LOIS LOWRY The Importance of Human Connections Meeting Lowry… (Click here for a video interview) Early literature impressions… From a young age, Lowry enjoyed literature and entertainment… On the next slide is the poem she memorized as a young girl *It moves quickly, but take notice of the length: THANATOPSIS by: William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) To him lost eachmeadows Nature thy side That make the humanof green; and, pour'd And, who one love trace, to holds Shall one byin thebe gatheredsurrendering upround all, Old Ocean's grey and melancholy waste,-- Thine individual being, shall follow Communion in their turnshalt thou go speaks By those whowith her visible forms, shethem. To but the solemn decorations all Aremix for ever with the elements, A various language; for his gayer hours Of be a brother to of insensible rock, sun, To the great tomb summons comes to So live, that when thytheman. The golden join The planets,sluggish clod,which of smile swain She has a voice of gladness, and aheaven, And to the all caravan which the rude The innumerable the infinite host moves Are shininghis thebeauty, and she death, that with on of sad where of glides And eloquenceshare, and treads upon. The oak ToTurns mysterious realmabodes each shall take Into hissend in musings,of ages. All that tread Through the still lapse halls of death, Shall darker roots abroad, mild His chamber his the silent with aand pierce thy mould. The globe thine the quarry-slave at night, Yet not to like eternal resting-place Thou go not,are but a handful to the tribes And healing sympathy, that steals away That slumber in dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed Shalt thou his its bosom.--Take the wings Scourged byretire alone, nor couldst thou wish Of morning, pierce he Barcan wilderness, Their sharpness, ere the is aware. When thoughts Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Of onelast bitter ofthecome like of his couch Like the patriarchs hour continuous a blight kings, With thyself in the infant world--with Or lose who wraps thedrapery woods Over thyrolls theanddown to pleasantno sound Where spirit, lies sad and hears the good, The him, and the earth--the Aboutpowerful ofOregonimages wise,dreams. Fair his own dashings--yet of ages are Save forms, and hoary seersthe dead past,there: Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, All millions in those solitudes, since first Andin one mighty sepulchre. The hills Biographical Information Lois Lowry was born 1937, She was a child in a military family, born in Territory of Hawaii. She then moved with her family to Pennsylvania, Tokyo, and New York. She originally intended to write for adults, but was convinced by her editor to pursue adolescent novels. Lowry never wanted to “teach” children, she just happens to connect with young adult audiences. Inspirations for Work Lowry has explored many human connections in her writing. She uses personal experiences as well as historical events for inspiration: • Her own loss of a sibling in A Summer to Die, • Adolescent struggles for the Anastasia Krupnik series, • Holocaust experience for Number the Stars, and • Societal Discord inspired The Giver. A Summer to Die: Deals with themes of loss, sibling differences, ect. “Roman a clef” of Lowry’s younger life. Captures the duality of personalities within a family and life vs. death “A Summer to Die, my first book, was a highly fictionalized retelling of the early death of my sister, and of the effect of such a loss on a family.” Anastasia Series: Lowry has published many books chronicling the life & times of her character Anastasia Krupnik, they include: Anastasia Krupnik Anastasia Again! Anastasia at Your Service Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst Anastasia on Her Own Anastasia has the Answers Anastasia’s Chosen Career Anastasia at this Address Anastasia Absolutely Holocaust Review: During the 1930s, two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population was slaughtered which calculates to one- third of the world population of Jews. In addition, the Nazi’s genocide exterminated millions of: Gypsies, handicapped, Soviets, alcoholics, Polish citizens, political and religious dissidents Catholics, and Jehovah Witnesses. homosexuals, http://www.holocaust-history.org/ Holocaust Review: There were over 1.5 million children exterminated during the Holocaust. Over 5 million Non-Jewish Victims were exterminated by the Nazis during the Holocaust. 3 million of those victims were Poles and Catholics. Imagine the potential of those lives... Imagine how many might have been another Albert Einstein, a Sigmund Freud… http://www.holocaust-history.org/ Poetic Perspective… First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out — because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me — and by then there was no one left to speak out for me. Rev. Martin Niemoller Number the Stars… Number the Stars tells the tale of Annemarie Johansen, a young girl living in Denmark during World War II. The book opens in 1943, three years after German soldiers first arrived to occupy the small country. Number the Stars, set in a different culture and era, tells the same story: that of the role we humans play in the lives of our fellow beings. Social Unrest from 1960s-1990s What can you, as a class, explain about the: Changes in values Household construction Major movements of the 1960s-1970s? Another perspective on Utopian Living… Not in Utopia -- subterranean fields,-- Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where! But in the very world, which is the world Of all of us, -- the place where in the end We find our happiness, or not at all William Wordsworth The Giver… Themes: coming of age story, uniqueness, utopia vs. dystopia, unity vs. individuality Relevance to YA readers “The Giver (and Gathering Blue, and the newest in the trilogy: Messenger) take place against the background of very different cultures and times. Though all three are broader in scope than my earlier books, they nonetheless speak to the same concern: the vital need of people to be aware of their interdependence, not only with each other, but with the world and its environment.” Lowry on Lowry: “My books have varied in content and style. Yet it seems that all of them deal, essentially, with the same general theme: the importance of human connections.” “Challenged Books” The Giver is one of the most popular books on the “challenged list” of the American Library Association. Why do you think this is? Writing Tips from Lowry… Write about personal events, experiences that have shaped you Create your own situations, characters, etc. Read! Write letters (“old fashioned ones”) Directions for Daily Writing Assignment: Pick a personal experience or historical event to focus on for this writing Begin your narrative as if you are writing a letter to a friend or grandparent Turn in your work (no less than1 ½ pages) at the end of the hour.