Looking back with Lois Lowry

Just for kids

Yak's Corner Yak Chat

May 24, 1999|By Cathy Collison

Author Lois Lowry's most recent book is called "Looking Back: A Book of Memories" (Houghton Miflin, $16). This is a beautiful book that older girls, especially those who are writers, would like. She shares a lot about her life, her family, and her hopes and dreams. Many of you have told us you love her books, from "Anastasia" to "The Giver," which has won the Newbery Medal.

The Yak talked with Lois about her writing.

Did you do a lot of reading as a child?

I always read a lot. I grew up in a house that was filled with books. And, of course in my day, there was no television.

What was your favorite book?

"The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

Some of your new book has sad parts, like the death of your son. Is that hard to write?

It's important to tell our stories to one another -- not just the cheerful and happy ones. All people, including children, too, have experienced anguish. It's very important to tell it and talk about it. Don't let it remain a great lump inside.

You also share a lot of happy memories and you share photographs in the book. Why?

I find memories are often the beginnings of stories. My book describes for kids how you can look back at your own life -- even if you're only 10 or 11 years old. Kids have those memories. Any photographs that trigger a strong feeling ... of humiliation, happiness -- you make those the beginnings of stories.

How do you start your stories?

I start with a character. Once a character is firmly in my head, then I begin to fashion a story around them.

Any tips for kids who want to write?

Read. When kids ask me for tips, I tell them reading is the way you learn to write. I lived in the world of my imagination. I did it through books.

Pub Date: 05/24/99

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