Lois Lowry (born Lois Ann Hammersberg; March 20, 1937) is an American writer credited with more than thirty children's books and an autobiography. She has won two Newbery Medals, for Number the Stars in 1989 and The Giver in 1993. For her contribution as a children's writer, she was a finalist in 2000 (and U.S. nominee again in 2004) for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition available to creators of children's books. In 2007 she received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her contribution in writing for teens.As an author, Lowry is known for writing about difficult subject matters within her works for children. She has explored such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust among other challenging topics. She has also explored very controversial issues of questioning authority such as in The Giver quartet. Her writing on such matters has brought her both praise and criticism. In particular, her work The Giver has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America, some of which have adopted her book as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have prohibited the book's inclusion in classroom studies.