Lois Lowry wrote, 'Like the Willow Tree' 10 years ago about Portland dealing with the Spanish flu - a new edition is in the works.


Lois Lowry actually has a new book that just came out last week, and even a Netflix animated version of yet another book of hers, but the Portland Press Herald says it's 'Like the Willow Tree' that's getting all the attention.

That's because it's all about Portland during the Spanish flu back in 1918. It seems very fitting these days with the coronavirus we are now dealing with. 'Like the Willow Tree' is about an 11-year-old girl from Portland who becomes an orphan when the flu kills her parents and sister.

Lowry says she was asked to write a new introduction to the book for a new edition. She thought it was pretty ironic that she is writing an introduction to a book about a pandemic as she's quarantined in her house and has lost three neighbors to COVID-19. She is 83 and lives at OceanView at Falmouth, and is doing well.

Lowry says that rereading the book is eerie with so much of the 1918 pandemic just like the current one. She didn't actually know much about the 1918 flu when she started writing the book. She researched it from Portland newspapers. Her only regret is that she never spoke to her parents about it, who would have been around 13 in 1918. Just to ask them, what was it like?


Lois Lowry is best-known for her book “The Giver,” from 1993, which was made into a movie starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.

She does have a positive spin on the coronavirus and being quarantined - it's a great time for books.



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