Our featured author for December is Avi.  Avi was born in New York City on December 23, 1937.  “Avi” is not his real name—his sister began calling him Avi when he was about a year old.  The name stuck, and now it’s the only name he uses.

Avi’s sister and brother were excellent students in school, but Avi struggled with every subject except science.  He was finally diagnosed with a learning disability.  Avi determined that he would learn to be a good writer, and he had to work very hard to accomplish this.  He then went to the University of Wisconsin, and he earned a master’s degree in Library Science from Columbia University in 1964.

Avi worked as a librarian in both public and college libraries for 25 years.  He didn’t begin writing books for children and young people until he had children of his own.  His first book was published in 1970, and he has written over 70 books.

Avi’s books have been honored with many awards.  He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead.  Two of his books have been named Newbery Honor books (a runner-up): The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992).

Avi lives in Colorado with his wife.  When he’s not working on his next book, he enjoys photography and visiting schools.  He encourages young people to read more, because he believes reading is the key to becoming a better writer.  Visit Avi’s website (www.avi-writer.com) for audio clips of Avi reading from his books, Reader’s Theater scripts, teaching materials, and tips for young writers!