2007 Margaret A. Edwards Winner

 

Lois Lowry for The Giver

image   image

Lois Lowry, author of "The Giver," is the recipient of the 2007 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens. The award was announced January 22 at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

"The Giver," published by Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, explores a future where differences have been erased and strict rules govern society. The novel tells the story of Jonas, a young man designated as the new Receiver of Memory for his community.

Little by little, Lowry reveals what is absent from Jonas’ life: color, pain, love. Readers, along with Jonas, discover that lack of freedom is too heavy a price to pay for security.

"‘The Giver’ is a timeless classic with widespread teen appeal," said Edwards Committee Chair Mary Hastler. "Lowry’s complex and provocative novel, translated into 22 languages, remains infinitely discussable."

In fact, "The Giver" was one of the most frequently challenged books from 1990-2000, as recorded by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. A challenge is a formal, written attempt to remove a book from a library or classroom.

Published in 1993, "The Giver" continues to provide a mechanism for teens to understand themselves, the world in which they live and their relationships with others and with society.

"The book has held a unique position in teen literature. Lowry’s exceptional use of metaphors and subtle complexity make it a book that will be discussed, debated and challenged for years to come…a perfect teen read," Hastler said.

Lowry lives in Boston and continues to provide support to those fighting censorship attempts against this complex novel.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the ALA, and sponsored by School Library Journal. Lowry will be honored at the YALSA Awards Luncheon and presented with a citation and cash prize of $2,000 on June 23, 2007, as part of the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Members of the 2007 Edwards Committee are: Mary Hastler, Chair, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Ruth Allen, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Eliza T. Dresang, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.; Teri S. Lesesne, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and Terry Young, University of New Orleans.