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.


  1. What a beautiful idea. I'm off to listen to her speech.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. When I first read The Giver, I was blown away by the whole concept and wondered how anybody could craft such a clever story. I loved all three books in the companion series and was awed by the creativity in each one.

  3. This is the second time in a week I've heard wonderful things about Okay For Now. I guess I ought to put it on my list for summer reading. I think Gary Schmidt's editor is the same one I'm working with on The Caged Graves. I am frequently in awe of her.

  4. "It's helplessness turned to hopefulness."

    What a beautiful line -- and so true.

  5. I love this. I'll have to read it and listen to the speech.

  6. I adore Lois Lowry.... She has such a wonderful voice.