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Author to appear at Tennessee Theatre

The University of Tennessee’s Center for Children and Young Adult Literature will present two-time Newbery Award winner Lois Lowry in a special appearance at the Tennessee Theatre at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20. The event is free and open to the public. The prestigious Newbery Medal is awarded for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

With more than 30 books to her name, Lowry has touched the lives of children and adults through some tough subjects that she refuses to soft pedal. She won her first Newbery Award in 1990 for “Number the Stars,” a tale of resistance, friendship, bravery and truth in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Recognizing that most children experience loss, grief, pain and struggle, her stories remain authentic, despite contentions from some people who want them off the shelves. Her second Newbery Award winning novel, “The Giver” (1993), is still widely read a decade later even though it is one of the American Library Association’s “10 most challenged books” of the 1990s.

“We are extremely proud to be able to bring Ms. Lowry to Knoxville,” said Dr. Jinx Watson, co-founder of the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. “She has profoundly touched the lives of people for thirty years through her uncanny gift of understanding our deepest selves and relating to us in compelling stories without backing away.”

Lowry has chosen Knoxville to launch her nationwide tour for the release of her new book, “Gossamer,” published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. The haunting and ethereal story delves into a dream world, exploring the conflicts between gentle bits and pieces of the past that come to life in dream and the darker horrors that find their form in nightmare.

The UT Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature works to promote the use of literature in the education and lives of children and young adults by providing workshops for teachers and librarians, and sponsoring talks by authors and illustrators which are open to the public. Publishers of children’s and young adult books provide review copies of their most recently published books for study within the Center by librarians, students, teachers and the public.

This lecture is made possible with special support from The Episcopal School of Knoxville. The host committee for the event includes representatives from Knox County Public Library, Knox County Public Schools, Maryville City Schools, Oak Ridge City Schools and The Webb School of Knoxville.


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