Sallie Lowenstein’s first eight years may have been conventional, but she has spent the years since making up for the oversight. When her father accepted a job in Rangoon, Burma, her universe expanded rapidly. By the time she was ten, she had toured seventeen European and Asian countries, visiting museums and architectural sites and falling in love with art. By age fifteen, she was selling her paintings. By nineteen, she was a professional illustrator. In her late twenties she became a stone carver; ten years later she began writing and illustrating picture books and novels.
Now a respected children’s novelist and picture book author, as well as a renowned artist and illustrator, Sallie Lowenstein trades occupational hats like most people change their socks. She teaches adults, children and teens, runs ongoing writers’ workshops, appears at seminars and book festivals, exhibits her fine art and sculpture and writes articles about book publishing, children’s literature and pedagogy. Her books have been honored by the New York Public Library and the Bank Street College Children’s Book Committee, among many; been well received by such reputable industry journals as ALA Booklist and VOYA; and reviewed in newspapers across the country including the Washington Post Book World. Her books are included in school curriculums around the country and in Canada. As a self publisher as well as a Scholastic author, she knows the design, editing and business of books from many sides.
Whether addressing children, teens or adults, her goals are to excite them about reading and writing and to expand their creative perspective and inspire individuality through lively interactive talks and workshops. She is available to all her audiences for follow up conversations via email and corresponds with children and adult fans of her books from across the country and around the world.
In the Company of Whispers
Zeyya arrives home from school one day only to discover that her parents are now captives of the government’s notorious Quarantine Squad. Her story unfolds in a futuristic world comprised of watchful government, ever-evolving technology and progressive medicine. This seemingly idyllic world contrasts her grim reality, which is fraught with isolation, confusion and apprehension. She turns to Granna, her grandmother and only living relative. Just as her life begins to settle into normalcy, Jonah arrives. His abrupt arrival, eccentric appearance and extra- terrestrial-like mannerisms increase Zeyya’s anxiety and threaten to undo her completely. Sensing her need for direction and stability, Granna imparts counsel through the sharing of memories from her unique childhood spent in Rangoon, Burma. With the knowledge of her grandmother’s past, Zeyya gains insight and direction for the present. Author Sallie Lowenstein utilizes fictional narrative, history, letters, official travel documentation and photos of authentic 1950s Burmese relics to draw readers into the old Burmese world and entice them to consider the value of the past. 2008, Lion Stone Books, $22.00. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Stacey L. Hester (Children’s Literature).
Waiting for Eugene
Haunting and beautifully written, Waiting for Eugene follows a family struggling with the father’s memories years after a war. Set in America in 1965, this novel by Maryland author Sallie Lowenstein recalls the Holocaust, but the family’s situation could apply to any war in any place. Over the course of the book, teenaged Sara pieces together the fragmented stories her French father tells of the past, especially his two years as a child, orphaned by the Nazis. During this time, he was kept hidden by a farmer in a hole under a barn. Sara, who has inherited her architect father’s artistic talent, focuses on drawing the people he knew during this time. But as her father’s emotional pain seems to drive him deeper into insanity, Sara wonders whether these people were real or just companions her father imagined to keep him company. This complex novel offers no easy solutions but provides realistic portraits of a sensitive girl hoping to understand and a courageous man trying to heal. An added bonus: Lowenstein’s fold-out illustration at the end, which reveals Sara’s pictures of all these people and her father’s drawings of houses he yearned to create for them–dwellings to honor the dead. 2005, Lion Stone Books, $19.00. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum (Children’s Literature).
Rarely have I read a book that has kept me turning pages long into the night and then spent the next day thinking and talking about it. Oh, how I wish my children were young and still at home so we could share this wonderful treat. Mark, a brilliant young man, has trouble accepting the fact that his childhood is over, as are the wonders that go with being young. He lives in his own world and is not affected by material things or the need to live up to his position; however, his boss has different views and makes him buy a house befitting his success. After moving into his new home, a barrage of toy catalogues arrived daily, from which Mark eventually places an order. He had no idea what strange events he had started in motion. Ms. Lowenstein incorporates into her writing the believable technology of bringing toys to life and shows the dangers that can come along with it. The message, that people need to be understanding and flexible, is woven in the story and she manages to remind us of just how fragile relationships and the quality of life can be. While reading this wonderful book, I went through an endless array of emotions and honestly hated to have it come an end. We all need to have a Markham Perralt in our lives. This book will capture the hearts of the children who read it and it is a wonderful read-aloud for the whole family to enjoy. 2003, Lion Stone Books, $16.00. Ages 9 up. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs (Children’s Literature).
Since Sallie works in several formats and capacities, she is available to present to students K-12. She is known to customize her presentations based on the ages and the number of people in attendance. The following are examples of presentations Sallie can provide:
- Writing Workshops: An introduction to the process of writing, along with playing writing games and exercises to jump start creative writing on the spot – this workshop puts the fun back into writing!
- Double Vision: The Effects of Art on Writing and Writing on Art: Because Sallie began as a visual artist and continues to create both paintings and stone carvings, as well as books and illustrations, her writing and art are inextricably intertwined. She will discuss the effect of this on her books, book design, covers and the stories she writes.
- Readings with Question and Answer Times: A traditional appearance, but with the readings chosen to discuss different aspects of the writing process.
- Group size: Ideal size, one class of 50, but flexible
- Suitable for grades K – 12, adults
- Washington Metropolitan Area School Visits: $125/hour, minimum 2 hours
- Washington Metropolitan Area Meetings and Conferences: $250 per presentation
- Out of area Meetings, Conferences and School Visits: $800 per day plus expenses
To learn more about Sallie and her publications please visit www.lionstonebooks.com.