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Crow Call Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545030358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545030359
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4—Based on the reminiscence of a day in 1945, Lowry's nostalgic story has appeal that will resonate with 21st-century children. Lizzie's father has just returned from serving in World War II and she's a bit shy even though she's excited about spending the day with him. They are going to hunt crows that are eating the farmers' crops. The eight-year-old is warmly dressed in a man's plaid wool shirt that she had admired in a store window and her father bought for her even though it comes down to her knees. After an early diner breakfast of her favorite cherry pie, they head toward the woods. Being in charge of the crow call, a whistle intended to lure prey to the hunter, Lizzie is impressed with the number of birds she entices, yet feels uncomfortable because they are about to be killed. However, her father never raises his rifle; he simply enjoys watching his enthralled daughter and the multitude of birds that have heeded her call. Remarkable, atmospheric illustrations reveal the subdued, cool autumn colors of crunchy dried grass, softly hued sky, and dark leafless trees. The memory of a treasured day spent with a special person will resonate with readers everywhere.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI END

About the Author

Lois Lowry is the author of many acclaimed books for children. She is a two-time Newbery Award winner -- for NUMBER THE STARS, a book that is required reading in many classrooms, and THE GIVER, which remains one of the most talked-about and debated books in children's publishing history. THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture with Walden Media. She is also the author of GOSSAMER, CROW CALL, and THE WILLOUGHBYS, among many, many others. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Russia and educated at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. He has illustrated many books for children, including THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO by Russell Freedman, and CROW CALL by Lois Lowry. Bagram lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.

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?)
#13 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#4 in Books > Teens
#12 in Books
#12 in Kindle eBooks
#4 in Books > Teens
#12 in Books
#12 in Kindle eBooks

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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My girls loved this story.
Inhabiting Books
Beautifully written and illustrated with a heartwarming storyline!
Mary Anne Kenyon
According to the author "The details of this story are true."
D. Fowler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Melanie B on February 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The story is powerful but understated, so that it's depths might be easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. It's told in the small details. Its power is in much of what goes unsaid and undone. So many moments had me on the point of tears.

This is the story of a father back from the war who has been gone so long he's become a stranger to his little girl. He doesn't know her favorite food is cherry pie, which he would if he'd been there... mama put candles on a pie for her last birthday. He's trying to reconnect so he takes her hunting with him, a special day for the two of them, inspired perhaps by her yearning for a hunting shirt she'd seen in a store window. But she is a little frightened by this stranger with a gun, a hunter, by the potential for violence she senses in him. In the most moving exchange she asks him if he's ever scared and he confesses that when he was away in the war he was; but now he is not afraid, he's the pillar of strength that his daughter can rely on. He understands her fears, however. And so, though he explains to her the necessity of killing the crows to protect the crops and addresses her concerns about the baby crows (long grown up and forgotten by their parents), he still refrains from shooting them that day.

The ending only seems anticlimactic if you've missed the undercurrents of emotion that make his restraint a remarkable gift to his daughter. The story shows how he's been desensitized from violence by the war and how she re-sensitizes him. It is deep and momentous, a shift from being a man of war to a man of peace. A poignant
moment in which the daughter becomes her father's teacher.

The book is full of warmth and humor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JK on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Crow Call will join the ranks of the Each-of-Our-Children-Must-Have-a-Copy-of-This books, that include such treasures as When Jessie Came Across the Sea, An Orange for Frankie, and The Yellow Star (an incident by the way which our son's Danish Grandmother-in-Law remembers and says IS a true story). My sisters will also be touched by the copies I am giving them at Christmas, as we lost our "war dad" in the springtime. A beautiful book for both the eyes and the soul!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Lois Lowry is one of only two children's authors to ever win two Newbery Medals. Her Giver trilogy (Giver, Messenger and Gathering Blue) is used in school curriculums all over North America. This new story is wonderfully told and amazingly illustrated. The artwork is vivid and realistic, almost a cross between Norman Rockwell and Alex Colville. The story is that of a young girl out for the day with her father, a father she doesn't really know, for he has just returned from the war. They have gone to hunt crows that are eating the crops. The story is about parents and children getting to know each other. In that sense it is truly universal, which is the best kind of story. Lowry shares in the afterward that this is a true story; it happened to her. This is an amazing book and can be shared with many.
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Format: Hardcover
Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors, and her story here is wonderful. The pleasant surprise is how beautiful the illustrations are to perfectly accompany such a sweet time between father and daughter. The illustrator likes Andrew Wyeth, and it is apparent in the fantastic, quiet illustrations. Having grown up with a father much like this one -- a WWII vet, too, it brought back some good memories for me of spending valuable time with him. We even had a similar hunting trip together, though we knew each other very well. My father was there with me all through my childhood. In this story, that wasn't the case (because of the war), and they gently learn to get to know and really enjoy each other, thankfully making up for lost time. A heart-touching telling of a realistic blooming of rapport between a child and a beloved parent.
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Format: Hardcover
Liz is going hunting for crows with her stranger father who just returned from the war. It is the story of a little girl and her father connecting in a real way, which resonates with all children (and their parents). It is based on the true experiences of the author. My girls loved this story. They could relate because their daddy takes them on daddy-daughter dates all the time, and they love that connection time with him.

A beautiful pairing of art to story. The colors work so well for the hesitancy and awkwardness that both of the characters may be feeling, as well as the time period in which the story is set. And the facial expressions are wonderful. The illustrations feel so hopeful, which captures the essence of the story perfectly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful tale/semi autobiographical about her and her father...great intro duction for me for my high schoolers into the WWII unit we will be doing soon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully written and illustrated with a heartwarming storyline! I used this as a mentor text for my personal narrative unit!!
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Format: Hardcover
I love the tender way that the father, who has been away, reconnects with his daughter. His sensitivity to his daughter's feelings reminds me of my own father. The illustrations by Ibatoulline are gorgeous. While the colors are muted, as befits the fall season, the tender expressions on the faces of father and daughter are exquisite and put Ibatoulline on my list of favorite illustrators.
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