Author Study- Lois Lowry

by arreola312
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts
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Author Study- Lois Lowry

We all know about Lowry’s more than 30 children’s books and the multiple awards and nominations that she has received in her lifetime. But what exactly do we know about her? Next, Lois Lowry at a personal level. After her birthday in Hawaii on March 20th 1937, Lois Lowry and her family moved to the state of New York where she attended school for the first time. Her father, a military officer and Army dentist was sent overseas and this resulted in the family relocating to Pennsylvania where she finished Elementary School. During 6th grade she moved to Tokyo and attended college in Rhode Island. Lois Lowry is the second of three children and she can’t express anymore how much she liked that “middle child” status. She enjoyed not being the center of attention and spent her free time reading books. Her all time dream was to write books and this did not happen until she attended graduate school in Maine. She married at a young age (19) and had four children until her divorce in 1997. She then met “Martin” and spent the next 30 years with him until his death in 2011. She now spends her days in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she lives alone and spends her free time doing what she loves the most, writing. "I am a grandmother now. For my own grandchildren- and for all those of their generation - I try, through writing, to convey my passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another.”- Lowry


The Quartet The Giver (1993) Gathering Blue (2000) Messenger (2004) Son (2012)Anastasia Anastasia Krupnik (1979) Anastasia Again! (1981) Anastasia at Your Service (1982) Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst (1984) Anastasia on Her Own (1985) Anastasia Has the Answers (1986) Anastasia's Chosen Career (1987) Anastasia at This Address (1991) Anastasia Absolutely (1995)Sam Krupnik All About Sam (1988) Attaboy Sam! (1992) See You Around, Sam! (1996) Zooman Sam (1999)Tate Family The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline (1983) Switcharound (1985) Your Move, J.P.! (1990)[16]Gooney Bird Gooney Bird Greene (2002) Gooney Bird and the Room Mother (2006) Gooney the Fabulous (2007) Gooney Bird Is So Absurd (2009) Gooney Bird on the Map (2011)Autobiography Looking Back (1998)Other A Summer to Die (1977) Here in Kennebunkport (1978) Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye (1978) Autumn Street (1980) Taking Care of Terrific (1983) Us and Uncle Fraud (1984) Rabble Starkey (1987) Number the Stars (1989) Stay! Keeper's Story (1997) The Silent Boy (2003) Gossamer (2006) The Willoughbys (2008) Crow Call (2009) The Birthday Ball (2010) Bless This Mouse (2011) Like the Willow Tree (2011)

I remember reading the book The Giver completely for the first time in 9th grade, this book is special to me because that was the first “big” book that I ever read in english. Reading it brings back a lot of memories and it reminds me of my personal struggle with the new language. It was not until I came across the book “Crow Caller” which I’m not going to lie, I decided to read it because of the pictures and the short length. I thought to myself that it was going to be an “easy” book. This book then introduced me to Liz, the main character in the book which I feel very connected to. She feels like a stranger around her father, and she's just trying to make the best out of the time they spend together and hopefully release some of the tension in the air. I personally had the same situation around Liz’s age and I can connect with her character. My father lived in California, Georgia or Arizona during most of my early childhood and I would see him once or twice every 2 years if I was lucky. It would always feel like meeting a stranger that I already knew. It is a very strange and surreal feeling but the book Crow Call was successfully able to put all of those feelings in actual words. The scene where she is repeating her father’s name in her head and it just didn’t sound right, was on of the things I would do for about 2 weeks before my dad actually arrived to Mexico, and to this this “Thomas” is still a weird and strange name, I call him Tommy instead. This is what I decided to work with Lois Lowry, this author is one of my favorite because she is always writing from the heart, when reading her pieces of writing you can somehow feel connected, even if you never really experienced the loss of a loved one, for example as is the case of her book “A Summer to Die.” Lowry just has the power to make you feel things you’ve never felt before. Lowry’s books main themes involve terminal illness, murder, the Holocaust, and importance of human connections. Her writing style is very rich and vivid in detailed, no matter the story she always manages to create images in my mind, or visualizing to be specific. She also writes “fun” books such as Your Move J.P! and Anastasia to counteract the more serious books and to show us a brilliant sense of humor. The use of “normal” or real life characters only aid in the realistic ice other stories and even though Jonas in The Giver lives in a fictional community, the characters there all have normal functions and behave like abnormal community, almost making it difficult to remind yourself that it is all “fake” or not real. This of course makes her books appropriate for inclusion at a higher grade, normally 9th grade for books such as The Giver and 6th or 7th for Crow Call or Number the Stars. Themes such as the Holocaust are delicate and they need close attention when teaching but others such as Your Move J.P! Are great books to add humor to the classroom, it is the story of a twelve year old boy and the students can feel connected to the character. It is also great to teach detailing and sequence of events since J.P keeps lying about his “terminal disease” and his eventful life.

Important Links

Author's BlogOfficial HomepageThe Giver- Audio ChaptersContact the Author!

Author Study -Lois Lowry-

6+1 Lesson Train Ideas


IdeasNumber the Stars: Read aloud “but Kristi reached up and pushed the soldier’s hand away. “Don’t” she said loudly.” (p.4) Ask the students to visualize what is going to happen next, what are the soldiers going to do? Will Kristi be arrested? Allow time for discussion with their neighbor, followed by writing time where the students will write their predictions. This will help them to practice brainstorming by sharing their ideas with a partner and hopefully help each.OrganizationThe Giver: after chapter 2 or three ask the students to copy or write down all of their favorite sentences of the chapters on their notebook. Do not tell them, that they have to be in order. Once they have written down their sentences ask them to read them all aloud to the rest of the class and together we will figure out if they were right or wrong. Conclude by explaining how organization can affect the story dramatically. The Giver: I would be drawing comic strips based on the book. Make various copies and give the cut out comic strips to students in groups of 3. The students will be given some time rearranging them and retelling the story, after a few trials the students would be asked to rearrange the story and to experiment building a whole new story with the same pictures and different order. Again, this will allow them to physically being able to manipulate with the events, and learning about sequence of events, important events and organization.Voice Your Move, J.P!: This is a very simple mini lesson, read excerpts of the book “Your Move J.P!” and ask the students to raise theirs hands whenever they hear something that makes them laugh, feel silly or sad. Explain to them that writers can sometimes write the way they sound or the way they want you to hear them. It is important to deliver the message along with the emotions. This is a comic book and the students should be laughing most of them time, explain how voice makes the book a comedy. Your Move, J.P! : When J.P finally encourages his sister to giver deodorant, she thrusts a “pale green aerosol can, which was decorated with yellow flowers. He looked at its name: Sunny Meadow.” (p.3) Ask the students to put themselves on J.P’s shoes, pair them in groups of 2 and have them act out the scene. Each group will have a different reaction to the aerosol. Some have sad, happy, surprised, excited and confused. They will need to show these different reactions while saying “Sunny Meadow.” This will help the students understand how voice can change the meaning of words or reinforce them. Was J.P happy or confused about the deodorant? We shall find out. Any Book: During independent reading encourage the students to read aloud. Encourage the students to use a different voice. One day they can be angry, the other day they can be excited and so forth. Even great writers have to read their own work aloud to make sure their work sounds just right. Ask the students to share their experiences and to notice how different voices can give the story a bit of a twist. Word ChoiceNumber the Stars: After Annemarie loses her friend Ellen, she get’s really sad and does not know if she will ever see her again. Ask the students to picture how they would feel if they couldn’t see their best friend anymore. Followed by giving instructions to write a letter to Annemarie where they would send her positive comments, telling her that it’s going to be fine or messages to help her stay strong when approached by Germans. Prohibit normal words such as “sad, happy, and bad.” They will be learning to express their thoughts without using those words and learn the many other alternatives to be able to choose the right words. Remind them how word choice can either help or dull down a paper. Sentence FluencyCrow Call: this books contains a lot of long sentences. After reading the book, go over pages 13 and 14 and have a discussion with the students. Ask questions such as “why does the author uses long sentences? why doesn’t she use short sentences? How would the fluency or the flow of the story be affected if we make some of these long sentences a bit shorter? Then proceed to ask the students to attempt to make one of those long sentences into one short sentence or various short sentences. The proceed to read the new draft and differentiate both versions. Did the fluency change, if how how and how would it affect or help the book? Sentence example: “It’s not far to the place he has chosen, not long until he pulls the car to the side of the empty road and stops."ConventionsThe Giver: select an excerpt of the book and rewrite it by omitting all forms of punctuation such as capitalization, periods, indentations, and commas. Groups the students with a copy of the new excerpt and have each other trying to read it. After they both have read the excerpt, ask them to put all the punctuations back where they belong. Give the students time to complete their work and then have them share it to the rest of the class. Ask the students to pay close attention in order for them to identify how the placement of a period or a comma can affect other traits such as fluency.Presentation Gooney Bird Greene: for younger grades ask the students to put themselves in Gooney’s shoes. What if they have to move out of town and attend a different school? What would you wear the first day to school? Ask the students to draw a picture along with their writing. Ask them to be very specific with the picture as it has to correlate with the drawing.

Publishing Timeline

Author's Work

Crow Call The story revolves around the life of Liz, a young girl who is going hunting with her father. Early that day she had sat quietly in the front seat of the truck and had been practicing in her head how to call her dad. "I practiced his name to myself, whispering it under my breath. Daddy, Daddy. Saying it feels new.” Liz's father, a military man, is a stranger to her having been gone for most of her life Liz now needs to find a way to connect with him again. Will being the crow caller help her make that connection? The Giver Meet Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy who lives in a community where pain, color, love, wars and memories do not exist. The community is controlled by a group of elders. The story begins when Jona’s is going to be old enough to get assigned to a profession. After the big ceremony where the rest of his friends are assigned to different jobs Jonas finds out that he has been “selected.” He is now the Receiver of Memory, this is the most important profession in the community, as Jonas will be expected to follow rules and learn everything from the past including pain, love, wars, colors, music and emotions. Will Jonas be able to handle his position?Your Move J.P! Twelve-year-old boy James Priestly, or J.P is in love! Join J.P through his adventures in life as he faces the eminent obsession with Angela Patricia Galsworthy, a new classmate. “He could hardly believe it. It had never occurred to him, in his twelve-almost thirteen- years of life, that this might someday happen. Now it had. James priestly Tate was in love.” Will he hide his feelings and not tell her how he really feels about her or will he attempt to do crazy things such as faking a fatal disease to get her attention? I think we know the answer to that question. “Triple Framosis runs in families."Number the Stars Annemarie Johansen is a ten-year-old living in Denmark during 1943 as the Nazi occupied the country. Annemarie and her best friend Ellen are separated after a series of events and Annemarie’s multiple altercates with German officers. This books takes you through various rushes of adrenaline as the Nazis seem to be after Annemarie but that is always followed by a relieving feeling when Annemarie is literally “saved by the bell.” Will she be able to return to her house where she was first forced to leave? Will she ever see Ellen again? Number the Stars is the story of a heroic girl as she endeavors through life.

TIME 4 Kids Interview

Magazine Cover Extra Credit

Comic Strip-Extra Credit-

Book: Your Turn J.P!Pg. 3


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