Lois Lowry, author of The Giver and Number The Stars, has had a long and impactful career. Despite threats of censorship, Lowry has continued to speak about the value of reading a thought-provoking book. Here are ten quotes from the author about the importance of books:
“There is something about that moment when literature becomes accessible, and a door of the world opens.“
“Those books are important. Those kids—Black, Hispanic, Asian, trans, gay, whatever—need to see themselves reflected in contemporary literature. For many years, white, intact, often suburban families have been overrepresented in kids’ books. Those are, in fact, the books I’ve written. And I’m newly aware of how lonely it must have been for those who never saw themselves as the protagonists in the stories they read. So certainly it is time. Past time.”
“I turn to books for a feeling of companionship: for somebody knowing what I have known”
“One hopes that with a book or movie, the reader or the audience will emerge from it thinking. That’s the most you can hope for: that you’ve raised questions that will be there for the audience to think about later.”
“So many of my books, I don’t want to say they have messages, but they have important things to say.”
“When you write for adults, they can be affected by what you’ve written but they’re already well molded and shaped. It’s kids who are still in the process of growth and change and it’s why I take very seriously what I do because it does affect kids that way.”
“What I like to do, although I don’t think I do it consciously, is to permeate a book, a story, a novel with concepts that lend themselves to thought, to discussion.”
Literature, for all of us, is a way that we rehearse life…kids who are ten years old, they have it all in front of them, and some of it is going to be very, very hard. When they read about people experiencing those hard things, they rehearse how they would react, feeling it without having to truly feel it yet. It serves a valid purpose for them.
“The man that I named the Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing.”
“Reading is the most important way to prepare for life.”
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