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Lois Lowry: The library is 'still is the best game in town.'


In this interview, Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, which has been made into a soon-to-be-released motion picture, says she grew up in the 1940s in a small college town that was so close to the library she could walk to it by herself when she was 6 or 7 years old.

“To me it was an awe inspiring place," she says, although she admits being intimidated by the librarian.

She says that she loved the library so much that, "Please don’t tell my Presbyterian Sunday school teacher that I liked it better than church."

She continued to love the library when she was raising a family. By that time, she says, libraries were starting to change from what she remembered.

"It was a place where my children could talk and laugh and poke each other and bicker, and the librarian didn’t tell them to be quiet," she says.

Today, now that she has grandchildren, she can appreciate how libraries have evolved into places where one can buy a cup of coffee and drink it while you’re looking at the books.

She says the library is "still is the best game in town."

During the interview, Lowry talks about her experience with book challenges, saying, "My experience with challenges and banning has been mostly with schools, not with public libraries."

She has grown to appreciate the efforts of school librarians to defend her books.

"I have always throughout this process been very grateful to the people who are on the forefront of that, who are the school librarians, who have to fight that battle on my behalf.

"I have never known of one who capitulated. Even though I have been a victim of banning in a couple of places, the librarians have always been the ones who have fought for that freedom and, I assume, will have to continue to."

Lowry has won two Newbery Medals, which are awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children She won for Number the Stars in 1989 and The Giver in 1993.

In 2007 she received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, which honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

The Giver has been named among the 100 Best Books for Children. However, the American Library Association lists the trilogy of The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger among the most frequently challenged books of the 1990s.

Taylor Swift fans take note. The popular singer makes an appearance in the film adaptation of The Giver, due to be on released August 15. She also appears in a new READ poster from ALA Graphics.  Her book of choice, The Giver, of course.


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