Gathering Blue
By Lois Lowry
Published by Houghton Mifflin
October 2000;
0-618-05581-9; 215 pages

Read Book Synopsis

Read Excerpt

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry"Mother?"

There was no reply. She hadn't expected one. Her mother had been dead now for four days, and Kira could tell that the last of the spirit was drifting away. 

"Mother." She said it again, quietly, to whatever was leaving. She thought that she could feel its leave-taking, the way one could feel a small whisper of breeze at night.

Now she was all alone. Kira felt the aloneness, the uncertainty, and a great sadness.

This had been her mother, the warm and vital woman whose name had been Katrina. Then after the brief and unexpected sickness, it had become the body of Katrina, still containing the lingering spirit. After four sunsets and sunrises, the spirit too was gone. It was simply a body. Diggers would come and sprinkle a layer of soil over the flesh, but even so it would be eaten by the clawing, hungry creatures that came at night. Then the bones would scatter, rot, and crumble to become part of the earth.

Kira wiped briefly at her eyes, which had filled suddenly with tears. She had loved her mother, and would miss her terribly. But it was time for her to go. She wedged her walking stick in the soft ground, leaned on it, and pulled herself up.

Copyright 2000 Lois Lowry
Reprinted with permission.

(back to top)


Left orphaned and physically flawed in a civilization that shuns and discards the weak, Kira faces a frighteningly uncertain future. Her neighbors are hostile and no one but a small boy offers to help.

When she is summoned to judgement by The Council of Guardians, Kira prepares to fight for her life. But the Council, to her surprise, has plans for her. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, the young girl faces new responsibilities and a set of mysteries deep within the only world she has ever known. On her quest for truth, Kira discovers things that will change her life and world forever. A compelling examination of a future society, Gathering Blue challenges readers to think about community, creativity, and the values that they have learned to accept. Once again Lois Lowry brings readers a provocative journey that inspires contemplation long after the last page is turned.

Amazon readers rating: from 60 reviews

(back to top)


Lois Lowry Lois Lowry first captivated young readers in 1977 with her award winning first novel A Summer to Die. From there she went on to create the ever popular Anastasia Krupnik. She was the recipient of the Newbery medal in 1990 for Number the Stars and again in 1994 for The Giver.

Buy Gathering Blue at

Home | All Chapters Excerpts | Next