Avi: Newbery Award Winning Author

 

Avi is a Newbery Award winning Author who has written over 70 books for children. He joined Edmondson Elementary via Skype from Clark, CO and discussed the writing process before students had a chance to ask Avi questions about his books.

Avi, named by his twin sister Emily, has published over 30 children’s books since he began writing them in 1970. His books aim to engage reluctant readers, as he himself overcame many difficulties in his effort to become a writer.

Honored with the Newbery Medal for Crispin: Cross of Lead and a Newbery Honor for Nothing but the Truth, Avi is the acclaimed author of several works of historical fiction, including The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and The Man Who Was Poe. Avi faced and overcame many difficulties in his effort to become a writer. He suffers from dysgraphia, a dysfunction in his writing abilities that causes him to reverse letters or misspell words. “In a school environment,” Avi recalls, “I was perceived as being sloppy and erratic, and not paying attention.” Still, in the face of unending criticism, Avi persevered. “I became immune to it,” Avi says. “I liked what I wrote.”

Now an award-winning author, Avi enjoys visiting schools. He identifies with children who are lonely, frustrated, and isolated. “I always ask to speak to the learning-disabled kids. They come in slowly, waiting for yet another pep talk, more instructions. Eyes cast down, they won’t even look at me. Their anger glows. I don’t say a thing. I lay out pages of my copy-edited manuscripts, which are covered with red marks. ‘Look here,’ I say, ‘see that spelling mistake. There, another spelling mistake. Looks like I forgot to put a capital letter there. Oops! Letter reversal.’ Their eyes lift. They are listening. And I am among friends.”

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