Lois Lowry Biography

Lois Lowry was born in 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii. As the daughter of an army dentist, Lowry moved around a lot as a child. She lived in several different states and countries, including Japan. Lowry attended Brown University, where she was a writing major, but she left college before graduation to get married. Lowry’s marriage did not last, but she had four children who became a major source of inspiration for her work. Lowry finished her college degree at the University of Maine and worked as a housekeeper to earn a living. However, she continued to write, as she was filled with ideas by the adventures of her children. In addition to working on young adult novels, Lowry also wrote textbooks and worked as a photographer specializing in children’s portraits.

Lowry’s first novel, A Summer to Die, received the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award in 1978. The novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old girl’s complex feelings toward her older sister, who is dying. Lowry has said that she does not like to include directly autobiographical information in her books, but it is possible that some of Lowry’s personal experiences informed A Summer to Die, as Lowry’s own sister died of cancer.

Since then, Lowry has written numerous books for young adults, including the popular “Anastasia” series and Number the Stars, which won the Newbery Medal and the National Jewish Book Award in 1990. She published The Giver, which also won the Newbery Medal, in 1993. Lowry went on to write three more books to form the “Giver Quartet.” 

Lowry currently splits her time between Massachusetts and Maine, and continues to write.

Lois Lowry Study Guides

The Giver

Published 1993

Number the Stars

Published 1989

Gathering Blue

Published 2000

Lois Lowry Quotes

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

“It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere.”

“Memory is the happiness of being alone.”

“It is much easier to be brave if you do not know everything.”

Lois Lowry Novels

A Summer to Die

Published 1977

Anastasia Krupnik

Published 1979

Autumn Street

Published 1980

Anastasia Again!

Published 1981

Anastasia at Your Service

Published 1982

The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline

Published 1983

Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst

Published 1984

Anastasia on Her Own

Published 1985


Published 1985

Anastasia Has the Answers

Published 1986

Rabble Starkey

Published 1987

Anastasia’s Chosen Career

Published 1987

All About Sam

Published 1988

Number the Stars

Published 1989

Your Move, J.P.!

Published 1990

Anastasia at this Address

Published 1991

Attaboy Sam!

Published 1992

The Giver

Published 1993

Anastasia Absolutely

Published 1995

See You Around, Sam!

Published 1996

Zooman Sam

Published 1999

Gathering Blue

Published 2000

The Silent Boy

Published 2003


Published 2004


Published 2006

The Willoughbys

Published 2008


Published 2012

Lois Lowry Autobiography

Looking Back

Published 1998