05 July 2010

Avi - Children's Author

Avi - An Author worth reading

This is not your typical posting for me, but because I had to do an author study for grad school, I thought I'd share with all of you what I'd learned.

Avi?  Is an awesome author.  For multiple reasons.

1) He has one name.  Like Madonna.  And Prince.  Instant cool.

2) He writes children's books/YA novels about good stuff - morals and doing what is right.

3) He is not limited to one genre.  He's written historical ficiton, children's books, thrillers, you name it.

4) One Newberry Medal and two Newberry Honors top his list of awards.  I'd print the whole list, but it's long.

5) And lastly, in a time where our teenagers and young people are swept up in vampire thrillers and the like, Avi's novels are interesting to kids (and adults) on a level that is familiar.  His characters go through things that everyone goes through, and he doesn't have to set his novels in fantastic, unrealistic situations (not that I think fantasy is bad, I like fantasy.  It's just nice to read something like Nothing but the Truth that strikes a chord with everyday students and teaches them about communication and honesty without supernatural forces).

The books that I loved the most are:

Nothing but the Truth (1991).  The story of how different perspectives on a single event can be completely misunderstood if communication isn't clear.  This book hit a little close to home for me as a teacher, but it also gave particular insight to those kids I can't ever get through to, as well as the reasoning behind some of the parental reactions I've recieved over the years.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990).  A thirteen-year-old girl must cross the Atlantic on a ship teetering on the brink of mutany.  A great story about doing the right thing and being the best person you can be, despite odds and social mandates.  Loved this book.

The End of the Beginning (2004).  A great story of adventure (on a very small scale) and friendship.  This book would be an excellent bedtime story to read to kids.  It's about a snail named Avon who is tired of reading about adventures and decides to set out on one, with his new-found best friend, Edward, giving him advice and company, what could possibly go wrong?  Full of funny word plays and life lessons.

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