Excerpt from Gossamer by Lois Lowry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Gossamer

by Lois Lowry

Gossamer by Lois Lowry
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 144 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 160 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Gossamer
Chapter 1

By Lois Lowry

An owl called, its shuddering hoots repeating mournfully in the distance. Somewhere nearby, heavy wings swooped and a young rabbit, captured by sharp talons, shrieked as he was lifted to his doom. Startled, a raccoon looked up with bright eyes from the place where he was foraging. Two deer moved in tandem through a meadow. A thin cloud slid across the moon.

-

The pair crept stealthily through the small house. Night was their time of work, the time when human conversation had ceased, when thoughts had drifted away and even breathing and heartbeats had slowed. The outdoors was awake and stirring but the little house was dark and silent.

They tiptoed, and whispered. Unaware, the woman and her dog slept soundly, though the dog, on his pillow bed of cedar shavings at the foot of the woman's four-poster, moved his legs now and then as if chasing a dream rabbit.

"Are we a kind of dog?" Littlest One asked suddenly.

"Shhh."

They crept through the bedroom, out into the dark hall.

"May I talk now?"

"Oh, all right. Very quietly, though."

"I asked if we are a kind of dog."

Littlest One, whose name was sometimes shortened affectionately to simply Littlest, was working on this night with Fastidious, the one who had been designated her teacher. Littlest was very small, new to the work, energetic and curious. Fastidious was tired, impatient, and had a headache. She sniffed in exasperation.

"Whatever makes you ask such a thing? The other learners never ask questions like that."

"That's because they don't take time to think about things. I'm a thinker. Right now I'm thinking about whether I am a kind of dog."

"You just tiptoed past one. What did you notice about him?"

Littlest One thought. "A slight snore, a whiff of doggy breath, and his upper lip was folded under by mistake, just above a big tooth. It gave him an odd expression."

"Does he resemble us in the least?"

Littlest pondered. "No. But I believe there are many kinds of dogs. We saw that book, remember."

"Hurry along," Fastidious said. "There's much to do, and we have to go down the stairs yet."

Littlest One hurried along. The stairs were difficult, and she had to concentrate.

"You do remember the book, don't you? Ouch!" She had stumbled a bit.

"Grasp the carpet fibers. Look how I'm doing it."

"Couldn't we flutter down?"

"We can't waste our flutters. They use up energy."

They both made their way carefully down. "I hear there are houses that have no stairs," Fastidious murmured in an irritated tone. "None at all. I sometimes wish that I had not been assigned this particular house."

Littlest looked around when they reached the bottom of the stairs. She could see now into the large room with the very colorful rug. The small-paned windows were outlined in moonlight on the floor by the rug's edge. "I think this house is lovely," she said. "I wouldn't want any other house."

They tiptoed across. Littlest noticed her own shadow in the moonlight. "My goodness!" she exclaimed. "I didn't know we had shadows!"

"Of course we do. All creatures have shadows. They are a phenomenon created by light."

A phenomenon created by light. What a fine phrase, Littlest thought. She twirled suddenly on the rug and watched her shadow dance. "Why is your shadow darker than mine?" she asked Fastidious, noticing the difference just then.

  • 1
  • 2

GOSSAMER by Lois Lowry. Copyright (c) 2006 by Lois Lowry. Posted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -