Avi, the Newbery
Award-winning author of more than 70 books for children and young adults, will
visit Pitt-Bradford March 19.
The presentation, “A Conversation
with Avi,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel. Doors
will open at 6 p.m., and the Pitt-Bradford hospitality management program will
visit, sponsored by the Pitt-Bradford education program and the Education Club,
is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, contact Dr. Wayne Brinda,
assistant professor of education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most recognized for his
Newbery-winning Crispin series, Avi will talk about how he gets his ideas and
thoughts on using adolescent literature and will read excerpts from his most
recent story, “Sophia’s War,” and other books. A book signing will follow the
presentation, and books will be available for purchase.
Avi says that engaging his readers
is one of the key reasons he keeps writing, and he has been fortunate enough to
hear directly from readers about the impact his books have had. “I have been touched many times by readers who find some
special connection between their lives and something I have written: the Danish girl who read
something of mine in Danish, and struggled to communicate that in her halting
English; the autistic boy who somehow found something meaningful about my books
that reached his own inner life; the women who have told me how important ‘The
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle’ was to them when growing up; the boy who
felt a new sense of courage after reading ‘Crispin.’”
his fans’ questions about the characters he has created, the writer’s most
commonly heard question may be about his own use of the single name “Avi.”
a young adult, I was a reader of French literature, which has that one name
tradition: Moliere, Racine, Anouilh, Gide, and so forth,” he explains. “Then
too, Avi (which is not my birth certificate name) was given to me by my twin sister
when we were infants, and it stuck. Then my family was opposed to my becoming a
writer because they considered my writing poor (which it was, then). By using
my own name (Avi), I was having my revenge on family.”
he believes — and has the awards to show — that his writing skills have
improved, writing still does not come easily to him, despite having more than
70 books to his credit. “I never studied writing in any formal sense. I taught
myself to write by reading and by imitating what I was reading,” he says.
earned the Newbery Award in 2003 for the first of his “Crispin” books,
“Crispin: The Cross of Lead.” The Newbery is given annually by the American
Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to
American literature for children for that year.
Avi also received Newbery honors for
“True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” and “Nothing but the Truth,” both of
which also received Boston Globe Horn Book Awards, along with “Poppy.” He has
earned the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award for “The Fighting Ground” and
the Christopher Award for “Encounter at Easton.”
addition to his evening talk, Avi will also visit students at School Street and
St. Bernard elementary schools, Fretz Middle School and Bradford Area High
School during the day.