Lois Lowry's Blog
This is the address to which book donations should be sent:
Rollinsford Public Library
Cutter Family Properties
1 Front Street
Rollinsford, NH 03869
RJ Bolian, the 14 year old boy who spent three years getting this library up and running—because his town had none—tells me that they are especially short of children's books. The library isn't officially open yet. But wouldn't it be great if, when it does open, at the first of the year, it is well-stocked, even overflowing, because of the generosity of poeple impressed with the inititaive of this young boy?
I'll send some as soon as I am back home. Right now I am in London, on vacation...and who, you might ask, goes on vacation to the most expensive city in the world, during the month that it is cold and rainy?
Well, that would be me. I love London, especially the theater here, and so we are spending a week in a small hotel (I am writing this in a fireplaced parlor)—once an elegant private home—and have theatre tickets almost every night. Everything IS expensive because of the very low value of the dollar. But you can find ways to keep costs down. Eating in a pub is both pleasant and cheap...a dinner for 7-8 pounds, for example. Cheaper than Boston. Food is not fabulous...but then "British Cuisine" has always been something of an oxymoron. Travel by tube is easy, convenient, and inexpensive (though I would not want to be handicapped. The London tube is not well-equppied for handicapped)
Museums are mostly free here.
So: as long as you don't go shopping, you're fine. (I remember years ago..let's see, it would have been 1984, I think...the dollar was very strong against the pound, enough so that I was here in November and did all my Xmas shopping and bought a winter coat to boot. Not any longer!)
Last time I was here, several years ago, I crossed the channel by Chunnel train, which gets you to Paris or Brussels. I was headed to Brussels that time. But theoretically one could go to Paris for the day (3 hours each way) ... though not NOW! The transit workers are on strike and so buses and the Metro are not running...what a nightmare to be in Paris during that.
The Terra Cotta warriors from China are here at the British Museum and the demand to see them is so great that this morning's paper says they are thinking of opening the musuem 24 hours a day. You do need tickets for that and we are to go on Wednesday afternoon...even having seen them in Boston when they were there. I remember being very moved by them at that time.
This morning's London paper also has an article about children's books in the UK...the fact that editors are insisting on changes having to do with "safety".. Writers are complaining that you can't depict a child standing on a ladder, or include an illustration that shows a stove burner glowing red. So we in the USA are not the only ones dealing with censorship issues. I am trying to think what in my books I might have been asked to change. Well, for starters, in THE WILLOUGHBYS, soon to be released, four children arrange for the demise of their awful parents. Thank you, Houghton Mifflin, for letting me do that. (the parents deserve it, by the way)
Edward R. Murrow used to say, beginning—maybe ending as well—his broadcasts during WW II: "This is London."
And it is. Off now into the rain.