Monday, June 11, 2012
Lois Lowry, Gary D. Scmidt, and Fixing What Is Broken
On Saturday, after I saw the inspiring sky in the photo above, I listened to Lois Lowry's speech at Book Expo America. It can be found here, through a series of clicks I hope you'll take (first click Author Breakfasts & Editors' Buzz, then choose Children's Book and Author Breakfast, the 10th video under latest videos. Scroll through to her speech or listen to it all.)
I thought the speech was absolutely beautiful. Simple. True. She spoke of her son, a fallen soldier, and the characters in her quartet of books in The Giver series. She talked about what binds them: an inexplicable need to reassemble what is broken, to fix the world. She said this desire is a trait of young people but her speech implies that it extends past young adult-hood, that it is, perhaps, the reason she writes at all. Fixing, even in the awkward, stumbling ways we know how, is tendency, need. It's helplessness turned to hopefulness.
While in Spain, I managed to read just one book, Okay For Now, by Gary D. Schmidt. The voice in the novel is terrific, pitch perfect, and I fell in love with one plot strand running through it: finding and replacing the torn pages of a book.
Today, I'm thinking about how incredibly powerful all of this is. How beautiful the smallest acts of reparation can be.