Published in 1993, "The Giver" is a young adult dystopian novel. The story is told through the limited eyes of an eleven-year-old boy. Jonas has a special gift that allows him to have flashes of color in a world that has done away with it. In Jonas's Community, people have eliminated crime, war, disease and […]
Born in 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lois Lowry was an Army brat. Her father was a dentist in the Army and moved her family from base to base throughout his career. After Hawaii, they moved to Brooklyn, New York. While her father served aboard a ship during World War II, her mother moved her and her brother and sister to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After the War, her father was stationed in Japan, where she attended the Tokyo American School at Meguro. The next base was Fort Jay, New York.
Lois finished high school in Brooklyn Heights. She went on to matriculate at Pembroke College at Brown University, for two years, until she married a Navy officer, and continued the gypsy existence. They lived in California, Connecticut, where their first daughter was born, then on to Florida, where their first son was born. After South Carolina, they settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where their next two children were born, a son and daughter. In all, they had four children, and after her husband retired from the military, he attended Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After law school the family settled in Portland, Maine. There Lois raised her children and found time to complete her English degree at the University of Southern Maine.
In college, she took up photography and submitted some of her photos and writing to Redbook Magazine. From there her writing career took off. Her story for the magazine was intended for adults, but she wrote it from the perspective of a child. Later, she wrote, A Summer to Die, which was published when she was forty years old. That same year she and her husband divorced. With the rise of her career, the couple realized they had little in common any more.
Her books Number the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1994, both won Newbery Medals. In the years 2000 and 2016 she was a finalist for the Hans Christian Anderson Award, which is the highest recognition a writer of children's books can receive. In 2002 her book, Gooney Bird Greene, won the Rhode Island Children's Book Award. This is only a few of the awards Lois Lowry has won for her writing of young adult literature. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Brown University in 2014.
Sometimes controversial, her books cover such topics as racism, murder, and disease. She also covered the questions of going against authority in The Giver. When does a Utopian society become a Dystopian society? This book has met with more controversy than any of her other books. Some schools have made required reading and some have banned it.
As a grandmother now, Lois Lowry spends time at her home in Massachusetts and her other home in Maine. When she is not writing, she is reading, knitting, gardening and playing with her four grandchildren. Although she is seventy nine years old, Lois Lowry is still turning out young adult fiction. She tries to teach children to be aware that all life is intertwined and all life is dependent on the new generations doing more and caring more for our fellow human beings.