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Avi is the Newbery Medal award winning author of Crispin: A Cross of Lead , and widely acclaimed for his works of historical fiction for. Avi –(Edward Irving Wortis) Source for information on Avi –: Something About the Author dictionary. Author of books for children, beginning . Throughout the summer of his junior year he "met every day with a wonderful. Meet the Author: Avi, author of the Newbery-winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead.
The Cross of Lead, Avi "introduces some of his most unforgettable characters," according to Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper. Taking place in England during the fourteenth century, as poverty, a greedy aristocracy, and the Black Plague ravage the country's peasant population, the novel finds a thirteen-year-old orphan framed for a murder he did not commit. Crispin flees from the familiar surroundings where he was raised, taking with him only the clothes on his back and his mother's lead cross, which bears an inscription he cannot decipher.
Soon, Crispin falls in with a traveling juggler who, due to his burly size, is called Bear.
Houghton Mifflin Reading: Meet Avi
With Bear's help the boy learns the juggler trade, and also becomes steeped in his mentor's radical politics, which include rebelling against a feudal system that keeps most people living lives of brutal poverty.
As he gains in self-esteem, Crispin also learns the truth about his birth and understands his place in the world. The Cross of Lead its emotional heart. A sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Crispin: At the Edge of the World finds Crispin and Bear fleeing from the king's authorities, funding their flight along England's coast by performing a minstrel act.
After Bear becomes wounded, the fugitives find shelter with a wise woman and her apprentice, where Crispin finds his Catholic faith challenged. At the Edge of the World "doesn't romanticize the era; instead, it portrays England and France as places where poverty, superstition, and violence were commonplace. At the Edge of the World a "moving, history-packed adventure. The Secret School takes place in Elk Valley, Colorado, inas the small town's only teacher leaves unexpectedly and a fourteen-year-old girl decides to fill the learning gap.
Writing about Prairie School in School Library Journal, Carol Schene noted that Avi's "gentle story" contains "a great message that is nicely woven into the daily events" in its characters' lives. Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, wrote that the author's "clear simple language never sounds condescending. Allison Gray called it a "carefully plotted, enjoyable, old-fashioned tale" in which "the importance of education and dreaming of one's future are imparted in an entertaining way.
Soon he learns that members of his family are under surveillance by the Naval Ordinance Office, where his father works, and the teen is forced to deal with the truth of his father's character. When his boss, Enoch Middleditch, decides to take advantage of the gullibility of a wealthy client and create fraudulent photographs of purported spirits, the boy accidentally releases the ghost of Eleanora.
The client's dead daughter, Eleanora is determined to exact revenge upon both of her parents. Noting that Avi adopts a gothic storytelling style, a Publishers Weekly critic called The Seer of Shadows an "intriguing ghost story" that will "leave spines tingling.
Here Sybil is a servant of the evil alchemist Thorston, but her master perishes before he can steal the thirteen-year-old girl's vital breath. Odo, Thorston's talking raven, tells Sybil that the secret to creating the elixer of life is contained in a book that will only reveal its secret to a reader with green eyes.
A Kirkus Reviews critic noted the "poetic, nearly comedic plays on words" that salt the novel's dialogue, and in Kliatt, Paula Rohrlick described The Book without Words as an "appealingly creepy tale that features … a feisty heroine and a message about the dangers of greediness. Losers is a humorous contemporary novel about a group of unathletic boys who are forced by their school—one based on Avi's high school in New York City—to form a soccer team.
Opposing the time- honored school ethic that triumph in sports is the American way, the boys form their own opinions about winning at something that means little to them. In a team meeting, they take stock of who they are and why it's so important to everyone else that they should win their games.
Horn Book contributor Mary M. Burns called the novel "one of the funniest and most original sports sagas on record," and particularly praised Avi's skill with comedic form. As in a Charlie Chaplin movie, emphasis is on individual episode—each distinct, yet organically related to an overall idea.
Losers, Romeo and Juliet—Together and Alive at Last, and two well-received spoofs on nineteenth-century melodrama: Based on an actual incident, his Newbery honor book Nothing but the Truth is the story of Philip Malloy and his battle with an English teacher, Miss Narwin. With bad grades in English keeping him off the track team, Philip repeatedly breaks school rules by humming the national anthem along with the public address system in Miss Narwin's home room. Eventually, the principal suspends Philip from school.
Because the school happens to be in the midst of elections, various self-interested members of the community exploit this story of a boy being suspended for his patriotism.
Much to everyone's surprise, the incident in home room snowballs into a national media event that, in its frenzied patriotic rhetoric, thoroughly overshadows the true story about a good teacher's inability to reach a student, a young man's alienation, a community's disinterest in its children's needs, and a school system's hypocrisy.
Nothing but the Truth is a book without a narrator, relating its story through school memos, diary entries, letters, dialogues, newspaper articles, and radio talk show scripts. Presented thus, without narrative bias, the story takes into account the differing points of view surrounding the incident, allowing the reader to root out the real problems leading to the incident. Avi once commented that he got the idea for the structure of this novel from a form of theater that arose in the s called "Living Newspapers"—dramatizations of issues and problems confronting American society presented through a "hodgepodge" of document readings and dialogues.
In addition to realistic contemporary and historical novels, Avi has also successfully penned fantasy fiction and several other unique chapter books for readers in the early elementary grades. Ocax—eats Ragwood, supposedly as punishment for neglecting to seek his permission to marry. Flowers of Horn Book called Poppy "a tribute to the inquiring mind and the stout heart. The Right Way to Write Writing.
Based on a beginning reader Avi authored early in his career, the first book finds friends Avon the snail and Edward the ant departing on cross-country adventures, each with his own approach to travel.
Praising the artwork by Tricia Tusa, a Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote of The End of the Beginning that "bite-size chapters and the clever repartee make this a charming tale," and School Library Journal contributor Connie Tyrrell Burns dubbed it "a wise little book" about friendship.
With Edward's help, Avon goes on a series of adventures, meeting a series of interesting creatures along the way.
Other quirky novels for younger readers include The Good Dog, a tale about a malamute named McKinley who is top dog in his small town. Told from the point of view of the dog, the story takes an imaginative view of the trappings of human civilization, and brings readers into a clever canine culture.
Mordan, Silent Movie brings the drama and pathos of a silent movie of the early twentieth century to the picture-book medium.
- Meet the Author: Avi
- Meet the Author
Mimicking film subtitles with his brief text, Avi spins the story of a family of Swedish immigrants who are separated shortly after arriving in New York harbor. While young Gustave and his mother are forced to beg on the street after being robbed, they are eventually reunited with Papa after their images are captured on film by a famous silent-movie director.
Sharing the same time period—the first decade of the twentieth century—The Mayor of Central Park finds Big Daddy Duds, head of a gang of tough-talking city rats, determined to take over Central Park, despite the objections of the park's current mayor, a long-tailed squirrel named Oscar Westerwit. When the gangster and the mayor find that they also root for opposing baseball teams, the turf battle moves to a more peaceable arena: In Publishers Weekly a contributor described The Mayor of Central Park as "an over-the-top romp" and added that Avi's "tough-talking prose would do an old gangster movie proud.
They're wonderfully interesting and they hold me to the reality of who they are.
In School Library Journal he noted a telling anecdote about his approach to children: They come in slowly, waiting for yet another pep talk, more instructions. Eyes cast down, they won't even look at me.
I don't say a thing. I lay out pages of my copy-edited manuscripts, which are covered with red marks.
Avi Author Study
There, another spelling mistake. Looks like I forgot to put a capital letter there. And I am among friends. He believes that children have a different outlook than most adults. When you're a kid, there are still options, major options. For a writer like myself, a child is a kind of metaphor for regression to idealism and passionate concern: If we—in the world of children's literature—can help the young stand straight for a moment longer than they have done in the past, help them maintain their ideals and values, those with which you and I identify ourselves, help them demand—and win—justice, we've added something good to the world.
Try to understand why things happen. Don't be satisfied with answers others give you. Don't assume that because everyone believes a thing it is right or wrong. Reason things out for yourself. Work to get answers on your own. Understand why you believe things. Finally, write what you honestly feel then learn from the criticism that will always come your way.
Roginski, Jim, Behind the Covers: James Press Detroit, MI How to Build a Barn," p. And Other Stories, p. The Cross of Lead, p. A Twin Novel, p. A Fable of Medieval Magic, p. At the Edge of the World, p. Windcatcher Link the Author to the Literature According to family legend, when Avi was five, he appeared at the dinner table one night screaming, "I can read, I can read!
This pursuit of learning is an important theme in The Secret School. Avi's family has a mountain cabin in the Elk Valley of Colorado, and it was near there that his interest was caught by one-room schoolhouses. He writes, "As we drive there we see a fair number of buildings that used to be one-room schoolhouses. One of them is still functioning! He says, "There are many folks today who were educated in one-room schoolhouses. And if they weren't, their grandparents were.
This book tries to capture what it was like, and tells the story about a very plucky young heroine. What are some good strategies for solving problems? List students' responses on the chalkboard and work with them to distill the ideas so they apply to most problems. Suggest that students keep their problem-solving strategies in mind as they read The Secret School. After students have read The Secret School, ask them to discuss how Ida solves her problem. Which strategy or strategies does Ida use?
How does the poem she recites at the school board meeting relate to her problem solving?Meet the Author: Jerry Spinelli
Use questions such as these to help students relate the book to the author: How do you think Avi feels about education? How does he show that in this book? Is this theme evident in any of his other books? Are there other themes students can find in more than one book?