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Amazing Avi

Meet Avi, the award winning author, whose books span all genres.

Avi, the prolific writer of dozens of books for young readers, boasts that he can make up a story about anything. "That doesn't mean they are all good. But if I have the basis for a story, I can make it good if I choose to." Choosing to write good stories has earned him acclaim.

The story of an orphaned 13-year-old boy in search of his identity in 14th-century England won the top honor in children's literature from the American Library Association in 2003. The Newbery award was given to Avi for Crispin: The Cross of Lead.

Crispin is a coming-of-age adventure layered with historical detail. Avi, who goes by one name, consulted more than 200 historical texts while writing Crispin, his 50th book.

Part of the process in Avi's writing is rewriting. He describes his writing process as "endlessly, endlessly rewriting," often taking a year to complete a manuscript. When he went to school with his brother and twin sisters in Brooklyn, Avi was constantly told, "You're wrong," and "You're sloppy."

Avi has learned the hard way how to put his thoughts and ideas onto paper. Unknown to him or his teachers, Avi was struggling with dysgraphia, a mild learning disorder that even today causes him to spell inconsistently, transpose letters, and leave entire words out of sentences.

Fortunatly a tutor told him, "You're very interesting. You have lots of interesting ideas. If you wrote better, people would know that." This encouragement gave Avi the determination to write clearly so that he could be understood. His first plan was to become a playwright.

Avi has achieved his goal of becoming a writer. Avi doesn't hold himself to any formula or genre of literature. The only commonality is a young character with an obstacle to overcome.

You can read more about Avi at his website.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
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