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.