by Lois Lowry
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company
Age 8-16 Fantasy
Have you ever stroked an object lovingly, remembering something precious about it? felt the sensation of it, a warmth slowly spreading throughout your being? a delicate seashell? a faded photograph? an old quilt?
From the vivid imagination of Lois Lowry comes the idea that tiny creatures, with a touch like gossamer wings, come into our lives and gather our special memories from such things, and “bestow” them on us as dreams — delicate gifts that strengthen us to face loneliness, hurt, and fear. When one of these creatures becomes tainted by touching deeply into dark memories, they become the threatening “sinisteeds” of nightmares that disturb our sleep and tear down the positive inner self.
Littlest One, whose curiosity and sensitivity lead her to widen the scope of her gathering to include other creatures, something not encouraged, tenderly supports and fiercely guards the boy who has come to live with the woman and her dog. The boy is particularly vulnerable to the sinisteeds because of the cruelty and humiliation he has suffered in his background; the anger he feels is meant to safeguard him from any hint of sympathy or caring which he thinks weakens him.
As Littlest One and her mentor, Thin Elderly, work their delicate magic on these three beings, the woman begins to understand the deep hurt within the boy and how to nurture the connection he has made with her dog into a bond that shows him he can let love in from others and not lose the love he has for his mother.
A story as delicately woven as the wings of Littlest One as she grows into her adult name, Gossamer.