Gossamer

By: 

Lois Lowry

Number of Pages: 

140

Minimum grade level: 

4th

Littlest is a dream-giver in training. Each night she and her mentor flutter around and touch objects in the house where John, the old woman and her dog live. From a picture Littlest feels the beach and sun and happiness. From a button on a sweater she senses laughter and ice cream. After she gathers these fragments she blows them into the ears of those who live in the house so that they can have happy dreams.

John needs all the help he can get. He is living with the woman just for awhile. Just until his mom can prove she can take care of him again. But there is another reason that littlest needs to get things right, a more important reason than simply supplying nice dreams. She must strengthen John because the Sinisteed, evil creatures that lurk everywhere, are on their way for John. Littlest can only hope she can do enough in time because John isn’t the only one in danger.

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. What do you think the dream-givers look like? Describe or draw your rendition.
  2. What do you think of the idea of dream-givers as an explanation of how we dream?
  3. Do you think John will eventually live with his mother again? Why or why not?
  4. John’s mom temporarily lost John to foster care because she was unable to protect him from abuse? Do you think that should have happened? Why or why not?
  5. If you could be John’s friend what kind of advice would you give him?
  6. Which dream-giver do you think is the most interesting and why? Which one would you most like to be?
  7. If you were a dream-giver what kind of house would you like to in charge of?
  8. The story talks a lot about photographs? What kind of memories would your favorite photograph have?

If you liked this book, try

  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexi

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.