Lois Lowry

A time to be remembered

Wow!  Can you believe it?  Lois Lowry, author of  the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, was our guest speaker for Island Readers & Writers 7th Grade Island-wide Read 2012.

The Giver is a big favorite among readers. In fact, one of our IRW staff was reading the book on the subway in New York City and several people shared their love of it by hand signaling or saying, “This is my favorite book of all time,” most unusual subway behavior. Readers you are in for a real treat!

The Island-wide Read has become an annual collaboration that focuses on a common book being read by all MDIRSS students in grades 6, 7 or 8 depending on the year. In 2012, it was seventh graders who had been selected to participate in Lois’ visit.  Free copies of The Giver, provided by IRW were distributed to students in early April and teachers spent several weeks reading and discussing the book. They focused on plot, character development and action sequencing among other story elements.

In May, all students came together in a common location for a morning program designed to celebrate reading and to build community. Lois told the audience of approx. 135, how she got the idea for creating the characters and story for the book. She commented on her writing process, answered several burning questions, and conveyed stories from her personal life. Fantastic!

Click-on the video clips below to learn more about Ms. Lowry’s visit and enjoy a snapshot of the day’s activities.


Lois Lowry is one of several authors to visit as part of this exciting collaboration between the Mount Desert Island Regional School System and IRW. Ms. Lowry follows such notables as Cynthia Voigt, The Runner and Solitary Blue; Cynthia Lord, Rules; Gary Schmidt, Trouble; all Newbery Medal or Newbery Honor winners.

Typically, the event begins with a fun interactive icebreaker resulting in the formation of 12 small groups. Group leaders and readers spend time getting to know one another and discussing the book, coming up with three burning questions to ask the visiting author.  Once concluded, everyone gathers in a common location to hear a presentation by the author and participate in a question and answer session. An informal booksigning follows.

Warm thanks to the readers, teachers and volunteer facilitators who helped make this event with Lois Lowry so memorable.  The combination of all, especially having the honor and privilege of hosting Lois, a “rock star” among an elite group of prize winning authors, made this an experience to remember for many months and years to come.

IRW recruits and trains 12 enthusiastic adult readers from the community to serve as small group facilitators and leaders.  Facilitators may be boat captains, retired teachers, nonprofit executive directors, school principals, town officials, parents or others who wish to actively inspire kids to love reading.  They volunteer their time to participate in this half-day event.


•ALA/ALSC Newbery Medal Winner

• ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s Book

•ALA/YASLA Best Book for Young Adults

• Arkansas Charlie May Simon Book Award Winner

• Colorado Children’s Book Award Nominee

• Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award Winner

• Kansas William Allen White Award Winner

• Kentucky Bluegrass Master List Title

• Maine Student Book Award Winner

• Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Nominee

• New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award Winner

• Virginia Young Reader’s Program Award Winner

To learn more about Ms. Lowry and her books visit loislowry.com.