Lois Lowry, perhaps one of the most acclaimed children’s authors of the twenty-first century, first developed her passion for writing at the age of eight. Born on March 20, 1937, she faced a difficult childhood, growing up during World War II with a father in the military. While her father, a dentist and army officer, was stationed overseas, she, along with her mother and older sister, moved in with her grandfather. Following the war, her family was uprooted numerous times because of her father’s career. However, this enabled her to experience different cultures and corners of the world, including New York City and Japan.
Though she began to study at Brown University, she left the college to marry Donald Lowry, at nineteen, with whom she had four children, two boys and two girls. In the 1970s, she decided to finish college, earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Maine. Shortly afterward, in 1977, she published her first novel, A Summer to Die. Two years after divorcing Donald, she wrote Anastasia Krupnik, whose story would continue in several sequels. Autumn Street drew from her childhood days living with her mother, sister and grandfather during the war.
Receiving her first Newberry Award in 1989 with Number the Stars, another novel set in the World War II era, she published the acclaimed novel, The Giver, four years later, winning the 1994 Newberry Award as well. Considered controversial in its theories on government and human life, some schools have banned it, while others have mandated it as an important part of their English curriculum. In 2014, an excellent movie adaption was created. One of her most popular stories, she continued the tale in Gathering Blue, 2000, The Messenger, 2004, and Son, 2012. Sadly, in 1995, she lost a son, who was a U.S. Air Force pilot, in a plane crash.
Since Lowry is a skilled photographer, she chose to create many of her own book covers, including The Giver and Number the Stars. Throughout her lifetime, she has written over thirty books for young people, many covering difficult topics, like the holocaust. Currently, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she enjoys time with her dog, Bandit. On weekends, she resides in her New Hampshire farm house.2