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 Gossamer . Lowry, Lois; Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, 2006

Grade Level: 6-8

ISBN: 978-0618685509; Cost: $16.00

Also available as paperback, audiobook, hardcover largeprint, and audiocasette.


Blanket Permission to Reproduce Book Jackets

Preferred wording: “Used by Permission of the Publisher.”

Synopsis: In this fantasy tale, Lois Lowry beautifully describes the work of "dream givers," creatures who have the awesome job of "bestowing" dreams on sleeping humans to help them get through their daily lives when awake. Littlest One, new to this responsibility, can't seem to quit talking and asking questions as she makes a serious effort to learn her job, selflessly giving of herself in an effort to help the dreamers in the house she is assigned. Will her constant questioning get her into trouble with the forces that attempt to block the delivery of sweet dreams, or help her to learn to guide her dreamers toward more hopeful lives?

General Review:

This book will be greatly enjoyed by readers with exceptional imaginations who are able to accept and enjoy a voyage into the fantasy world of dream givers described in Gossamer. Readers can learn a great deal from the determination displayed by Littlest One, who although small and inexperienced, will not give up her efforts to mold the "fragments" of memory she finds into comforting dreams for the young boy, the woman, and even the dog! This is the classic tale of good against evil forces that attempt to stomp on those less fortunate, and this story may empower young readers to attempt to better their situations even when it seems that the deck is stacked against them.


Themes: Dreams; Nightmares; Foster home care; Child abuse; Hope and rejuvenation.

 Author information: Something About the Author, Volume 70

Contemporary Authors Online , updated 8/21/2007


Discussion Questions: (Standard 3; Benchmark 3)


  • Do you ever remember your dreams? Have you ever experienced "fragments" from your life that ended up as part of your dreams like John's sea shell?
  • Think of a time you had to be brave like Littlest when she knew the Horde was coming. What did you do that maybe you didn't even think you could possibly do?
  • It is sometimes hard to accept the changes that are constantly occurring in our lives. What realization does Littlest One come to at the end of the book? How could you apply this to your own life?



  • Read author's autobiography Looking Back: A Book of Memories. Make Lois Lowry the subject of an author study. What other books has she written? Have you read any of them? What else did you learn about her life? (Standard 5, Benchmark 1)
  • Make a list of five characteristics about each of the main characters in the book so that we will know what they are like: Littlest One, Fastidious, Most Ancient, Thin Elderly, John, the older woman, the young woman, and Toby! (Standard 3, Benchmark 2)
  • Contact a foster care agency for information, or access information on the internet regarding foster care. Design a promotional poster, or create a radio or television PSA (public service announcement) about the importance of becoming foster parents. (Standard 5, Benchmark 3)
  • As a small group with other students, collaborate on writing another chapter, as an epilogue (ending or follow-up) to the book. In this chapter, tell what happens to the main characters after the close of the book as currently written. (Standard 5, Benchmark 3)

Similar Books for Further Reading

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Fairy Haven and the quest for the wand by Gail Carson.Levine

Prilla and the butterfly lie by Kitty Richards

The Wall and the Wing by Laura Ruby

Messenger . by Lois Lowry

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt