Lois Lowry

And the Importance of Human Connections


Lois Lowry was born in Honolulu, HI. She now lives in Cambridge, MA. From the time Lowry was eight or nine she wanted to be a writer, that was also what she liked most in school. She was born in the middle of three, who lived in her own world full of books and her imagination. Part of how she became a writer was that she’d prefer to stay home and read. Her books have varied in different content and styles. The one particular theme that she uses is the importances of human connections.

She is an author of many famous books, like the series of The Giver. I focused on only four of her books, (The Giver, Anastasia On Her Own, Gathering Blue, and Number The Stars). These books have uses many sentence craft techniques such as “And” Lists, 3rd Person Narration, Chopping Dialogue, and Emphasized Fonts. Some of Lowry’s main goals in her writing would be to have her books set on a setting or exciting plot line (The Giver, Gathering Blue). When she writes more of a book for younger readers, she takes a serious topic and disguises the seriousness with humor. Another goal of her’s would be to show the importance of human connections, which she realized through her own children.

Books that I studied

-The Giver

-Gathering Blue

-Anastasia On Her Own

-Number The Stars

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Here are some of my favorites of Lowry's Techniques

“And” Lists

Lowry uses “And” Lists to make the lists in her books seem longer and more put together by using ‘and’. She does this by taking her list and inputting ‘and’ when taking out commas. (sometimes the commas are left in)

  • The Giver: “Poverty, and hunger, and terror.”

  • Number The Stars: “And there are mice in the attic, and my brown sweater ha a big moth hole in the sleeve, and if I don’t wash the windows soon…”

  • Anastasia On Her Own: “ And she looked like an owl, and she said sam had bleeping acne, and---”

3rd Person Narrative

She uses the 3rd Person Narrative in her writing to make the story in a different point of view that is not the main characters.

  • The Giver: “Jonas watched...he waited...Jonas said…” Jonas is the main character

  • Number The Stars: “Annamarie couldn’t hear...Annamarie laughed…” Annamarie is the main character

  • Gathering Blue: “ Kira knew that...she pointed...she called…” Kira is the main character

Chopping Dialogue

Lowry is interrupting the dialogue to tell who is saying the sentences, she wants to do this before the end of the dialogue. She mostly interrupts the dialogue with he said or she said.

  • The Giver: “You can understand, then, that that’s what I felt for Rosemary,” The Giver explained. “I loved her…”

  • Number The Stars: “Shhh, Kristi,” Mama said. “Don’t chatter so.”

Gathering Blue: “I’m sorry,” she said.”It seems lifeless, I know. But there are times--”

Emphasized Font

She uses a different font to give special words a bit more emphasis if they have a bit more importance. It gives only one word emphasis in some sentences.

  • The Giver: “I had to, Jonas. It was my job.”

  • Number The Stars: “They were everywhere.”

  • Anastasia On Her Own: “That would be nice.”

Sentence Percentages In The Books

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Common Themes In Lowry's Work

Lois Lowry’s books are usually based on the importance of human connections. She learned this is important through her own children. She also likes to have the main character learn a lesson.

In Anastasia On Her Own, (which is more of a younger reader book, not that advanced), Anastasia has to run her household when her mother has to go away for work. She has a theory that all you need is a schedule. She decided to test that theory and many different things go wrong. Anastasia soon learns that schedules aren’t the most help but keeping in touch with the others in the household and having connections with others matters the most. She learns about having more respect for what her mother’s and how important her job is.
In Gathering Blue, the main character, Kira, had been an orphan and faced many challenges for her future. The Council Of Guardians summoned Kira and she thinks it she is in trouble but the guardians have good news for her. She is being kept alive by the guardians. She then goes on a quest of truth and learns many things and realizes the importance of her new responsibilities.
In Number The Stars, Annemarie lives in Copenhagen during the presence of the Nazi soldiers. Soon they “relocate” all of the Jews in Denmark and one of those Jews is Annemarie's best friend, Ellen. Ellen has to stay with Annemarie’s family while her parents are being “relocated”. Annemarie learns about the importance of human connections by helping the Jewish population across the sea to Sweden.

In The Giver, Jonas lives in a community that is idyllic. Birthmothers have children that are assigned to family units. Everyone obeys. Everyone is the same. Jonas is chosen to be the receiver who doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else and learns many new things like, colors, words, and emotions. When Jonas escapes the community he takes the memories that he has received and the community is in danger, he also takes his little brother Gabriel and learns to take care of others. He also learns about the real truth with his community.


Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1993.

--. Number the Stars. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1989.

--. Anastasia On Her Own. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1985.

--. Gathering Blue. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.