By David Canfield
July 24, 2019 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Rania Matar

One of the most decorated children’s authors of all time has set her next project, EW can announce exclusively.

Lois Lowry, the two-time Newbery Medal winner best known for her 1993 breakout The Giver, will next publish On the Horizon, her debut book written in verse. Drawn from her WWII-era childhood memories in Japan and Hawaii as well as historical research, the book tells the story of soldiers and civilians whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Artist Kenard Pak will illustrate the project.

“Sometimes bits and pieces whirl and flutter in your mind for a long time before they settle in and form a pattern,” Lowry tells EW. “In this case, it was my early childhood in Hawaii, my early adolescence in Japan, and my connections to both Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima; they were all pieces of a puzzle that wanted to be put together. That it took this form surprised me. But it wanted to be told in this way.”

Margaret Raymo, senior executive editor at the book’s publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers, adds, “Not one to rest on her laurels, Lois Lowry never ceases to surprise. With this completely original and deeply personal book that explores human connection, history, memory, and forgiveness, On the Horizon will move and inspire readers.”

The Giver celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, emerging as a classic of young-adult literature. (It was also adapted into a 2014 film, starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.) Lowry is also known for her award-winning 1990 work of historical fiction, Number the Stars, as well as her 1998 autobiography Looking Back. In recent years, she wrapped her Giver Quartet and published new titles in the Gooney Bird series.

On the Horizon will publish April 7, 2020, and is available for pre-order. Below, you can exclusively check out the cover, designed by Whitney Leader-Picone with art by Pak, as well as a sample poem from the book.

HMH

Excerpt from On the Horizon, by Lois Lowry

ALOHA

My grandmother visited.
She had come by train across the broad land
from her home in Wisconsin, and then by ship.
We met her and heaped wreaths
of plumeria around her neck.
Aloha,” we said to her.
Welcome. Hello.

I called her Nonny.
She took me down by the ocean.
The sea moved in a blue-green rhythm, soft against the sand.
We played there, she and I, with a small shovel,
and laughed when the breeze caught my bonnet
and lifted it from my blond hair.

We played and giggled: calm, serene.
And there behind us—slow, unseen—
Arizona, great gray tomb,
moved, majestic, toward her doom.

**

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