Back then, there were dystopian novels, like Huxley's Brave New World, or Orwell's 1984. There were also young adult novels for every genre from fantasy to horror. (Remember Goosbumps?) It wasn't until The Giver, published in 1993, that the young adult dystopian was born.
Since then, dozens, even hundreds of authors have run with the idea to the point where many dystopian fans have grown tired of the formula. Which is why it's so refreshing to read The Giver quartet, a series based on human connection rather than action and looming death.
But like all the authors on my top 10 list, Lois Lowry is more than a skilled story teller. She is an inspiration to writers, particularly writers in her field. When asked in an interview with the Huffington Post whether she'd ever considered writing a book specifically aimed at adults, she gave one of the best reasons to write for children I've ever come across:
"Early on I came to realize something, and it came from the mail from the kids. That is, kids at that pivotal age, 12, 13 or 14, they're still deeply affected by what they read, some are changed by what they read, books can change the way they feel about the world in general. I don't think that's true of adults as much. I'm an adult, I read, I'm no longer going to be changed by it. I think writing for kids is profoundly important."
I just wish there were more writers out there like her, writing for an audience that can still be shaped and influenced, and using that platform to promote love and compassion.
Lois Lowry, you're my writing hero.