All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Lois Lowry

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Lois Lowry was born in the Territory of Hawaii in 1937, but spent much of her childhood in her mother's hometown in Pennsylvania. During World War II, Lois' father served abroad as an army dentist. After the war, the entire family moved to Tokyo and later to New York. Throughout her childhood, Lois tended to live in her imagination and in the world of books. She spent hours writing poems and stories in her private notebook. When she was 13, her parents bought her a typewriter.

After finishing high school in New York City, Lois attended Brown University in Rhode Island. At the age of 19, after completing her sophomore year, she married a naval officer, dropped out of college, and moved to California. Once again in a military family, Lois Lowry found herself moving to Connecticut, Florida, South Carolina, and Massachusetts. By the time she settled more permanently in Maine, she was the mother of four children under the age of five. As her children grew up and her free time increased, Lowry enrolled at the University of Southern Maine and earned a BA in English literature. She continued her studies at the graduate level before working as a freelance journalist and photographer.

Lois Lowry's first children's book, A Summer to Die, was published in 1977. In 1979 Lowry finished Anastasia Krupnik, the story of a quirky 10-year-old girl who wants to become a writer. During the 1980s, Anastasia reappeared in numerous books. In 1990 Lowry's novel, Number the Stars, received the prestigious Newbery Medal. Four years later, Lowry won a second Newbery Medal for her most well-known book, The Giver. More recently, Lois Lowry has been writing a lighthearted series for younger readers about a spirited second-grade girl named Gooney Bird Greene.

Today Lois Lowry divides her time between her home in Massachusetts and her 18th-century farmhouse in Maine. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, knitting, and spending time her grandchildren.

Selected Books

from Lois Lowry

Anastasia Again!

Age Level: 9-12

When Anastasia's parents announce the family's move from the city to the dreaded suburbs, Anastasia fears that life as she loves it will come to an abrupt end. Once there, of course, the resilient 12-year-old falls for her new home and becomes just as involved with new friends and neighbors.

Buy Anastasia Again!

Anastasia Krupnik

Age Level: 9-12

10-year-old Anastasia is quite content as the only (and quite self-assured) child of professional parents. But she is not so happy and not so nice after she learns that she is to become a sister. Anastasia's lists organize her thoughts and create humor in this first book of the series.

Buy Anastasia Krupnik

The Giver

Age Level: 12-14

Jonas's world is perfect: no crime, no pain, no illness. Like other 12-year-olds in this society, Jonas prepares for his assignment in the adult world. What Jonas learns in his new and special role as Receiver of Memory shatters his complacency and jumpstarts a journey into the unknown.

Buy The Giver

Number the Stars

Age Level: 9-12

The narrator, 10-year-old Annemarie, and her family defy the Nazis as Danish Jews are gathered for transport to death camps. They help Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and her family escape to Sweden. The horror of World War II is mitigated by the limited view of the narrator, yet the courage of individuals shines through for a breathtaking look at this time in history.

Buy Number the Stars


Age Level: 9-12

When a boy from an abusive home is placed in foster care with an old woman, he brings with him his troubles — an invitation to the Sinisteeds, nighttime visitors to humans who gather memories good or not so good. Tough, timely topics are handled in a straightforward telling in this compelling and credible fantasy.

Buy Gossamer