Avi

(2004)
Avi

An inspirational and engaging biography of award-winning author, Avi.  The story of how he became fondly known as only “Avi”, which is not his real name, is revealed. It describes his poor childhood in New York during the war years and how he learned to survive. He fights a lifelong battle with dysgraphia. (“Dysgraphic people have trouble writing. They mix up or invert letters and misspell words.” p. 9).  Growing up in a family of professional storytellers, singers, musicians and writers, and being read to as a child, helped Avi to learn to love stories and history and to teach himself to read before he started school. Because of his dysgraphia, he was a poor student and his teachers did not understand. They believed he was just not trying hard enough. He painstakingly manages his dysgraphia and continues to write and to inspire young people, especially those with learning disabilities, when he speaks in schools and libraries. In spite of many early warnings that he would never succeed at writing, Avi proved critics wrong and through hard work and perseverance, won the Newbery Medal for Crispin: The Cross of Lead and numerous other awards.  Avi’s love of history and writing fueled his choice of a double major in history and playwriting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Avi pursued a Library Science degree from Columbia University and worked for many years as a librarian in New York and New Jersey. History plays a big role in many of his novels such as Captain Grey, Night Journeys, and Encounter at Easton which are set in the time of the American Revolution. He won a Newbery Honor for his historical fiction work The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. His works appeal to young people because of the common theme of children confronting obstacles in adult worlds, much like Avi’s struggles. He writes adventures, historical fiction, fantasies, mysteries, animal stories, ghost stories and more.

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