Lois Lowry

Author Study Project

About the Author

Lois Lowry has written many books and won many awards. One of her books, Number the Stars won a Newbery Medal in 1990 and so did The Giver in 1994. Her book The Giver was also turned into a movie last summer. Lois Lowry has written many books for all reading levels of children.

Lois Lowry was born in Hawaii in 1937 and was the middle child of three. She had an older sister, Helen and a little brother Jon. Lois Lowry likes being the middle child because her mother was always with Helen and her father was always with Jon. This gave her time to read and express her own imagination. Lois Lowry lived all over the world and started school in New York. She married young at just nineteen years old and had four children before her marriage ended in 1977. Lois Lowry returned to collage and finally began to write professionally, like she had dreamed of all her life.

Lois Lowry List of Works

For this project I read:

Anastasia Krupnik

Gathering Blue


The Silent Boy

Previously I had read:

The Giver

Number the Stars

If you are thinking of reading one of Lois Lowry's books, I would start with Anastasia Krupnik or Number The Stars.

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Common Themes in Lois Lowry's Work

One common theme that I saw in Lois Lowry's work is that, one should not give up hope, if you try hard you can accomplish anything. This is expressed in The Giver, Number the Stars, and Messenger. In all of these books the protagonist wanted to accomplish something and by the end of the story they are were able to accomplish that, even if that meant trying something new. The protagonists may struggle at times, but they do not give up hope. They are able to accomplish whatever they need or want to do.

Though, this was not the case in Anastasia Krupnik. In that book the protagonist did not accomplish anything, but she became more mature as the book continued.

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Sentences that Exemplify Lois Lowry's Style

"You were one day old, not yet named your one-syllable infant name-----" (Gathering Blue, p. 4).

"because sometimes---- too many times----- I don't feel the same way about things that everybody else feels." (Anastasia Krupnik, p. 7)

Lois Lowry uses dashes in all of her books that I read.

"So I did." (The Silent Boy, p. 59)

"That's really dumb." (Anastasia Krupnik, p. 7)

Lois Lowry also writes with very short sentences both in and out of dialogue.

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Lois Lowry's Writing Style

Lois Lowry's writing style is not very complex, which makes it easier to read than other books or other authors. These are some of the things I saw in Lois Lowry's writing style:

  • There are short sentences in dialogue, but also in narrative parts too.
  • Most of her books are written in the first person, but not Gathering Blue.
  • She uses dashes to separate thoughts.
  • In some books, there are italics for emphasis.
  • Lois Lowry uses strange words or makes up words.
  • She gives good descriptions of the setting and characters.

On a random page in a Lois Lowry book:

  • Total number of words on the page is 275 words.
  • Sentences vary in length from 3 to 47 words per sentence.
  • Average sentence length is 16 words.
  • 41% of the sentences are simple; 18% are compound; 18% are complex; 24% are mixed.
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All about Adolescent Literacy

This is a webpage that Lois Lowry linked to on her website. It helps young people learn how to read and gives them reading strategies.

A Short Story Using Lois Lowry's Writing Style

I saw the stray dog- it was limping- slowly walking across the street. I tried to help it, save it, but it was no use. The dog had been abandoned for two years. People tried to save him- but the dog would not let them. It was lost. It was looking for something that could not be found. I decided to try to save the dog. I went up to the dog and picked it up. It was too weak to fight back, it seemed like it hadn't had food and water for days. I started to walk back home holding the dog under my jacket. In the rules of the society know one was allowed to have pets. Everything was strictly set in stone, and the rules were the rules and there was a rule for almost everything. But I was determined to find a better place for the dog. I continued to walk home and got food and water ready for the dog.

I packed up all my stuff and was off the next morning- off to find a better place- a place where everything could live together and live equally. I hid the dog under my jacket again and set off. I was worried. I did not know what troubles I would face.

The journey was long and painful- by the fourth day I had run out of food and now whatever food I could find the energetic dog wanted. I was tired and needed food, but continued on. The dog needed my help, but I also needed the dog’s love and support. I needed him to comfort me on the long journey that would benefit us both.

Finally after a very long time of walking- in hope to find a better village- we found something. It was marvelous. It was even better than I was expecting. It was a village- but not any village- it was special. And the village was filled with happy children and many loving people. When we saw the other people I realized what the dog had been looking for the whole time. The dog burst out of my arms and ran to a family with three small children. The dog had found what he was looking for- the family that had to give him away. But now he was with them again and happy- so I was happy too.