Lois Lowry to deliver 2011 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations


mmorales@ala.org /


For Immediate Release

January 18, 2010

BOSTON–Lois Lowry, two-time winner of the Newbery Medal, will deliver the 2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. The announcement was made today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 15–19 in Boston.

“We are thrilled to honor Lois Lowry, who has made a brilliant and lasting contribution to the field of children’s literature and who is a dynamic and vital member of the children’s book community,” stated 2011Arbuthnot Committee Chair Carol Edwards. Whether writing picture books, historical fiction, autobiography, or fantasy, Lowry explores human connections with wit and grace. She is a master at creating evocative scenes and settings that draw readers into the everyday lives of her flesh-and-blood characters.

The internationally acclaimed author’s career spans more than 30 years. She is a two-time recipient of the Newbery Medal, in 1990 for Number the Stars, set in Denmark during World War II, and in 1994 for the eerily dystopian The Giver (both Houghton Mifflin). She was the recipient of the 2007 Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors an author’s contribution to young adult literature. Lowry writes for a number of audiences from preschool to young adults, and her work has varied greatly in terms of content and style. Her first novel, A Summer to Die (Houghton Mifflin 1977), is a sensitive coming-of-age story about a girl coping with the death of her older sister. Lowry is equally versatile as a humorist, having penned several engaging series of family stories among her more than 35 titles. The beginning chapter book Gooney Bird Is So Absurd (Houghton Mifflin) and Crow Call (Scholastic Press/Scholastic), a picture book illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, were both published in 2009 and The Birthday Ball (Houghton Mifflin), illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is due out in April, 2010.

Lois Lowry was born in Hawaii in 1937. Her father’s job as an Army dentist took the family to live to various places around the world, including Tokyo when Lois was 11. She went to high school in New York City and attended Brown University. She completed her degree at the University of Southern Maine, went to graduate school, and began her writing career. As she continues to write for a new generation of readers, she says, “I try, through writing, to convey my passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another.”

The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, may be an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children and Libraries, the journal of ALSC. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a public library system may be considered. Applications to host the 2011 lecture will be available online from ALSC at
www.ala.org/alsc this spring.

Members of the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library; Dean Schneider, Ensworth School, Nashville, Tenn.; Luann Toth, School Library Journal, New York; Sylvia M. Vardell, Texas Woman’s University, Denton; and Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at

For more information on the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit
www.ala.org/yma .