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Lois Lowry Turns to Verse for the First Time in WWII-Era Work Drawn From Childhood Memories

New York – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced today that it has acquired world rights to On the Horizona nonfiction work written in verse from two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry. Lowry is the acclaimed and bestselling author of The Giver, Number the Stars, The Willoughbys, and numerous other books for children and young adults, but On the Horizon is her first book written in verse. Drawn from Lowry’s memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, On the Horizon tells the story of soldiers and civilians whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Artist Kenard Pak will illustrate the project.

“Sometimes bits and pieces whirl and flutter in your mind for a long time before they settle in and form a pattern,” said Lowry. “In this case, it was my early childhood in Hawaii, my early adolescence in Japan, and my connections to both Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima; they were all pieces of a puzzle that wanted to be put together. That it took this form surprised me. But it wanted to be told in this way.”

Margaret Raymo, Senior Executive Editor at HMH Books for Young Readers, said, “Not one to rest on her laurels, Lois Lowry never ceases to surprise. With this completely original and deeply personal book that explores human connection, history, memory, and forgiveness, On the Horizon will move and inspire readers.”

While On the Horizon is Lowry’s first new book since 2014, her acclaimed novel The Giver celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, and a graphic novel version of the book was released in February 2019, adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell. Originally published in 1993, Lowry’s The Giver has become a modern classic of young adult literature. The winner of the Newbery Medal, it has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, been published in more than 40 languages, and was adapted into a 2014 feature film starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.

Raymo acquired On the Horizon in a deal with Emily van Beek at Folio Literary Management on behalf of Lowry and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Agency on behalf of Pak. Publication is planned for April 7, 2020.

About Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and 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 lives in Maine. 

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media
For nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, nonfiction, children’s books, and reference works. As part of a leading global learning company, it is uniquely positioned to offer educational and entertaining content for all audiences. Its distinguished author list includes ten Nobel Prize winners, forty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, fifteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Tim O'Brien, Natasha Trethewey, Paul Theroux and Amos Oz, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Kwame Alexander, Lois Lowry, and Chris Van Allsburg. HMH is also home to The Best American series® The Whole30®, Weber Grill, Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, and other leading lifestyle properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes™; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters, including Curious George®, The Little Prince, and The Polar Express. HMH Productions develops and produces media and licensed products related to brands such as Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail.  HMH Audio, a newly launched imprint, will publish audio books of HMH front list and backlist titles starting in fall 2019.

John Sellers
Director of Publicity
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
(212) 420-5878