Synopses & Reviews
Katy Thatcher was the bright and curious daughter of the town doctor. She was fascinated by her fathers work, and even as a child she knew that she too wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to know about people. Perhaps it was this, her insatiable curiosity, or simply the charm of Jacobs gentle intimacy with animals large and small, that fueled their friendship. Although Jacob never spoke to her or even looked at her directly, Katy grew to understand him from the moments they spent together quietly singing to the horses. She knew there was meaning in the sounds he made and purpose behind his movements. So when events took an unexpected and tragic turn, it was Katy alone who could unravel the mystery of what had occurred, and why.
A two-time recipient of the prestigious Newbery Medal, acclaimed author Lois Lowry presents a sensitive and moving story of a wide-eyed young girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century and the influence of the farm community around her. Through Katys eyes, readers can see the human face so often hidden under modern psychological terminology and experience for themselves the haunting impact of her friendship with the silent boy.
"Wrought with admirable skill -- the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel." --Kirkus Reviews
"In a departure from her well-known and favorably regarded realistic works, Lowry has written a fascinating, thoughtful science-fiction novel. The story takes place in a nameless, utopian community, at an unidentified future time. Although life seems perfect -- there is no hunger, no disease, no pollution, no fear -- the reader becomes uneasily aware that all is not well. The story is skillfully written; the air of disquiet is delicately insinuated; and the theme of balancing the values of freedom and security is beautifully presented." --Horn Book Guide
From the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits her just fine, because, as it turns out, Gooney Bird has quite a few interesting and and#147;absolutely trueand#8221; stories to tell.
Through Gooney Bird and her tales, acclaimed author Lois Lowry introduces young readers to the concepts and elements of storytelling. By demonstrating some of the simple techniques that reveal the extraordinary in everyday events, this book will encourage the storyteller in everyone."Writing for a younger audience than usual, Lowry displays a keen understanding of how second-grade classrooms operate." Horn Book
"Lowryand#8217;s masterful writing style reaches directly into her audience, managing both to appeal to young listeners and to engage readers." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Veteran author Lowry produces a laugh-out-loud chapter book." Booklist, ALA
"and#133;irrepressible Gooney Bird is that rare bird in childrenand#8217;s fiction: one that instantly becomes an amusing and popular favorite." Kirkus Reviews
Gooney Bird Greene knows exactly where she likes to be: and#147;right smack in the middle of everything.and#8221; Sure enough, her colorful fashion sense, exuberant personality, and and#147;absolutely trueand#8221; stories land her at the center of attention most of the time, but as Mrs. Pidgeonand#8217;s second grade class prepares for their Thanksgiving pageant, the lead role of Squanto is still up for grabs. And so is the role of Room Mother, but with each of the childrenand#8217;s parents already overloaded, there are no volunteers to bring cupcakes to their play. So Gooney Bird promises to find oneand#151;in exchange for the lead. Thereand#8217;s just one catch: the person she convinces to be Room Mother insists on remaining incognito. As the class struggles to decorate the mural, make costumes, and learn their songs for the play, the suspense builds: will the pageant be a success? And who is their mysterious Room Mother?
Two-time Newbery Awardand#150;winning author Lois Lowry has once again captured the eager energy of an elementary school classroom and the hilarious antics and anecdotes of its students, especially those of the irrepressible Gooney Bird Greene herself. In her second literary appearance, Gooney Bird is back with more and#147;absolutely trueand#8221; stories to tell, more tips for her fellow aspiring storytellers, and a few challenging vocabulary words to share, too."Larger than life and with a heart as big as her personality, Gooney Bird Greene will elicit gales of laughter, along with sighs of appreciation, from Suzy Kline and Junie B. Jones fansand#151;as well as their parentsand#151;in this second winning, tongue-in-cheek outing." and#151;Kirkus Reviews, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"This is a fast-paced read, with Thomasand#8217;s black-and-white drawings highlighting key moments. This sequel stands on its own, but readers may want to go back and learn how unique Gooney Bird Greene became a part of this classroom." School Library Journal
"The lively hero of the chapter book Gooney Bird Greene (2002) is back in her idyllic second-grade classroom, as the children get ready to celebrate a pageant of the First Thanksgiving." --Booklist Booklist, ALA
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 fateand#151;for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, and#147;Pat,and#8221; 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.
"Lowry, who has often turned to new genres and made them her own, now freely adopts certain conventions of the romantic fairy tale to create a fresh story buoyed by wry wit and occasional schoolyard humor. The many idiosyncratic characters are drawn with swift, sure strokes in both the writing and in Feiffer's inimitable ink drawings, notable for their economy and assurance of line as well as their pitch-perfect expression of personality, attitude, and emotion. An original fairy tale with a decidedly comical twist."and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"Lowry uses her knack for cleverly turning familiar stories on their heads (last seen inThe Willoughbys) in this tale about a princess who's utterly bored with privileged palace life...Throughout, Feiffer's wiry ink illustrations paint the characters in offhand caricatures, adding to the merriment. Employing elements from the "Prince and the Pauper" as well as ample doses of humor and slapstick, Lowry sets the stage for a rowdy denouement."and#8212;Publishers Weekly
"This is a captivating but gentle fairy tale with memorable characters and wonderfully swirly, evocative, energetic character sketches by the fabulous Feiffer."and#8212;School Library Journal
"In her clever fairy-tale reconstruction, Lowry transforms the traditional princess into a refreshingly egalitarian heroine with a mind of her own. The hilarious, original and truly loathsome suitors are aptly memorialized in Feifferand#8217;s spritely black-and-white caricature illustrations. Guaranteed to generate giggles and guffaws."and#8212;Kirkusand#160;Reviews
"A lighthearted concoction overflowing with wordplay and alliteration. . . . [Readers] will laugh themselves silly."and#8212;New York Times Book Review
"Lowry draws on wicked humor, sly wordplay and stock characters to propel this pleasantly predictable romp . . .[she] again proves her range."and#8212;San Francisco Chronicle
"Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry and acclaimed illustrator Jules Feiffer throw one not-to-be-missed party witih The Birthday Ball"and#8212;Family Fun Magazine "Feiffer's frenetic lines and distinctive caricatures maintain the offbeat tone while adding a charming quirkiness in their own right. Youngsters who like thier fair share of mischief will get a kick out of this fractured fairy tale either on their own or as a readaloud."and#8212;The Bulletin
"Happiness radiates out from the Birthday Ball, zings down to the village and up again. A great story when read aloud."and#8212;Chicago Tribune
and#8220;A powerful and provocative noveland#8221;and#8212;The New York Times
and#8220;Wrought with admirable skill -- the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel.and#8221;and#8212;Kirkus, starred review
and#8220;Lowry is once again in top form raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers.and#8221;and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
and#8220;The simplicity and directness of Lowry's writing force readers to grapple with their own thoughts.and#8221;and#8212; Booklist, starred review
and#8220;The theme of balancing the values of freedom and security is beautifully presented.and#8221;and#8212; The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
“The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katys world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the century.” Publishers Weekly, Starred
“Lowrys latest achievement delivers complexity disguised as simplicity—providing depth through her child-narrators eyes.” VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
“Emotionally devastating and infinitely haunting.” Horn Book
“Not since Autumn Street has Lowry written a novel that injects childhood experience so deeply with adult tone.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Lowry excels in developing strong and unique characters.” School Library Journal
“Well-crafted and narrated by a perceptive, large-hearted child.” Kirkus Reviews
[Gooney's] eccentric outfits and words of wisdom are peppered throughout to keep the story moving along while Thomas's characteristic black-and-white illustrations provide nice visuals. Full of new vocabulary words and information about fables . . . a must for Gooney Bird fans.
School Library Journal
Lowry nicely individualizes her characters and gets readers interested in their problems.
If Aesop met Gooney Bird Greene, what would result? Fabulous fables, of course. . . . Gooney's outlandish outfits, take-charge (even bossy) attitude and boisterous spirit continue to be humorously likable--and fabulous. No doubt there'll be a fourth; meanwhile, this one offers a clever writing exercise for a class.
"The irrepressible Gooney Bird Green returns to entertain youngsters." Dallas Morning News 7/1/07 Dallas Morning News
This unusual book contains photographs from Lowry's past and her reflections on them. In the introduction, she suggests that the book will answer readers who ask, "How do you get ideas?" Toward that end, every section begins with a quotation from one of Lowry's books that relates in some way to the subject of the photo. Think of yourself sitting down with Lowry and looking through her albums while she stops and points at pictures of herself as a child and a teenager, photos of her parents and siblings and, then, more recent pictures of her children and grandchildren. Each picture evokes a memory that is a paragraph to a couple of pages long. Readers who remember the deftly portrayed family relationships in Lowry's novels will be fascinated by pictures of Lowry, her older sister, and her younger brother, as well as the often amusing tales of their youth. The mood is not always light, though, and few will be unmoved by Lowry's reflections on her son Grey's death in 1995....Only a writer with Lowry's blend of humor, detachment, and storytelling ability could make the form work.
"Imagine sitting on a sofa with a friend listening with fascination while she tells you about the pictures in her photo album. That is the feeling once has when browsing through this book of Lowry's family snapshots and reading her lively commentary on them. . . . The author's voice comes through strongly as she shares both her happiest and saddest times. . . . Much more intimate and personal than many traditional memories, this work makes readers feel that Lowry is an old friend." School Library Journal
It's been approximately sixteen years since one of the most prolific and influentional novels of our time--Lois Lowry's The Giver--received the Newbery Medal in 1994. The story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. This gift edition celebrates this Houghton Mifflin touchstone and a Two-Time Newbery Medalist with twelve freshly brushed illustrations by acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline. The Giver as a book stands on its own, of course, but the illustrations of Ibatoulline add to and amplify this work to make it a gift that is even easier to give. Who wouldn't want to give The Giver as a gift? The Giver is the first in the trilogy of books that includes Gathering Blue and The Messenger. This is not their first collaboration as Lowry's text met Ibatoulline's illustration in the picture book Crow Call published by Scholastic in Fall 2009.
In Lois Lowryand#8217;s Newbery Medaland#8211;winning classic, twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.
In perhaps her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit and that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kiras plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.
A Newbery Medal-winning classic is reinvented in a gift edition format with illustrations from the acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline.
Since winning the Newbery Medal in 1994, Lois Lowrys The Giver has become one of the most influential novels of our time. This illustrated edition, a celebration of the books standard of excellence and of Lowrys illustrious writing, makes a perfect gift. The text is complemented by thirteen new illustrations from the acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline. Also included are an introduction by the author and her inspiring Newbery Medal acceptance speech. The additional content and gift packaging now make it easier than ever to introduce young readers to this riveting modern classic, and provide a fresh edition for its legions of fans.
The story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.
The Giver is the first in a quartet of books that includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
Mrs. Pidgeon has been reading Aesopand#8217;s fables to her second grade class. Whatand#8217;s a fable? Well, itand#8217;s a story that has animals as characters, and it teaches you something important, and . . . Once again it is Gooney Bird Greene who knows how to turn lessons into fun. She has an idea. A fabulous idea! What if each child creates his or her own fable, and tells it to the class? One by one Mrs. Pidgeonand#8217;s students create costumes and stories and morals and excitement. Everyone except Nicholas. What on earth is making Nicholas so unhappy? Leave it to Gooney Bird, of course, to help him solve his problem . . . in a truly fabulous way.
"I would like to introduce you to this book. It has no plot. It is about moments, memories, fragments, falsehoods, and fantasies. It is about things that happened, which caused other things to happen, so that eventually stories emerged." Children as well as adults often ask Lois Lowry where the ideas for her stories came from. In this fascinating, moving autobiography, the Newbery Medalist answers this and many other questions. Her writing often transports readers into her own world. She explores her rich history through family pictures, memories, and recollections of childhood friends. She details pivotal moments that affected her life, inspired her writing, and that magically evolved into rich and wonderful stories that one is reluctant to put down. Lowry fans, and anyone interested in the writing process, will tremendously enjoy this poignant trip through a remarkable writer's past.
About the Author
It's Future Job Day at Sam's school, and Sam knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up-a zookeeper, just like Zookeeper Jake in his favorite picture book. His mother and big sister, Anastasia, help Sam create a memorable costume-so memorable that Sam insists on wearing it long after Future Job Day has passed and the rest of his classmates are back in their regular clothes. Encouraged by Mrs. Bennett, his teacher, Sam embarks on a lengthy project to teach his preschool class about a zookeeper's responsibilities, and along the way learns just how difficult a job teaching is. As always, the patient and loving Krupnik family stands by as Anastasia's irrepressible little brother struggles with a set of nearly impossible goals. Children will delight in this latest story featuring the precocious and irresistible Sam.It's Future Job Day at Sam's nursery school, and not only has his mom made him a "Zooman Sam" jumpsuit, his sister Anastasia has acquired for him a whole mess of sports caps with such fitting logos as Tigers and Cubs. In a class filled with future firefighters, Sam's zookeeping aspirations really stand out, and he's especially thrilled when his teacher tells him he can wear a different cap each day and tell the other children about each animal: "For six weeks he could stand in front of the circle and feel that feeling of being the most interesting person in the room." This is a slender thread on which to hang an entire novel, but Lowry spins interesting variations on her theme, and the book ends with a swell (and well-prepared) surprise. Sam remains every middle-grader's little brother; parents, too, will be amused.
"For Future Job Day' at Sam Krupnik's nursery school, the four-year-olds have been instructed to dress up as representatives of their desired profession. Sam doesn't want to be a fireman, as do all the other boys in his class. Instead he wants to be somebody important, somebody interesting, somebody more than ordinary,' a secret concept he privately and quite marvelously dubs the Chief of Wonderfulness.' With the assistance of his impossibly even-tempered mother and ever-helpful sister, Anastasia, Sam dresses up in a spiffy homemade zookeeper's costume. Sam's teacher allows Sam to tell his class about a different zoo animal every day, a privilege that he finds both thrilling and challenging. The plotting is leisurely, the story is slender, and a subplot about the training of the family dog barely registers. This cast of familiar characters isn't as vibrant as usual, and the material runs out of steam before the novel ends. Fans of the Sam books may find satisfaction in the nicely foreshadowed but still unanticipated punch line." Kirkus ReviewsLois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Readers Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Associations Childrens Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com