Gossamer by Lois Lowry

Review by Becky Laney, frequent contributor

I’m not unfamiliar with Lois Lowry. I’ve read Number the Stars. I’ve read The Giver (which is one of "Our Favorites"). And I had really loved those books. Enough to buy my own copies instead of relying on the library. But I didn’t expect to be so swept up with her newest book GOSSAMER. I expected it to be good. But I didn’t expect it to be a WOW book. It’s like this book was written just for me. Instant connection. Instant love.

What is it about? Gossamer is the story of Littlest. What is Littlest you ask? She isn’t a human. She isn’t a dog. (You’ll have to read it to get the joke). She’s an imaginary creature of sorts. A dream giver. Or to be more precise. A dream giver in training. If you’re like me you’ve always wondered why you dream the things you do. Wondered why certain fragments fit together in your dream in a completely random way. Sometimes in a wonderfully pleasant way. Small details of your life--whether recent or from years or even decades past--suddenly confront you in your dreams. The answer is provided in Gossamer. Dream givers. Benevolent creatures that bestow dreams to humans. One dream giver per house...unless you’re training a little one. Thin Elderly is training Littlest and their household is an interesting one. An elderly woman and her dog...until one day an eight year old boy (foster care???) from an abused background moves in with her over the summer. Can an old woman and two dream givers bring peace and joy to an angry boy? Or will his nightmares follow him? Can good dreams overpower bad with a little loving help? It’s a simple story really covering a wide range of human emotions: anger, pain, shame, guilt, despair, love, joy, peace, hope, laughter.

This gathering, this dwelling place where they slept now, heaped together, was only one, a relatively small one, of many. It was a small subcolony of dream-givers. Every human population has countless such colonies--invisible always--of these well-organized, attentive, and hard-working creatures who move silently through the nights at their task. Their task is both simple and at the same time immensely difficult. Through touching, they gather material: memories, colors, words once spoken, hints of scents and the tiniest fragments of forgotten sound. They collect pieces of the past, of long ago and of yesterday. They combine these things carefully, creating dreams... (13).

If the premise doesn’t get you...perhaps Littlest will. She is a lovable, memorable character.


  1. I'm so glad you loved this! I really did, too.

  2. This book is really beautifully done. Lowry does a magnificent job of portraying innocence of Littlest. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  3. I appreciated the gentleness of Littlest. The evil powers seemed that much worse.

    Lowry has a way of communicating powerful, moving forces that do truly sweep you up into the tide before you realize you've been taken away.

  4. This book sounds so good. I adored "The Giver," so I'll put this one on my list too.