From the Queen's poor hearing, to the King's obsession with rare butterflies, to the Suitors' unique oddities (the Duke's unattractiveness, the Prince's vanity, the Conjoint Counts' immaturity), to the innocence of the peasant school children, there are laughs on nearly every page. And buried beneath the outlandish jokes, is a pretty worthwhile message!

In the opening pages, I didn't quite know what was in store for the reader regarding Princess Patricia Priscilla. The potential for a very unlikeable character is present. But it doesn't take long to realize there's more to this seemingly spoiled teenager than meets the eye. Sure she's ignorant and unknowingly rude at times, but she's also incredibly compassionate as well. The way she cares for some of the school children she meets and the way she befriends Tess, all both help illustrate the point Lowry is attempting to teach young readers, that princesses and peasants aren't that different after all. I think the 5th grade girls I teach would love this book. Even the boys who dig DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS humor would find something to laugh at and be entertained by!

I do have one slight concern with this title though. There are moments throughout the book where I worry that Lowry's sense of humor is a little too inappropriate and may even be viewed as offensive. Personally, I find nothing in here to be offended by and I think it's all done in tongue-in-cheek fashion. But I do fear that some parents would disagree with me. Especially considering the age range suggested is 9-12 year-olds. Jokes about "seduction" may go right over childrens' heads while jokes about "balls" and "farting" and "pee pee" are just flat out immature. The book definitely has the feel of a juvenile fiction piece (ages 9-12), but with lines like "very soon his saliva would be decorating her lovely pink neck", it's hard to envision this as anything but young adult.

In the hands of someone as skilled as Lois Lowry, I really wouldn't get too bent out of shape though. Sure, on the outside, this book has very little in common with her award winning novels NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER, but on the inside, beneath the belching and the farting and the dandruff, the message of THE BIRTHDAY BALL is just as poignant and just as relevant with today's readers. Princesses may be spoiled. Princesses may get what they want. But Princesses don't have to be shallow. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a teacher!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Lois Lowry has gained a well-deserved reputation as a versatile author, one who can write everything from funny family stories to dark dystopias with equal aplomb. Now, with THE BIRTHDAY BALL, she demonstrates her facility with the fairy tale genre, crafting a thoroughly satisfying story even as she turns many of the genre's expectations on its head.

At the center of the story is Princess Patricia Priscilla, who lives in a kingdom where the nobility have ridiculously long names, the commoners have humble, short ones --- and the two classes of people never, ever come into contact, at least not for anything approaching a real conversation.

But Princess Patricia Priscilla is extremely bored. She's tired of having nothing to do but prepare for the upcoming ball celebrating her 16th birthday, a ball that will also serve as her introduction to the leading suitors for her hand in marriage. These suitors --- ranging from Duke Desmond of Dyspepsia to Prince Percival of Pustula --- are all disgusting and ridiculous in their own ways, and the princess can't abide the thought of marrying any of them.

Desperate for a little adventure --- or at least an escape --- the princess trades clothes with her maid, Tess, takes the commoner-worthy name Pat, and makes her way to the village school, where she encounters Rafe, the idealistic young schoolmaster who is also on a quest --- for the love of his life. Can everyone find their hearts' desires before the sun sets on Princess Patricia Priscilla's birthday ball?

Strictly speaking, not much happens in THE BIRTHDAY BALL, but that's not really the point. Instead, Lowry revels here in comic character sketches, tongue-in-cheek humor, and witty wordplay. Her chapter-long introductions to each of the princess's suitors, for example, are little gems of character portrayal, not to mention the depictions of Rafe the schoolmaster, Tess the chamber maid, and, of course, the desperately bored princess herself. Princess Patricia's cat, Delicious, is no exception to Lowry's eye for detail, or her skills with wordplay, as she utilizes seemingly endless rhymes for "delicious" to great comic effect ("Don't be malicious, Delicious," the princess warns her cat as she eyes a passing rodent).

Contributing his talents to this delightfully witty fairy story is Jules Feiffer, the well-known cartoonist whose freely drawn line drawings brilliantly capture villains and heroines alike in just a few well-chosen lines. The match of text and illustration is close to perfect here, as both author and artist hone in on the ideal blend of sweetness and silliness. THE BIRTHDAY BALL should be required reading for girls (and boys) who have grown up surrounded by princess pop culture and who might need a reminder that princesses can aspire to all sorts of dreams --- and still find true love on the way.

4-0 out of 5 stars A New Kind of Fairy Tale
Lois Lowry is best known for her book The Giver-a dystopian YA novel about the roles we give each other and the complexities of human interaction. The Birthday Ball is nothing like The Giver.

Luckily, I agreed to review this novel because I was looking for a quick escape. Well...I not only got a good, fun read, but Lois Lowry took everything that I thought I knew about her writing style and changed it. For The Birthday Ball Lowry added numerous tricks to her resume. She added images to her story-scratchy drawings that just hint at the character's appearance. She focused on satire, following in Shrek's footsteps for its mockery of traditional fairy tales. And she wrote a novel that was written for a different audience than The Giver. The Birthday Ball is, in my opinion, primarily for young girls whereas The Giver always appealsmore to my male students.

At the beginning of The Birthday Ball, Priscella is not a feminist. Instead, she is a victim, and she is told that she must marry one of the suitors who attend her ball. Not willing to play that role any longer, she grabs her independence by doing the only risky thing she hasever done-she pretends to be someone else. And it is in this costume, that she then finds herself. So, it is this main lesson that I think will be good for the young audience that Lowry writes for. Priscella does not wait to be saved-she finds a way to save herself. She is a modern princess, and her "prince" is a self-made man who loves her because she is the smartest girl in the class.

Now I admit that I like the Twilight saga, but there is one area (okay there are many but I like the books anyway) that really irks me. Bella is a victim. She is constantly waiting for Edward to tell her what to do, for him to protect her, and for him to agree to the choices she has made for her life. Priscella doesn't wait for anyone. She wants to try something, and she does it.

Princess Patricia Priscilla might be the main character in a satire, but there is nothing funny about the independence that she shows and the wonderful example she is to young readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another look at the princess fairy tale...
The book introduces us to Princess Patricia Priscilla, aged 15, ALMOST 16. She pretends to be a village girl to see what life is like for common folks. She goes to the village school, and enjoys her time with the village people. We then meet the three princes. She must choose one of these princes to marry, when she turns 16. Big problem: She hates them all. They're all rude and conceited. What follows is the Birthday Ball (think sweet 16) during which the Princess is to announce her choice of princes. Princess Priscilla invites the villagers to the Birthday Ball, much to the king and queen's dismay. You'll have to read the rest of the book to find out what happens in the end! Any guesses??? :)

This book is well written and a new view on an old fairy tale theme. The illustration in my advance reader copy is pretty minimalistic (line drawings) and adds little to the book. Hopefully the version you purchase will be better in that regard.

My daughter enjoyed the book, and would recommend it for advanced readers in first grade through fourth grade.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute princess story
This book is great for little girls who can't get enough of princesses, and although Lowry includes some clever rhymes and wordplay (kudos for including SAT vocabulary words like avaricious, etc) that will mildly amuse any adult readers and expand the vocabulary of young ones, the story is lacking. The story is that age-old tale of royals masquerading as commoners, and although the ending isn't quite what I had expected, that is mostly because it came out of nowhere. I also wished that characters were more fully fleshed out and certain aspects of the plot were more fully explored, but I suspect that the target audience will not care about this one whit. ... Read more

13. Taking Care of Terrific
by Lois Lowry
Hardcover: 176 Pages (1983-04-27)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395340705
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Going to the park to broaden his horizons, fourteen-year-old babysitter Enid enjoys unexpected friendships with a bag lady and a black saxophonist. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars What a teenager's life is all about!
This story takes place in the present, at the Public Garden which is a park in the city. The setting is important because the Public Garden is where the characters had most of their adventures.

This book is mostly about a 14- year old girl named Enid Crowley who is a babysitter for a 4-year old boy named Joshua Cameran . they go to the Public Garden everyday and meet new friends, and have adventures, too.

In my opinion it was a pretty good book. Although, they did repeat things and that got boring. But, other than that it was an interesting book. I would recommend this book because you get really into it.

3-0 out of 5 stars What a teenager's life is all about!
This story takes place in the present, at the Public Garden which is a park in the city. The setting is important because the Public Garden is where the characters had most of their adventures.

This book is mostly about a 14- year old girl named Enid Crowley who is a babysitter for a 4-year old boy named Joshua Cameran . they go to the Public Garden everyday and meet new friends, and have adventures, too.

In my opinion it was a pretty good book. Although, they did repeat things and that got boring. But, other than that it was an interesting book. I would recommend this book because you get really into it.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Taking Care of Terrific" is a Terrific Book
This book is about a young four year old who is babysat by fourteen year old Enid. Enid takes this underprivledged youngster out on adventure after adventure,from a popcicle stand adventure to a boating experience. This book is great, but it also teaches you what not to do when you are babysitting a young child from a strict family. You'll love this book because it is a very touching story.

4-0 out of 5 stars favorite Lois Lowry book
If only Taking Care of Terrific would come back in print!It was one of my favorite books when I was about 12. I could relate to Enid's dislike for her name and her love of baby-sitting, and drawing.I received it as a gift at 9, but couldn't get into it.I wasn't allowed to babysit and didn't understand a lot of the vocabulary. I also was confused as to why a 14 year old girl would be so disobedient to her folks and her employer. Her parent's obvious disinterest in her was disturbing to me. However, it was nice to see her parents seemed to pay more attention to her at the end. I think a kid should be atleast 11 before reading this book. About once a year I still read this book.I still want to go to Boston and ride the swan boats because of this book's incredible discription of it. The subject of homelessness is compassionately dealt with.Enid just wants to recieve and give love. Her parents andher friends's competitive, snooty parents were blind to that. Kids need love and acceptance more than rules and regulations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Taking Care of Terrific was terrific!
The book I read was Taking Care of Terrific and the Author is Lois Lowry. This book is a wonderful book to read. It all starts out with a 14 year old girl named Enid. Enid is a wonderful girl who has a mother, father and a housekeeper, Mrs. Kolodny.Mrs. Kolodny gave Enid a message about babysitting for the Cameron's family. Enid went to the Cameron Family and the boy she had to look after was Joshua but his nickname is Tom Terrific. So Enid and Tom Terrific go to the Public Garden together and when they get their they meet a guy named Hawk. Hawk plays the saxophone. Also in the Public Garden are bag ladies. These bag ladies are homeless people who have no where to go. Enid asked Hawk why the bag ladies were so sad.They then started a discussion about why the bag ladies are upset and Hawk said probably because they had no root beer popsicles. So right then Enid had an idea to go on strike for rootbeer popsicles and that is what at Enid and Tom sit in the Public garden and draw pictures together of trees. Also Enid broke most of the rules that Joshua's mom made for him to follow. Enid also taught Joshua how to make prank phone calls. The next time Enid babysat she took Tom Terrific to the Public Park, Hawk was there too. They wondered if the bag ladies would like to ride on the swan boats that floated in the lake in the middle of the Public Garden. Hawk asked all the bag ladies if they would like to have a ride on the swan boats and they all said yes. My friend Seth Sandroff helped us with it. We drew out our plan and got all the bag ladies loaded up into swan boats and gave them a ride. They showed the homeless all a great time. I liked this book because it was entertaining.I liked the fact that Enid was interested in making people happy and having them experience new things.I liked that she took a chance of getting into trouble to make a little boys life brighter and more exciting.I would recommend this book to anyone. ... Read more

14. A Summer to Die
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 160 Pages (2007-04-24)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385734204
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Meg isn't thrilled when she gets stuck sharing a bedroom with her older sister Molly. The two of them couldn't be more different, and it's hard for Meg to hide her resentment of Molly's beauty and easy popularity. But now that the family has moved to a small house in the country, Meg has a lot to accept.

Just as the sisters begin to adjust to their new home, Meg feels that Molly is starting up again by being a real nuisance. But Molly's constant grouchiness, changing appearance, and other complaints are not just part of a new mood. And the day Molly is rushed to the hospital, Meg has to accept that there is something terribly wrong with her sister. That's the day Meg's world changes forever. Is it too late for Meg to show what she really feels?

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars "A Summer to Die" is a Call to Live
As "A Summer to Die" was one of my favorite books when I was younger, I decided to purchase and reread it. The book tells a realistic story of a young girl's relationship with her family, particularly emphasizing true-to-life feelings of sibling jealousy, rivalry, guilt, and ultimately, love. A tender, beautifully heartbreaking story, this tale will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!
The problem is that Molly (Meg the main characters sister) is always having bloody noses that never seem to stop & they don't know what it is. One of the main events is that Meg's parents are treating Molly like she is some kind of experiment, by saying stuff like '' How many blood tests should we take. Which bottle should we use to hold her sample.'' medicine).
The solution is that Molly's family takes her to the doctors. They say she has a rare cancer & she is going to die this summer so they need to take blood samples if there is any chance of keeping her alive.

'' I loved this book because the way Meg fought for her sister. There were no parts I disliked about it. I think the writer did a great job!''

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing, touching story...
I would recommend this book to all Middle Schoolers.It's sad but definitely worth reading.The characters and their relationships are really touching and realistic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Warning; description of live birth!
I would screen this book before letting your younger children read it for two reasons.One; I remember reading this book as a young teen in Jr. High and it really depressed me. As others have mentioned, I didn't find a lot of resolution at the end.So be warned that it's a very emotional book with a troubling topic which was really complicated by her family's lack of communication.Two; I remember Meg witnessing a home birth so if you don't want to deal with that topicI wouldn't recommend this book as there are others out there that deal with cancer and/or sibling rivalry.I can't remember how much detail there was about the birth, but it was graphic enough that I remember it happening and thinking "oh...my".I had already had sex ed and witnessed a birth on video.Most Jr. high and teen girls would handle it okay, but it might be an eye opener for anyone younger than that.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's a summer to die all right
Lowis Lowry has a few special qualities to her work, having read most her work which could qualify for adults.This books opens with two sisters in a spat, drawing a line across their shared bedroom with chalk.That side yours, this side mine..But as you can imagine from the name of the book, such differences fall to the way side. ... Read more

15. Anastasia at this Address (Anastasia Krupnik)
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 144 Pages (1992-07-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440406528
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Thirteen-year-old Anastasia stretches the truth in her answer to an ad in the personals column written by a twenty-eight-year-old SWM, but is shocked when he actually asks to meet her. Reprint. PW. K. AB. Amazon.com Review
"SWM, 28, boyish charm, inherited wealth, looking for tall young woman,nonsmoker, to share Caribbean vacations, reruns of Casablanca, andromance."

To 13-year-old Anastasia Krupnik, this Single White Male from themagazine personals section sounds perfect. And really, she's not lyingwhen she writes to say she is tall, young, hates smoking, has seenCasablanca so many times she can recite some of it, is quite sure shewould like Caribbean vacations, and is definitely ready for romance.And later, when she writes to say she owns a sloop and that she racesoccasionally, well, that's not exactly a lie either. Tension andhilarity build as Anastasia digs herself deeper into this embroilment.When SWM writes to say he would like to meet her, it looks like the jigis finally up. How will our outspoken, fast-thinking, SWF get herselfout of this mess? Anastasia, the subject of many award-winning books by LoisLowry, is a terrificmodern role model for girls. Headstrong, independent, warm, and open,she manages to pull herself out of every one of the many predicamentsshe gets into. As she struggles with the changing feelings ofadolescence, she maintains a good, yet realistic, relationship with herparents and young brother. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book
This is one of my favorite books that i have read. A lot of people would like this book if they are girls. Anastasia is trying to have a fabolous summer and trying to find a boyfriend. Anastasia goes to a wedding and later finds out that the penpal or boyfriend she is writing to turns out at the wedding and he is driving her nuts. Find out what is ging to happen in the reat of the book. READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A little scary in today's world...
Although I read and loved the "Anastasia Krupnik" books while growing up, I have to say that I wouldn't recommend this one...

Essentially, 13-year-old Anastasia spots a personals section at the back of a magazine, and decides to write to a 28-year-old man. She takes care not to outright lie, although she certainly omits and stretches many things about herself...most importantly, that she is an eighth-grader.

The two correspond for some time, until Anastasia's new friend tells her he will be coming to Boston for a family wedding and wants to meet her. Since he has her address, Anastasis is in a blind panic, desperate to get rid of him but not knowing how.

Because this book is part of the "Anastasia" series, the situation manages to resolve itself without much damage. However, that isn't exactly a realistic message to convey to today's adolescents, especially given all the already-existing problems with misrepresentation on MySpace and other internet sites. Things may have been a bit different twenty years ago, when this series first came out; but today, Lowry could do better to teach girls that it is NEVER okay to misrepresent themselves to strangers, especially ones older than themselves. Not everyone in such a situation - having hinted at wanting a romance and giving out her real address - will be so lucky.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book, but it needs to be more realistic!
I liked this book, it was very funny and interesting, but one thing. Anastasia is too naive and Sam is too smart! I'm an eleven year old and I know. In this book, Anastasia acts exactly the same as she did when she was ten in her first book. She also seems to still have the same intelligence, too. I am much smarter than her, and so is the dumbest kid in my class. Also, Sam is too smart! He is two or three in that book, and he has a complete vocabulary. Though there are many three year olds who can talk just as well, if Anastasia is very dumb and Sam is very smart, it just doesn't work out. But aside from that, this is a great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read Book!!
Lois Lowry has written many great novels including Anastasia at ThisAddress.The main character is Anastasia; she is a spunky, city girl, from Boston, Massachusetts.Anastasia is 13 and wants a boyfriend.Anastasia does something very unusual to accomplish her goal.
This book is a must read book!The novel deals with relationships, because Anastasia wants a relationship with someone who is 13 years older than her.When Anastasia is waiting for a letter from her �pen pal� the anticipation is greatly increased.Some novels have great expectations as does this one, I expected it would deal with growing up and it did.As you can see this book is a must read.
Lois Lowry is a Must read Author that can change the way you look at things.She was born on March 20, 1937 in Hawaii.Lois has published over 20 novels, and winner of the Newbery Medal twice.Her books bring readers into many thought-provoking situations.Lois Lowry is a woman to be admired by all people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
This is a wonderful book.It is one of the very best in the Anastasia series.It is absolutely hilarious and really draws you in.It is such a page-turner.One thing that is great about it is a total twist of plot near the end which is a total surprise that made me laugh even more.Though I wouldn't advise lying in reply to a personal ad, it was all done in naivete and it actually teaches a moral.Find out what a rut Anastasia gets into for lies on top of lies.She really learns the consequence of her actions.A great read. ... Read more

16. Looking Back: A Book of Memories
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 192 Pages (2000-03-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385326998
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Using family photographs and quotes from her books, the author provides glimpses into her life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

2-0 out of 5 stars Lowry Memior
This is a memoir of moments that happened in the author's life that influence her writing process. The book ranged from one paragaph to one page snapshots with pictures to highlight the themes.

4-0 out of 5 stars creative and wonderful
Newbery medal and honor award winning author Lois Lowry takes us on a journey throughout her life. This is a stellar book, filled with hope, sadness, joy and the sheer beauty of living life to the fullest.

Each chapter begins with a quote from one of her many books with an accompanying photo. We learn how her life inspired her works.

This was such a wonderful, pleasant read that I hated to see it end. This is what good writing is with each word, each phrase a delighful tidbit to savor!

Highly recommend

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book
It is so nice to hear about an author and find a book by that person, even thought it was published a long time ago!

5-0 out of 5 stars In Love With Lowry
I was lucky enough to see Lois Lowry speak in Knoxville, TN over a year ago.Lowry is a phenomenal story teller--both in print and in person.She told the audience much about her family and growing up...indulged us with photgraphs, stories, and memories.I felt like I was listening to a member of my own family telling me stories; I was completely enthralled and really appreciated Lowry willing sharing her life with so many people."Looking Back" gave me the same feeling.

The book is not a typical memoir: no linear narration.It is, as she states, "about moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies."Photographs (most taken by herself or her father) are dated and presented with short explanations, memories, or revelations.It brings together two of my very favorite things: pictures and stories.I especially love the story of how she met her second husband, Martin, and her quest for the ideal dog.Fans of Lowry's books (especially of the Anastasia books, Autumn Street, and The Giver) will enjoy quotes from novels which relate to Lowry's life.While reading this book, readers will revel in the extent to which Lowry has placed her own experiences, memories, and stories into her fiction.It's all about stories; how we become ourselves and the importance of remembering.

I believe that I, as a child or teen, probably would not have been entirely interested in "Looking Back."I believe it takes a more mature reader to realize/appreiciate the intimacy and life experiences and milestones expressed in the book.But young fans of Lowry could enjoy learning more about a favorite author and where her stories came from.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teachers, mothers, writers!! YOU MUST READ THIS!
Browsing at my local library, I stumbled upon this book. "HMMMM, this looks interesting," I thought to myself. Little did I know that I had found a book that would bring me to my knees crying and give me one of the biggest "book hangovers" ever. This book followed me through my weekend, and inspired me as a writer ( who wishes she could write with even 1/100th of Lowry's talent) a teacher (who thought of about a zillion really cool writing and reading lessons I could spring from this book) and as a mother (who realized the joy of life, and exactly how fragile and tenacious it really is).

You must read this book. It is easy, and unfolds into a love story, a story of loss, and a story of absolutely LIVING life with as much passion as the moment allows. I don't want to give this book away, because the suprise of it, the thing that made most of the essays connect, is what left me gasping and delighted on snowy Sunday here in Denver.

Absolutely appropriate for children, but I would guess that the essays would appeal more to girls. And if you are a teacher, you will discover a hidden treasure in the book by and about one of the most talented childrens authors of our day!

Enjoy. Have the kleenex handy. ... Read more

17. Crow Call
by Lois Lowry
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$6.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0545030358
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the story of young Liz, her father, and their strained relationship. Dad has been away at WWII for longer than she can remember, and they begin their journey of reconnection through a hunting shirt, cherry pie, tender conversation, and the crow call. This allegorical story shows how, like the birds gathering above, the relationship between the girl and her father is graced with the chance to fly.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Such a beautiful book...
This book is almost too beautiful for words, and that is what it conveys so well.It conveys the many things we say to the people we love without actually saying them.I think that is why one reviewer felt let down at the end: this is not a book that hits you over the head with its point.Its meaning is subtle, but having shared many similar moments with my father over the years, wherein we struggled to understand each other without being explicit, I can completely relate to this story.I cried almost throughout the whole book! What a wonderful depiction of the love of a parent and the different ways parents can show their love--through buying their daughters seemingly unnecessary men's hunting shirts, buying two slices of cherry pie for dessert, or merely putting off hunting for the day.I'm never disappointed by Lowry and she continues to impress here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crow Call
Wonderful story. Wonderful illustrations! The muted colors were amazing in adding to the mood and beautifully done. I have very much enjoyed Lois Lowry as an author before and she doesn't disappoint in this book either. Well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lowry proves herself a master of the picture book
This is a beautiful story, both from a narrative and from an artistic point of view, based on an incident in Lois Lowry's own life, when she goes hunting with her father, who has recently returned from service in World War II. Because he's been gone for so many years, she feels shy with him, and has to practice saying his name, whispering it in the car. "Daddy, Daddy. Saying it feels new." They leave in the gray light of early morning, stopping to eat at a lovingly depicted neighborhood diner, where Liz is mistaken for a boy because of her much-too-big flannel shirt, a gift from her father. When they reach the woods, Liz is given a crow call to wake up the crows, who have been eating their family crops. But when a skyful of crows descends, her father doesn't have the heart to shoot them. The morning excursion, instead of an exercise in killing, becomes a bonding experience for the newly reunited father-daughter pair, and a chance for them to get to know each other all over again. The painted illustrations capture the feel of the post-war era perfectly, with a quiet and muted realistic look to them that resembles the style of illustrators such as Rockwell. The combination of illustrations and text in this lovely story show that Lois Lowry is a master of the picture book medium just as she is the master of so many other genres.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story of love and warmth
Using her own childhood experiences, Lois Lowry provides a gentle story illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline in CROW CALL, telling of one girl's connection with her father, who has just returned from war. A special gift from a father at war returns to link them in a story of love and warmth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sbtle and stunning
The story is powerful but understated, so that it's depths might be easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. It's told in the small details. Its power is in much of what goes unsaid and undone. So many moments had me on the point of tears.

This is the story of a father back from the war who has been gone so long he's become a stranger to his little girl. He doesn't know her favorite food is cherry pie, which he would if he'd been there... mama put candles on a pie for her last birthday. He's trying to reconnect so he takes her hunting with him, a special day for the two of them, inspired perhaps by her yearning for a hunting shirt she'd seen in a store window. But she is a little frightened by this stranger with a gun, a hunter, by the potential for violence she senses in him. In the most moving exchange she asks him if he's ever scared and he confesses that when he was away in the war he was; but now he is not afraid, he's the pillar of strength that his daughter can rely on. He understands her fears, however. And so, though he explains to her the necessity of killing the crows to protect the crops and addresses her concerns about the baby crows (long grown up and forgotten by their parents), he still refrains from shooting them that day.

The ending only seems anticlimactic if you've missed the undercurrents of emotion that make his restraint a remarkable gift to his daughter. The story shows how he's been desensitized from violence by the war and how she re-sensitizes him. It is deep and momentous, a shift from being a man of war to a man of peace. A poignant
moment in which the daughter becomes her father's teacher.

The book is full of warmth and humor. The joke the father and daughter share when the waitress mistakes her for a boy, the variety of other calls they make for each other: a cow call (moo), a bear call (grrr)... a giraffe call (no noise, just an outstretched neck). The illustration shows the father stretching out his neck with a hilarious giraffe expression on his face.

The story is beautiful enough to stand on its own; but the gorgeous illustrations, inspired by Andrew Wyeth, tel a story all on their own, could stand without the text. They create setting and a mood, dark somber autumnal; but also wonderful characterization. The interchanges between the father and daughter, the subtle expressions on their faces that reveal humor, fear, trust are conversations in themselves that need no words.

... Read more

18. Gooney the Fabulous (Gooney Bird)
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 96 Pages (2009-03-24)
list price: US$5.50 -- used & new: US$1.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440422531
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Gooney Bird Greene has a fabulous idea after her teacher reads fables to the class. The children learn that fables are stories with animal characters that teach something important. Gooney’s fabulous idea is that each student create their own fable and tell it to the class! Everyone but Nicholas is excited about their stories and costumes. Can Gooney Bird find out why Nicholas is unhappy and get him to join in the fun? Now that would be truly fabulous! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars She is truly fabulous
When I first selected the "Gooney Bird" series I knew it would be cute since I used Amazon's previous service, but little did I realize that even this 58-year-old Nana would derive so much pleasure for myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Latest Gooney story of a win-win girl's ideas.
Lois Lowery's GOONEY THE FABULOUS presents grades 2-5 with a fine easy reader telling of Mrs. Pidgeon, who has been reading fables to her second grade class. But Gooney Greene isn't content with hearing fables: what if each child creates his or her own fable and tells it to the class? Her idea sparks interest and new challenges in this latest Gooney story of a win-win girl's ideas. ... Read more

19. Gooney Bird Greene
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 96 Pages (2004-03-09)
list price: US$5.50 -- used & new: US$1.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440419603
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry introduces a new girl in class who loves being the center of attention and tells the most entertaining “absolutely true” stories.

There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. What other new kid comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots one day and a polka-dot t-shirt and tutu on another? Gooney Bird has to sit right smack in the middle of the class because she likes to be in the middle of everything. She is the star of story time and keeps her teacher and classmates on the edge of their seats with her “absolutely true” stories. But what about her classmates? Do they have stories good enough to share? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fab
Fabulous! Gooney Bird moves to a new school and carries the class to new heights with her insouciant confidence, outlandish clothes, and effervescent storytelling. Their teacher, Ms. Pigeon and the principal are also first-rate. This is a classroom series not to miss, although Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise by Suzy Kline, stands out as a single book with great power also. Great reads and read-alouds for the early chapter book crowd. More books like this, please, Lois Lowry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
This review is from my almost 8 year old, end of 2nd grade reader:
"It was a great book.Gooney Bird Greene was different and unique.She was really funny and told very good stories. I think kids who like adventures will like this book.She will show them how to be creative and unique.I can't wait to read the rest of her books.I think kids 7 to 11 will like this book"

5-0 out of 5 stars Granddaughters love it
I gave this to my 5-yr-old granddaughter, who loves it. Even better, her 11-yr old sister likes reading it to her.

5-0 out of 5 stars Goonie Bird: A Great Classroom Tool
I read Goonie Bird aloud to my second grade class.They loved the story and thought Goonie Bird was hilarious!Even the boys were fighting over who got to read it independently after we finished as a class.Great read aloud for teachers to gain insight into the mind of 7year olds and to remind us to be patient and really listen to our kids.This was also presented teachable moments into plot discussion both for after reading and as a writer to create plot.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gooney Bird Greene Review
In Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, the author made us feel as if we were young students again sitting in Mrs. Pigdeon's classroom hearing all of the wonderful stories that Gooney Bird Greene has to tell. These stories were "absolutely true" according to Gooney Bird Greene and although they seemed to be fictitious, they were not and it was inspiring to the other students to write their own true stories.

The main character, Gooney Bird, was introduced in the first chapter. Lowry made her seem very interesting, unique and different based on her attire and the way that she presented herself on the first day. For example, in Chapter 2 it states that "Gooney Bird adjusted the pink ballet tutu she was wearing over a pair of green stretch pants. Her T-shirt was decorated with polka dots. Her red hair was pulled into two pigtails and held there with blue scrunchies." This made all of the students interested in her and made them want to hear a story about Gooney Bird instead of Christopher Columbus. She brought herself to school and seemed very confident even though she was a new student. All of the students were immediately drawn to Gooney Bird and it was as if the entire classroom was uplifted by her spirit.

Chapters 2 through 6 were all centered around the stories that Gooney Bird told to the class. Her first story was "How Gooney Bird Got Her Name" and this was the first of many animated stories. This was the most realistic titled story that she told and it only sparked the childrens' interest to hear her other stories. The second story that she told was "How Gooney Bird Came from China on a Flying Carpet" and this is the first story where the students are taught that the use of the word "suddenly" creates suspense and keeps the listener's attention. She uses it repeatedly so that the story is never boring. It ignites the creation of her other stories and through her word choice she sparks curiosity into other various stories.

In Chapter 4, Lowry emphasizes the fact that what Gooney Bird wears contributes to the stories that she tells the students. For instance, when she wore her large diamond earrings, this caused the students to automatically assume that there had to be an interesting story behind them. Lowry uses this as a major point in her stories to associate clothing with story telling and how it adds to the entirity of each story. The students eventually take a part in dressing unique as well to tie into Gooney Bird and her stories.

This pattern continues throughout the rest of the chapters until Chapter 7 when Lowry has Gooney Bird seem more realistic and relatable to the students. Gooney Bird takes each of her own stories and compares them to stories that the children have themselves about their own real-life experiences. We thought this was another key point in the story because it emphasized the fact that every student has the ability to make their own unique stories and it is not limited to just one person.

We all enjoyed reading this book by Lois Lowry and found that it could be very useful in an elementary school classroom ranging from ages five to nine. We feel that it could be used as a great introduction to teaching about writing and story telling.

The overall theme of the story is that everyone, no matter who you are or where you are from, has the ability to write unique and captivating stories from their everyday lives. This holds true for young children, adults and anyone else who seems inspired to do so. ... Read more

20. Anastasia on Her Own
by Lois Lowry
Paperback: 160 Pages (1986-07-01)
list price: US$5.50 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440402913
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Her family's new organized schedule for easy housekeeping makes thirteen-year-old Anastasia confident that she can run the household while her mother is out of town, until she hits unexpected complications. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved It Then and Think of It Now
I read this when I was in the third or fourth grade and re-read it a lot.I remember it well.

Now as a housewife, I keep thinking back to the basic premise: that Anastasia thinks her mother is too disorganized in her housekeeping, and would do better if only she got organized, namely, through lists.When her mom leaves and Anastasia is in-charge, she realizes why it's so hard to get organized, viz. Unexpected Events.

Unexpected Events ruin everything.

I remember being very amused by this book and also fascinated by the dinner between Anastasia's dad and an old flame.It's a great book for girls in pre- and early adolescence: funny, complex, well-written, and familiar.Highly recommended.

I would not recommend it for children reading above their grade level (kindergarten to third grade or so) as there are some slightly more complex emotional themes with a boyfriend and old-flame, as well as a character that repeatedly uses the term (as Lowry writes) "bleeping".I did not realize when I first read it that "bleeping" could actually mean something worse, but I imagine most children will be in that situation.

5-0 out of 5 stars ANASTASIA..great series
ANASTASIA books were made in the 80's and I wish that I had known they existed,I would have loved them as a kid even more than I do now.It is a fun,interesting ,sometimes hilarious series based on a bright young girl and her loving family,the Krupnicks.This novel focuses on Anastasia as she is left to take care of her little brother by herself,for a while.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anastasia On Her Own
Anastasia On Her Own is a wonderful book. It starts out slow, but then it gets really exciting. With the help of her friends, Anastasia survives being 13. I couldn't put it down. You could read it in one sitting. This is one of the series of books about Anastasia by Lois Lowry. All of the Anastasia books are wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Anastasia book in the series
I have always loved the Anastasia books. I think that they are quite funny and are very realistic. I think that this book is the best in the series. This book is very funny when dealing with Anastasia's problems andpitfalls. Overall a terrific book. ... Read more

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