Lois Lowry was born on March 20th, 1937. Today she will be 77 years of age. In those 77 years she has written over 30 books, and received two John Newberry Medals among many other awards for her fiction and biographical books. Her topics are broad and all well done. They’re mainly aimed at the Pre-Teen and early Young Adult audiences but are universal in their themes and easily cross generations.
In 1994 I was given a book called The Giver as a reading assignment for my middle school literature class. The cover boasted an old man and trees, to say that I was not interested would be an understatement. I tucked it down into my book bag and let my larger books fall on top of it, hoping that if I damaged it enough I wouldn’t have to read it. It didn’t work. As the due date for my book report loomed ever closer I begrudgingly put aside my over-used copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and opened the new book about some strange place where everything in life is decided for the inhabitants by the governing elders.
“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen.”
That’s all it took. The first four lines on page one welcomed me to the new book. If only I had known then that the book was going to follow me everywhere for, at least, the next twenty years, I may have not used a sparkly gel pen to scribe my name in it. I would have taken the time to read it more thoroughly. I would have taken every word as the motivation for which it is meant. To have my first reading back would be a great gift, but that won’t happen. Now I know the book and the book knows me. I know that pages 28 and 29 are where the spine split and that it’s where we first meet Fiona. Page 78 is where I put a little purple glitter inked star beside, “He rested for a moment, breathing deeply, ‘I am so weighted with them,’ he said.” Page 91 is where my mind was blown and I had to go back and start all over upon the realization that Jonas’s world doesn’t even have color. I know that all of chapter 23 is hanging on by some tiny bit of 21 year-old glue at the top of the pages. I know that my parents scraped together $5.50 of what very little money they had and purchased me The Giver. For that $5.50 I am grateful.
The Giver introduced me to thinking. It took me gently by the hand and showed me that maybe what we know about life isn’t really all there is to know. Windows of new thought were opened, that eventually lead to doors being cracked open, and then walls being taken down. The Giver changed my life. It may be a simple book, but sometimes that’s what you need – a simple book to strike the match of thought against.
Here I sit, a thirty year-old, wife and mother of three, crying tears of extreme gratitude for the little book that sits to my left, battered and worn and broken. Thank you, Lois Lowry, for the gift of curiosity, the spark of rebellion, the first seeds of free thought, a perfect example of bravery, a protagonist made of selflessness, and an adventure into a world not so unlike ours after all. Thank you for putting your imagination, hope and heart onto paper, and being strong enough to see it through to publishing. Thank you for the words of hope and strength that I now get to share with my children. Thank you, for writing. Thank you for continuing to write. Thank you.
Thank you for the book that changed my life.
Happy birthday, Lois.
World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. It is hoped that World Book and Copyright Day will increase people’s understanding of copyright laws and other measures to protect intellectual copyright.
In the United Kingdom, the day is instead recognised on the first Thursday in March.
World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995. The date is symbolic for world literature. Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died on 23 April 1616.
23 April has also been taken as Shakespeare’s birthday (he was baptised on 26 April 1564, and his actual date of birth is unknown). This year, 2014, marks William Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday.
The Top 12 Shakespeare Quotes
- The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. (Julius Caesar)
- To be, or not to be: that is the question. (Hamlet)
- The course of true love never did run smooth. (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
- If I lose mine honour, I lose myself. (Antony and Cleopatra)
- All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts. (As You Like It)
- Now is the winter of our discontent. (Richard III)
- Brevity is the soul of wit. (Hamlet)
- Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em. (Twelfth Night)
- Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. (All’s Well That Ends)
- Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow. (Romeo and Juliet)
- But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve. (Othello)
- There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Hamlet)
"More than to read a book, one wants, curiously, to possess it."
-Secondhand books from Harvard Bookstore, basement level
Disneyworld needs to make a rollercoaster based off of the ride Yzma and Kronk take to the lair. When the ride starts, Yzma’s voice yells “pull the lever, Kronk!” and the ride starts to move backwards so she yells “wrong lever!” and it shoots you forward.
WHY IS THIS NOT HAPPENING?!
For just $6.99 you can buy an instant PDF Print & Play copy of Marrying Mr. Darcy. Just print, cut, get a 6-sided dice and you are set to play! 8.5x11 PDF, full color. 181 cards + rulebook.
(Bonnet wearing optional, but encouraged.)
If you’ve never faceplanted in a room full of people right as everything got quiet, I wouldn’t recommend it..