Friday, August 27, 2010

Reading about Writers: "Looking Back"

Last month, I started reading everything written by Lois Lowry and easily came to the conclusion that I want to be just like her when I grow up! Her work is amazing and always has a powerful moral woven in.

When I discovered she had written an autobiography, I immediately placed a hold on it through my library's amazing website. Her book "Looking Back" is not a traditional autobiography. It feels more like sitting beside her on a comfy couch and watching as she flips through her family scrapbooks, carefully (and delightfully) describing memories from her life.

I *loved* it! It was such a change from traditional autobiography and was a powerful glimpse into the life of this amazing writer. It was a quick and enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it to you.

From School Library Journal--

Imagine sitting on a sofa with a friend and listening with fascination while she tells you about the pictures in her photo album. That is the feeling one has when browsing through this book of Lowry's family snapshots and reading her lively commentary on them. Readers will chuckle as they hear the tale of the frozen rat she attempted to revive by heating it in the oven and will smile knowingly at the unhappy look on her face when she was forced to wear lederhosen her mother brought home from Europe. The author's voice comes through strongly as she shares both her happiest and saddest times. Though the organization is somewhat chronological, many photos are loosely grouped by topic-"War," "Adolescence," "Opening a Trunk" and so forth-which allows her to make connections between people and events. She introduces each photo, or group, with a quotation from one of her books, making a connection between an event in her life and its fictional counterpart. In The Giver (Houghton, 1993), Lowry writes about the importance of memory, and here, she shows her readers the important role it plays in her own life-how she has used her memories in her work, how they have helped her get through difficult times, and how they enrich and connect us. Much more intimate and personal than many traditional memoirs, this work makes readers feel that Lowry is an old friend.

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