Lois Lowry's Blog


Another one....

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 20 December 2009 in Uncategorized

Perhaps posting this is just masochism on my part---or misery seeking company---but this is an email I have just received from a kid.  I get many, many others that are intelligent and respectful (whether they like or dislike a book) but it is hard to know how to reply to one like this.  Of course it is tempting to send a reply that is as insulting and asinine as his email. But that's a lamebrain, unconstructive thing to do. I guess the best thing is to do nothing, maybe send a polite response, and hope he grows up eventually. And learns to spell, if nothing else.

my dear lois lowery,

recently i have read you book "the Giver" for my nineth grade english class and after much discussion and deliberation on the part of myself and my classmates i must say that i know of several children including myself who are better authors than you. while your book had an interesting idea, it was not at all written well. while reading your book i was given the impression that you were pressed for time while writing it. not only is "the Giver" shorter than a couple of essays i have written, it also has the same vocabulary as my ten year old little sister. besides that there is the fact that your book completely lacks consistency. your book takes place in a futureistic society whre everything is "perfect". now tell me lois exactly where is it in the future that humankind developes magical powers? because that is exactly what the character of the giver depicts, the magical abitity to transfer memories. in no place in your book does it explain how this flat and uninteresting character is able to give jonas these memoirs. in no place in your book does it explain the futureistic devise that allows the giver to preform this fantastical feat. and if you thought nobody would pick up on that you were dead wrong. and if you didn't realize that yourself then you are far stupider than you originally lead me to believe. another issue i had with your book was the end. after tons of building up to the idea that everything was going to go back to this wonderful world where there are colors and feeling you just ended the book smack dab in the area that should be the middle. now the concept of leaving the reader hanging and allowing them to wonder and imagin what happens next has never been one of my favorite methods of ending a story however there have been times when i found that it was a nice way to close things and i have on ocassion enjoyed them. this however was most decidedly not the case with your book. the idea of a cliffhager is to make the reader want to know what happens next. after finishing the book i must say that you could not pay me enough to give a flying f#@*! about what happens next to the unimaginative, uninspired, lackluster characters you have created. after the excesive writen diaria that the readers of your book have had to endure i belive they deserved a positive or negative ending, not some brainless riddle that you composed in order to get it out of the way. my theory is that your deadline was drawing close and you needed to come up with something. how your book recieved any awards is beyond me. it is my assessment that your awards are simply more evidence of a vapid populace. obviously the commitee in charge of givving the newberry award has very, very low standards. the fact that you even managed to that garbage published is unbelievable. in my personal opinion you have butchered the art of manuscription. my advice is that you take a descriptive writing class, perhaps a beginers one down at your local comunity center. until then i suggest you persue other venues.
yours respectfully,
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ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

I was the only boy in my Jr. High typing class. It was an elective, then. I chose it over Home Ec.
( Home Ec., though, would have helped me during my single days, or what I call my "spaghetti" days.)
I still have a type writer, an Olivetti (the original one!) which I, too, gave to my daughter for a birthday. However, the
MacBook she uses put the Olivetti out-of-business and into permanent storage.
For her first birthday, I gave her my leica M3, I used in the field for a long time. She, however, prefers her digital camera.
All in all, I think she appreciates and values 'antiques' like my book collection, or 'old' books, as she calls them affectionately, and the 16mm projector (that I used to intorduce her to The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax)
Now, we're pretty much 'technologied-out' in terms of gadgets as birthday presents. So, for her next birthday I am going back to the good old reliable "book!"

Katja Monday, 29 November 1999

Awe, what a touch of nostalgia. I love these things between you and your father. My mother used to work with a similar typewriter when she studied in the seventies. I was early hooked by mechanical writing. But the real thing became the computer where you can easily make changes.

Pat Wooldridge Monday, 29 November 1999

Now I HAVE to think about typewriters. In 1961, with the bonus received from my first full-time job, I bought a manual Hermes typewriter with Script type which was perfect for letter-writing. Apparently it was also fine for writing articles, as the two I wrote a few years later, using it, were actually published. I still have that Hermes, as well as another which has regular type. I enjoy using them sometimes, even now. When not in use they sit where I can enjoy their pale green cases.
Yes, I remember the pink eraser with the brush on its end. I wore it down to nothing. At the moment, on my drawing table upstairs, is a white one, also with the brush,. It's perfect for gently touching away the tiny marks that nothing else will remove.
What a wonderful gift your father gave you! You must have been thrilled. Wouldn't he be pleased to know you are still telling about that typewriter.

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