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Lois Lowry (born Lois Ann Hammersberg; March 20, 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American writer credited with more than thirty children's books. She has won two Newbery Medals, for Number the Stars in 1989 and The Giver in 1994. In 2011, she wrote Like the Willow Tree for the Dear America series.


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Lowry was born on March 20, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to parents Katherine Gordon Landis and Robert E. Hammersberg. Her father was of Norwegian descent and her mother had German, English, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Lowry was born the middle of three children. She had an older sister, Helen, and a younger brother Jon.

In 1952, she entered Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, New York, where she finished high school. Lowry entered Pembroke College in Brown University in 1954. She attended for two years until her marriage, at age 19, to Donald Grey Lowry, a U.S. Navy officer, in 1956. Together, they had four children: daughters Alix and Kristin, and sons Grey and Benjamin.

As her children grew up Lowry found time to complete her degree in English literature from the University of Southern Maine in Portland in 1972. Lowry went on to pursue a career in child photography as well as submitting articles as a freelance journalist. Her freelance work for Redbook magazine generated her first book opportunity. A Houghton Mifflin editor recognized her talent and suggested that she write a children's book. Lowry agreed and wrote A Summer to Die which was published in 1977. She and Donald Lowry divorced that same year; as Lowry nurtured her budding career, they found they were no longer compatible.

Her son Grey was killed in the crash of his fighter plane in 1995. Lowry has acknowledged that this was the most difficult day of her life, but through her steady work as an author, she has persevered. Lowry said, "His death in the cockpit of a warplane tore away a piece of my world. But it left me, too, with a wish to honor him by joining the many others trying to find a way to end conflict on this very fragile earth." Later, Benjamin and his wife had a baby named Grey Lowry to remember Grey, along with another child named Rhys.

Today, Lois Lowry remains active by not only continuing to write and speaking at appearances, but also enjoying time at her homes in Massachusetts and Maine. She takes pleasure in reading, knitting, gardening, and entertaining her four grandchildren. Since 2015 her partner, whom she calls her "spouse equivalent," has been Dr. Howard Corwin.


Dear America[]

Selected works[]


  • Lowry is friends and neighbors with Kathryn Lasky, who has written many Dear America books.[1]


External links[]