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Wow, Lois. Is this something you would have responded to if Ilan had e-mailed you? I teach creative writing and have three published books of my own, and I'm always amazed at some of the things people write to authors. I try to work with my students in group workshops with an emphasis on trust, respect, and compassion for the work and for the author. Even after all these years, I'm sensitive to things like this. :-)

Thank you for your work, and for the blog!
Laraine Herring

Lois Lowry

Yes, I would have responded to it if it came through e-mail. I always do, even when the reader writes to say he or she hated a book, as they sometimes do. I tell them that everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course. There are books that I hate, myself! But it is important---I remind them---to be respectful of the author, and that something like "Your book sucks" is an immature way to respond.


I remember working on a very controversial story for a small suburban paper. We expected letters, angry villagers with pitchforks after its publication.

We were ready for them. All contingencies addressed.

After the story ran nothing happened. Nor angry letters, no pitchforks. No reaction whatsoever. We were basically ignored.

That was the worst reaction I've ever experienced in my career.

J. Angelo Racoma

Hi Lois,

My business involves developing blogs and social networks, and I believe in the ideal of having active discussion on blogs and social networks. However, with regard to the critique and questions on your books, I think I'd have to agree with you that your blog may not exactly be the right forum for that. Or, at the very least, readers should not just blindly enter text on any comment field. However, if there's a dedicated page or comment thread for reader reviews and critique, then that might be more appropriate.

I love your books, by the way. I first encountered The Giver when I was in high school in the mid 1990-s as part of our reading list. I've since read Gathering Blue and Messenger (several times, to make sure I didn't miss anything), to complete the "loose" trilogy. I'm an aspring novelist myself. I've written a few short stories here and there, and I write articles for a living. I do hope I'm on the right track!




Don't you love thinly veiled shameless promotion (J. Angelo)?

It seems to me that in Mexico something called "a willing suspension of disbelief" is not taught, nor imagination ever invoked.

Lindsey Sparks

I am sure you get enough positive feedback to counteract the negative, but I so vividly remember reading The Giver when I was 14 and I had the opposite response. Although I was a big reader, The Giver was the first book that really made me think. My entire class debated the ending for weeks after finishing the assignment in class. Actually, I still talk about the ending with some of my classmates to this day (I'm now 28)! In many ways, I think reading and discussing this book is part of the reason why I eventually became an English major and then earned my MA in English. I think it's a great book for school study because it provides so much debate, and for most people in my experience anyway, they have strong feelings about what happened. I remember the whole class being engaged in that discussion, not the usual two or three talkers. I'm writing a YA novel myself, and my dream is for it to become something like The Giver, that sparks conversations. That's a bit lofty of a dream since I've got to finish the darn thing and then try to get it published somewhere first, but that's what I keep in the back of my mind. So, anyway, thank you for your wonderful books. I can't remember eighth grade without remembering The Giver, so you’ll also be part of my members of a great year, and great friends that I got to know better through discussing the book. Thank you!


Whoever wrote that has no taste in books!
I read that book three weeks ago, and I am twelve!
I thought it was great, and everyone I know who read it loved it.
It was a very good novel!


When a kid doesn't like a book I love, I tell them, well, you might try it again in a few years. I loved Catcher in the Rye as a teen, in my 20s, 30s, and 40s, but when I re-read it in my 50s, I no longer loved it. I always put The Giver in my banned books week displays, and it's one of the books about which students consistently say, "But I *love* that book." Sometimes I think the problem is that books like The Giver are *taught* instead of discovered.



Could you, perhaps, include a link to your email address (or to your home page) on the blog homepage? And even include a large "notice" at the top of the page that would catch a student's eye? Just a thought.

(You've gotta give him props for creativity, if nothing else.)


I find this type of response very disturbing. It seems typical of the next generation of children who are, basically, spoiled. They're interested in flashy toys and technology, TV shows and video games. They are losing their imagination and creativity (and the ability to write coherently, apparently).

I love your work, and particularly The Giver series, which I recently re-read (at age 28). Was I able to fully comprehend The Giver at 14? Probably not. But did I write it off as boring and useless because I did not understand it? Definitely not. What an arrogant assumption to make.

Karis Mooney

Hi lois! Actually.....The Giver was an AWESOME book! I loved it! It was interesting and complicated and just an amazing book! I really enjoyed it! It was hard for me to not cry at the last couple of pages but i thought it was a beautiful ending and you couldn't of done better! I couldn't stop thinking of it the day i finished! ha! It was an awesome book! Thank you! :)
Also i have a question? My mom also read the book and we were wondering. The book kinda makes them out as Christ Figures and i asked her if you were a christian? She didn't know so i wanted to know! Thats all! thanks!

S. Davis

Delurking because I can't stand by and let this go unsaid; Lois, The Giver made me a reader.

Growing up as a teacher's daughter with a younger, speed reading sister, I turned my back on reading. In seventh grade (I was 13) my literature teacher (Mrs. Treawick) encouraged me to read your novel. The Giver was difficult and left me with my fair share of ponders, however it opened up my eyes and my mind to the beauty and provocative nature of the written word. Today, I am aspiring to write my own novel and am an avid reader. I thank you, for through your book, through your well chosen words and well developed characters, I was able to discover myself.

Karin T

Somewhat unrelated, but I am laughing to myself, picturing that the "Sam" who just praised your book is actually Sam Krupnik, all grown up :) When worlds collide!


I think this person loose time writting all of that. I read the giver when I was 14 too. And I totally loved it. This person is wrong very wrong. The giver is one of my favorite books. What I also observed is that this person dosen't know how to follow rules or dosen't understand good. Because what she wrote she supposed to write it in an email and not in a blog. In my opinion this person is a LOOSER!
The Giver is one of the best books. And Louis one of the best authors.

Taylor Mackey

Hi my name is Taylor Mackey and i was wondering if you could please answer my questions about The Giver some of my questions are. Did Jonas and Gaberial stay alive at the end when they left the community? When they get releaased do they die because the giver said that Rosemary wanted to get released but at the end of the book it said that he was going to see Rosemary his daughter? Did you enjoy writing this book it is a great book im planning on reading the other books?


Dear Mrs. Lowry, I read your book 'The Giver,' and think that it's AWESOME! But, what happens to the Giver after Jonas leaves? And what about his family unit?


I just finished 'Messenger,' and I LOVED it! The entire series rocked!


Msrs. Lowry! Update! I just read City of Ember, and I get the feeling that Jeanne DuPau PLAYGERIZED YOU! Seriously. I'm sure of it.


Sorry. Her name is Jeanne DuPRAU.

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