Lois Lowry (born Lois Ann Hammersberg on March 20, 1937) is an American writer. As an author, Lowry is known for writing about difficult subject matter within works geared towards children. She has explored such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust, among other challenging topics. She has also explored controversial issues around the questioning of authority, such as in The Giver Quartet. Her writing on such matters has brought her both praise and criticism. In particular, The Giver (the first novel in the Quartet) has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America since its release in 1993; some schools have adopted it as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have prohibited the book's inclusion in classroom studies.