Monday, October 15, 2012

Lois Lowry at UNM in Albuquerque

It was a Friday afternoon. It was rush hour. It was raining. I had just gotten a hot crystal massage and had oil in my hair. I spent the day sitting through inservice presentations at school and hadn't been home since 7:00a.m. I was supposed to meet my husband at 7:00p.m. for dinner at a restaurant near the Aux Dog Theater on Central where we were joining friends to see "The Haunting of Hill House" and I was thinking it might be a good idea to go home first and take a hot shower.

But Lois Lowry was speaking about her new book, Son, at the UNM continuing education building at 6:00 p.m. at an event sponsored by Bookworks, one of our local independents. I'd been talking about The Giver with some of my students earlier that week who were reading it in class and had encouraged them to attend the event.

It was 5:15p.m. I stood in front of the mirror at the massage place, assessing the state of my hair and figured, what the heck, this is one of the reasons why I cut it all off (note: current blog photo is a little old. My current hair style requires no brushing, spraying, or blow drying). So I wet it down and off I went.

As soon as I arrived I found my friend, Rio Rancho city librarian Rebecca Donnelly, and sat next to her, apologizing profusely ahead of time that I was going to have to leave early to make my 7:00p.m. dinner date with my husband.

Lois Lowry is one of very few authors to win the Newbery twice for The Giver and Number the Stars. Son is the fourth and final book in The Giver Quartet and just received a fabulous NYTimes review.

She shared her inspirations for her books. Number the Stars was based upon the stories told to her by a friend who had grown up in Denmark.

The Giver was strongly influenced by the importance of memories. Lowry said she thought a lot about human memory as she saw her father's memory slipping away. She told the audience that memories are very personal. We all have our own memories. Even people experiencing the same event remember the details of that event differently. These ideas are what inspired her to create a Community that could manipulate memory. Building upon that concept, she then created the main character, Jonas. Lowry likes characters ages 12-13 because they are still children but entering adulthood and trying to figure out their identity.

Son, the fourth book in The Giver Quartet, continues the story of Gabe, the child Jonas saves at the end of The Giver. Here is the description from amazon:

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

I get chills just reading the description.

And now I'm off to rearrange the stack of books on my bedside table. So many fabulous books came out this October, and Son is right on top!


  1. Always wonderful to hear about Lois Lowry. I can't wait to read the new book!

    1. Yes, I still remember the first time I read THE GIVER.


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