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Gossamer by Lois Lowry
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Gossamer (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Lois Lowry

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1,5641994,681 (3.92)48
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Title:Gossamer
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (2006), Hardcover, 144 pages
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Gossamer by Lois Lowry (2006)

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In Gossamer, everyone seems to have a very interesting name, like "Littlest One", "Thin Elderly", and "Most Ancient". Littlest One is assigned to a house that The Old Woman lives in with her dog. Her mentor, Fastidious, complains about having her, so she is then assigned to Thin Elderly. Soon after, The Old Womantakes in * year old John, a kid with a troubled past and an abusive father. Littlest One and her colleagues are dream givers, who help with goodmemories and happy dreams. Sinisteeds are dream givers who inflict nightmares. One night, a Sinisteed inflicts Johnwith a nightmare, wakes up screaming, and The Old Woman comforts him by reminding himof happier times in his childhood. Littleist One and Thin Elderly gather fragmentsto help strengthen John. John and the Old Lady form a friendship, and Johnsharees his dreams with her. A horde of Sinisteeds are gathering and want to inflict nightmares on John and The Old Lady, but Littlest and Thin Elderly were able to counteract them. John goes to school and is a happier child. Littlest is assigned a new person, and she is not happy about it, because she has a great affection for John. Once she accepts her new assignment, she is given the name Gossamer and a new dream giver to train.

While this book has many great story lines, the multiple narratives just was not my thing. I found myself bored and often confused. Now, this might just be because the genre is not my favorite, and I am approaching with a bias. It is interesting, however, the growing that the characters do. Littlest One/Gossamer helps John by giving him happy dreams, all the whileJohn is helping Littleist One grow and mature in her craft, without either of them even knowing it. It just goes to show that sometimes, there are people along the way helping you and rooting for you, evenif you can not see it. ( )
  amberloposser | Apr 14, 2016 |
Littlest is a new dream giver who has to learn the rules from Elderly. Littlest gets assigned to a house and a young 8 year old boy named John is being fostered there. John was abused by his father so his life has not been the easiest by no means. John's mother is trying to get John back by getting her life together so she can have custody. She takes a step in the right direction by getting a restraining order against the father. Littlest and Elderly have taken the job of protecting John from Sinisteeds who give nightmares instead of dreams. They are able to come when somebody is weak and vulnerable. The Sinisteeds end up inflicting the nightmares on John so Littlest and Elderly work to undo the damage. I believe the theme of this book is growth. Littlest and John grow throughout the book and they mirror each other. Littlest grows into a full grown dream giver. She gets sent to a house without a teacher. John is a young boy but he will be okay as he continues to grow. ( )
  Paigealyssa | Apr 10, 2016 |
Littlest is a new dream giver who has to learn all the rules from Thin Elderly. The house they are assigned to is of an elderly woman and her dog. The woman fosters an eight year old boy named John. John has a difficult past with an abusive father. John's mother is trying to get back on her feet after filing a restraining order against his father and he moved to California. Littlest and Thin Elderly have to try to protect John against the Sinisteeds who prey on those that are weak and inflict nightmares on them. They inflict nightmares on John and even the woman which Littlest and Thin Elderly have to try to undo. Eventually, John starts school where his mother works and his situation, while not perfect still, seems to be improving. Littlest also has to move on to a new house now that she no longer needs a teacher. The theme of this story was about Littlest and her maturing and growing into a dream giver. Growing and maturing require change, and while it may be uncomfortable or unwanted at first, change is how one continues to grow. ( )
  NoelAbadie | Apr 6, 2016 |
Littlest is a small and very new dream-giver creature who doesn’t have a long attention span and is very curious about wondering what she is. As her story goes on she must learn from Thin Elderly how to bestow dreams on humans and sometimes pets. Littlest and Tin Elderly are assigned to a house with a foster boy, John, a lonely women and a dog. John was a troubled boy, who was abused by his father. His mother finally had enough of the father’s abuse and the father moved away to California and the mother filed a restraining order against him. The Horde knew he was weak so they were coming for him and the woman to bestow nightmare in them. Littlest must go inside their home at night and try to touch pieces of their life to bestow dreams on them at night The two face the Horde, who gives the humans nightmare and must make John and the woman stronger to overcome these nightmares. They complete this challenge by bestowing so many happy fragments. At the end, Littlest becomes Gossamer because she has the most delicate touch and is handed a New Littlest to guide and become an exquisite dream giver. I believe the theme of Gossamer is everyone has their own individual story which creates the person we are and will constantly change as our story continues. Littlest changes throughout the story without her even knowing and she will keep changing as she teaches New Littlest and her future life to come. ( )
  tanafernandez | Apr 5, 2016 |
Gossamer is a story told from an omniscient point of view. Lowry introduces fantasy and reality through the stories of John and The Old Woman in the real world and through Littlest One and Thin Elderly in the dream world. We are introduced to dream-givers in the dream world, who are imaginary beings that exist in dreams of people. Their role is to make sure humans receive good dreams. In addition, they must protect the humans they are assign to from evil beings known as the Sinisteeds, who are the shadows of giving bad dreams to humans. This is where Littlest One and Thin Elderly come into the story. We are also introduce to the story of John and The Old woman in the real world, who are both struggling through a rough time. John and his mother suffered abuse from John's father, Duane. Then, The Old Woman is the foster mother of John as she is struggling to live and deal with John's emotional problems. Littlest One is assigned to be John's dream-giver and to watch and protect him from Sinisteeds. Thin Elderly acts as Littlest One's instructor of dream-giving as he is experience, calm, and wise. Throughout the book, Littlest One and Thin Elderly battles the horde of Sinisteeds that gives bad dreams to John to make his life painful, miserable, and sad. With the power of fragments collected from John and The Old Woman's Dreams, they succeed to saving John from the Sinisteeds. They both return home to the Heap. Littlest One is praised and named "Gossamer", as she is assigned to be an instructor to a new dream-giver name, New Littlest.

This book is very confusing when I first read it because of the direction of the book throw me off. Also, there's a lot of ambiguity with the characters' names, setting, and point of view. I had to read it at least twice just to get the main points of the chapters and overall the big picture of the book. It's very subtle and hidden as I read it, but when I carefully diagnose the full scope of the book, I finally understand what this book is about. I like how Lowry places important emphasis on power of patience, hope, kindness, and love over the qualities of negativity because the good things weigh over the bad things. This is exemplified when Littlest One and Thin Elderly act as guardian angels for John and The Old Woman. Because of them, they can look forward to a bright and clear future. I personally think everyone can look forward to a positive future with hope, kindness, and love that conquers negativity. I didn't enjoy this book a lot due to the ambiguity and confusion of the characters' names and direction, but I appreciate the subtlety Lowry makes throughout the book. Overall, good book and I recommend this to those that wants to explore reality and fantasy. ( )
  jhcao20 | Apr 5, 2016 |
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Epigraph
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on;
and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
--William Shakespeare
"The Tempest" Act 4, Scene 1
Dedication
For Nadine
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An owl called, its shuddering hoots repeating mournfully in the distance.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385734166, Paperback)

Littlest One is a tiny creature slowly learning her job of giving dreams to humans. Each night she and her teacher, Thin Elderly, visit an old woman’s home where she softly touches beloved objects, gathering happy memories, and drops of old scents and sounds. Littlest One pieces these bits together and presents them to her sleeping human in the form of pleasant dreams. But the dreaded Sinisteeds, dark fearsome creatures that plague their victims with nightmares, are always at work against the dreamgivers. When the old woman takes in John, an angry foster child with a troubled past, the Sinisteeds go after him with their horrifying nightmares. Can Littlest One, and her touch light as gossamer, protect John’s heart and soul from the nightmare of his dark past?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

While learning to bestow dreams, a young dream giver tries to save an eight-year-old boy from the effects of both his abusive past and the nightmares inflicted on him by the frightening Sinisteeds.

(summary from another edition)

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