William Golding was born in Cornwall, England on September 19, 1911. Although educated to be a scientist at the request of his father, he developed an interest in literature. At Oxford University, he studied natural science for two years and then transferred to a program for English literature and philosophy. He eventually became a schoolmaster at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. During World War II, he joined the Royal Navy and was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. After the war, he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School and taught there until 1962. His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954 and was made into a film in 1963. His other novels include The Inheritors, Free Fall, The Spire, The Pyramid, The Paper Men, Close Quarters, and Fire down Below. He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He also wrote plays, essays, and short stories. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. He died on June 19, 1993.
Lois Lowry (nee Lois Ann Hammersberg) was born on March 20, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was educated at both Brown University and the University of Southern Maine. Before becoming an author, she worked as a photographer and a freelance journalist. Her first book, A Summer to Die, was published in 1977. Since then she has written over 30 books for young adults including Gathering Blue, Messenger, the Anastasia Krupnik series, and Son. She has received numerous awards including: The New York Times Best Seller,the International Reading Association's Children's Literature Award, the American Library Association Notable Book Award Citation and two Newberry Medals for Number the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1993. She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Brown University in 2014. The Giver is part of a Quartet of books; it is the first book, followed by Gathering Blue, messenger and Son. The Giver has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America, some of which have adopted it as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have prohibited the book's inclusion in classroom studies. It was also made into a feature film of the same name released in 2014.