Through touching, they gather material: memories, colors, words once spoken, hints of scents and the tiniest fragments of forgotten sound. They collect pieces of the past, of long ago and yesterday. They combine these things carefully, creating dreams. Then they insert the dreams as the humans (and sometimes animals, for occasionally they give dreams to pets, as well) sleep.
Littlest is a young dream giver, learning the ropes from her teacher. Each dream giver is assigned a home to travel to each night. They touch things around the house and then bestow dreams on the occupants. There are also Sinisteeds, they represent the "dark side" and inflict nightmares instead of bestowing dreams like the dream givers.
I enjoyed this story. It was different from what I tend to read. Lois Lowry is a great author and after reading the Giver quartet, I decided to try some of her other books. I found this book in my elementary school library. However, it does have some dark themes and may be best suited to 5th through 8th graders. The Sinisteeeds are scary and sometimes travel in hordes, bringing nightmares. The young boy in this story has suffered from child abuse and is very angry. The old woman is taking care of him temporarily while his mom tries to get her life together. The boy's thoughts are described and include some nasty thoughts about the dog. Made me nervous for a bit because I am really sensitive to animals suffering. But thoughts are not actions.
The book had a dream-like quality about it. The story does has a positive ending and I ending up liking and sympathizing with most of the characters.
5th - 8th graders and above. Anyone who enjoys Lois Lowry and stories about fantasy and dreams.