Lois Lowry's Blog


Books from my childhood

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 06 March 2008 in Uncategorized


Here is Humphrey, the book I remembered so fondly and which someone has very kindly just sent to me. (Incidentally, this has happened twice before, when in a speech I mentioned a beloved childhood book, and someone in the audience found a copy and sent it to me. One was "Dandelion Cottage" and the other...an entire set of books by Marguerite de Angeli, very beloved in my childhood...and to my good fortune, a library was disposing of their copies; and now they are mine!!)

This has made me recall, as well, two sets of books that I adored as a child; they were by a Swedish author, Maj Lindman. One series was about Swedish triplet boys named Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr; and the other—my favorite—was about triplet girls named Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka. I just googled those books to find their publication dates...late 1930's, and 40's.



Reading about them, very nostalgically, I discovered something that surprised me. In one of the books about Flicka, Ricka and Dicka, there is a cow named Blossom. When I was writing NUMBER THE STARS, which is set, of course, in Denmark, I named the family cow Blossom. I had no conscious recollection of having encountered a similarly-named Scandinavian cow when I was a child. But that cow must have been resting there in my brain cells, probably placidly chewing on a flower, for all those years.

Thinking about all of this, and remembering myself as a child—remembering my family in those long-ago years—I am again aware and appreciative of how fortunate I was to have been born into a family which valued books. My mother had been a kindergarten teacher before she married. She always read to us. There were always books in our home. We were always taken to the library.

And it was part of her heritage, too. Here is a picture of my mother in 1911, when she was five years old, being read to by her own mother.


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Tracy Wymer Monday, 29 November 1999

With all due respect, Ms. Lowry, you are better left to leaving politics aside here. Your political position would never affect my opinion of your distinguished works or you, but I do not read your blog to be informed of your political views. And Massachussetts is certainly not representative of people across our country.
"...all four of us a little aghast, I think, at the possibility of Sarah Palin potentially moving into a position of world power."
Presidents Clinton and Bush were governors, too, but no one deemed them unqualified at the time of their respected campaigns.
Gender bias?

sandi Monday, 29 November 1999

This is your little corner of the world. Please continue posting your beliefs- political or otherwise. That's the great thing about living in America- we have the right to share our opinions. And others have the right to agree or disagree. But don't be silenced because someone doesn't want to read it. People should stand up for what they believe and not just "follow the herd" because it's easy.
And, I take issue with the other commenter. Why is it that when you say something against Palin, you are accused of being "gender biased"? Frankly, I agree with you- the thought of Sarah Palin moving into a position that close to the Presidency scares the heck out of me.

K. Brown Monday, 29 November 1999

What is a blog but personal reflections, commentaries, and opinions (political or otherwise)? By choosing to read Ms. Lowry's blog from time to time I am looking for information on the person and the mind behind so many thought provoking, inspiring, challenging books. Books that I grew up with. Books that illicited tears, thrills, smiles, shock, challenges to improve, and contributed to, I belive, the accepting, investigative, sharing life I strive to lead.
If I want edited, cencored opinions I will read press releases and the news. For personal stands I will look to the internet's direct modes of communication.
Keep the opinions (and books!) coming, Ms. Lowry! Even if I didn't agree with your reaction to the VP debate, I would accept your right to express it here, in your personal blog.

Alex Steed Monday, 29 November 1999

Will someone please explain to me how Massachusetts, pretty much the birthplace of America, and especially the birthplace of American Puritanism, became, in the eyes and rhetoric of the rest of this country, an out-of-touch enemy of the United States?

Ellen Booraem Monday, 29 November 1999

I can't resist responding to the earlier commentator's "gender bias" crack. In fact, a lot of us DID think GW Bush was unqualified to be president, and we were right. Clinton, on the other hand, was a two-term governor who'd been preparing all his life for the presidency.
I thought Hillary Clinton was perfectly ready to be president. Judging from her interviews, Sarah Palin is perfectly ready to be Miss USA.

Debbie East Monday, 29 November 1999

It will be interesting to see how Palin really plays in Peoria. She is a quick study but should not be in the VP slot but not because she is only a governor. Rather, it is because she is inexperienced in world affairs vs. experienced in a remote states' affairs.
At the same time I keep questioning and cautioning my fellow female friends and colleagues about bashing women (and/or mother bashing). She did what many of us might have done... leap at a chance when a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself.
This is the first post which doesn't bash her that I have read. I applaud you for that because it would be easy to do.
We've had enough - at least I have - of inarticulate presidents. I don't want a v.p. who is inexperienced, never travelled abroad (almost never), and isn't up on the issues confronting this country.
Thank you for your post.

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