Lois Lowry's Blog


Quoth the Raven

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 05 October 2009 in Uncategorized

Well, the Ravens didn't slink off the playing field muttering "Nevermore" yesterday, but they DID get beaten by the Patriots, and I was right there on the 50-yard-line enjoying every minute.

Pats game 2

This photo (pre-game) shows nothing except how very good my seat was. Many thanks to the Kraft family, who own the Patriots, and who have an almost-11-year-old granddaughter who is a book-lover.

I remember high school football games from my adolescent years (until I went to an all-girls school for my final two years of high school) and I remember being COLD. Games were on Friday nights and thogh we bundled up, it seems in my memory as if my feet always froze.

When I was in junior high school, in Tokyo, my older sister's boyfriend was a football star. Funny, I remember that his number was 41----that goes back 60 years!  The games were played in Meiji Stadium, in Tokyo, which had been built for the pre-war Olympics; and during the summers we swam almost every day in the Olympic pool there---I seem to remember that we could walk there from our house, but I could be wrong---maybe we took some sort of bus. Even as kids (I was 11, 12, and 13 in Tokyo) we made our way everywhere by bus and train, and sometimes bike, very easily and safely.

During spring vacation, and also again one summer. I went alone by overnight train to the city of Kure. A friend of mine from Tokyo had moved with her family down to an island called Eta-jima in the inland sea, very near Hiroshima, and reachable by boat from Kure. Her family met my train, I suppose, and took me over to the island for a lengthy and wonderful stay.  Just a couple of years ago, reading the terrific novel "The Great Fire" by Shirley Hazzard, I recognized the island of Eta-jima as part of the setting, though the author mis-spelled its name (I emailed my friend Allen Say, who spent his childhood near there, to corroborate the fact of the mis-spelling I suspected).

Etajima copy

I just looked online, googling Eta-jima, and came up with photos that transport me back in time. The village on Nagako, on the island: 


I would not have been looking for BEER as the sign says, not at age 12---but I certainly wandered and out of all the shops. And here is the ferry to and from Kure; I was a passenger on it many, many times:


But now I have wandered down memory lane way farther than anyone would possibly want to follow me!

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Sara Clifton Monday, 29 November 1999

I would generally be concerned for the teachers at the school if the letter were made public. However, I do believe it is a author's right and duty to fight for what they write. I believe it was an excellent book. Whereas I don't believe in censorship of any kind I (knowing other books that have been banned) can see why it might be. However, if it is not in the guidelines of the Turkey Department of Education to support the banning of this book then it most definitely needs to be fought.

Jasmine Monday, 29 November 1999

Turkey is a heavily Islamic country. While I love Number the Stars, it isn't hard for me to think of a reason for a very Islamic nation to have a problem with it.

Dana Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm in Bahrain, an islamic country, and I read it. That's not it.

Gillian Monday, 29 November 1999

Every culture has it's own, sometimes hidden, idiosyncrasies. Personally, I would celebrate the ban. Banned books are always read more than those not banned. I learned this at a young age from my librarian mother.

Naomi Lassen Monday, 29 November 1999

There is a direct link between the Armenian genocide and Hitler's "final solution." I'm sure that Turkey wants to keep that association from surfacing.

Jennifer Goodfriend Monday, 29 November 1999

what? number the stars was the best book that i have ever read, mind you i am in the middle of the giver!!!!!! :)

Lan Kiro Monday, 29 November 1999

Naomi, What "Armenian genocide" ???

Meredith Monday, 29 November 1999

I agree that the banning of the book is troublesome and should be explored further, but I do feel compelled to point out that Turkey is a secular state, with no official state religion (though a majority of Turks are Muslim). It would be equally troublesome to jump to conclusions about why the Turkish Dept. of Ed made this decision. Let's focus instead on making sure this sort of censorship doesn't happen again.

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes, just today I have corrected my mis-statement about the Turkish government, which is officially secular, on a later post on the blog.

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