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Autumn Street Paperback – April 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (April 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440403448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440403449
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Liz, now grown, remembers a time in her childhood when her father was away in the army, her mother and sister busy, her grandparents remote. She turned for friendship to Tatie, a black cook, and Tatie's son Charles, a friendship that led to tragedy. PW said this story "surpasses Lowry's finest in sensitivity and impact. All the characters are wonderfully humanized and memorable."
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Lowry hones her writing to a high polish through which vivid settings and textured characters gleam in high relief."--Booklist, starred review.

More About the Author

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader.s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association.s Children.s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com

author interview
A CONVERSATION WITH LOIS LOWRY ABOUT THE GIVER

Q. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

A. I cannot remember ever not wanting to be a writer.

Q. What inspired you to write The Giver?

A. Kids always ask what inspired me to write a particular book or how did I get an idea for a particular book, and often it's very easy to answer that because books like the Anastasia books come from a specific thing; some little event triggers an idea. But a book like The Giver is a much more complicated book, and therefore it comes from much more complicated places--and many of them are probably things that I don't even recognize myself anymore, if I ever did. So it's not an easy question to answer.

I will say that the whole concept of memory is one that interests me a great deal. I'm not sure why that is, but I've always been fascinated by the thought of what memory is and what it does and how it works and what we learn from it. And so I think probably that interest of my own and that particular subject was the origin, one of many, of The Giver.

Q. How did you decide what Jonas should take on his journey?

A. Why does Jonas take what he does on his journey? He doesn't have much time when he sets out. He originally plans to make the trip farther along in time, and he plans to prepare for it better. But then, because of circumstances, he has to set out in a very hasty fashion. So what he chooses is out of necessity. He takes food because he needs to survive. He takes the bicycle because he needs to hurry and the bike is faster than legs. And he takes the baby because he is going out to create a future. And babies always represent the future in the same way children represent the future to adults. And so Jonas takes the baby so the baby's life will be saved, but he takes the baby also in order to begin again with a new life.

Q. When you wrote the ending, were you afraid some readers would want more details or did you want to leave the ending open to individual interpretation?

A. Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don't do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don't want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds.

Q. Is it an optimistic ending? Does Jonas survive?

A. I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending. I think they're out there somewhere and I think that their life has changed and their life is happy, and I would like to think that's true for the people they left behind as well.

Q. In what way is your book Gathering Blue a companion to The Giver?

A. Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, one that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as the world of The Giver has. It was fascinating to explore the savagery of such a world. I began to feel that maybe it coexisted with Jonas's world . . . and that therefore Jonas could be a part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes at the end of Gathering Blue. He can be Jonas or not, as you wish.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#49 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#8 in Books > Teens
#39 in Kindle eBooks
#49 in Books
#8 in Books > Teens
#39 in Kindle eBooks
#49 in Books

Customer Reviews

I hope you read it!
Nicole w
I recommend parents read this book before giving it to their children.
beck-star
What I didn't like was that the trauma was overdone.
Clyde

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By beck-star on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
As everyone else here says, this is a very tragic story. While the book is beautifully written, and the characters very well-drawn, the ending is upsetting and could disturb younger readers. I read it when I was too young for it - I ended up with terrible nightmares and even now I would not read it again. The ending really is a hideously violent surprise. I recommend parents read this book before giving it to their children. Due to the subject matter this book really is best suited to older children/teens, but due to Lowry being so popular with younger children (for Sam, Anastasia etc) there is a high likelihood that some children will read 'Autumn Street' before they are emotionally ready.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I also read this book when I was young prob not more than about 7-I am 21 now. But unlike the above reader, I did not dislike the book. Yes it was sad, even to this day I have reread the book many times and it is very sad, and may be hard for young children to handle, but it also taught me so much. It showed me that even though there are bad things that happen you can survive and go on, Elizabeth persevered and survived her ordeal. It also showed me how important family and friends are and that you have to respect them. This contiues to be one of my favorite books and Lois Lowry one of my favorite authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
From the opening description of the painting of Autumn Street that Elizabeth plans to the final, haunting image, Lowry creates a world that feels completely authentic. Elizabeth's rivalry with and love for her sister, her difficult relationship with her distant grandmother, her admiration of her grandfather and her overwhelming love for her best friend, Charles, all ring true. This book manages to include class issues, racism and war inside a story of a small Pennsylvania town. I read this for the first time at age seven and still cry for Elizabeth. I can't say enough good things about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
There were so many details in this book that I thought I was there.Lowry has such a great way of writing. I have also read Number the Stars and thought it was just as heart warming. I hope one day I will read all of her books. So far this is my favorite and I truly give this book 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I loved it. It was really touching. But I really don't reccomend it to anyone under age 8 or 9, depending on the reader. I thought it was great and I think it would help kids (I, by the way, am 11) cope with the death of a friend. It was such a GREAT BOOK!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
THe details of this book were great they made you feal like you were there. Lowry has such great writing skills to write this book. I also read number the stars and thought it was so hart warming. I hope to read all of her books. THis is favorite one ,so I truly give it 5 stars.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
During the war six-year-old Elizabeth goes with her mother and her sister Jessica to live with their grandfather. Elizabeth, meets, Tatie's, the cook's, grandson, Charles and they become best friends. Charles goes back to his family and comes back the next Christmas. During this visit something happens that Elizabeth will never forget. This is a story about bravery and couragegeousness, but mostly about friendship. Lowry really makes the charactors really come to life. Elizabeth and Charles are just like real six-year-olds. This is really a very touching story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
My class just got done with the book and though there were sad parts it was still really good im in 5th grade and i don't think that anyone 1st-3rd should read it. Elizabeth is 6 and she moved from New York with her mom and her sister after her dad went to war she quickly made friends with Charles a black boy and also makes friends with louie after looseing a best friend charles the book is still good.
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