Newbery medal winner avi by jennifer hemsath
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Newbery Medal Winner “ Avi ” by Jennifer Hemsath. The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (And an Even Smaller Ant ). Let’s Meet Our Author. Avi was born in New York, New York in 1937

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Newbery Medal Winner “ Avi ” by Jennifer Hemsath

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Newbery Medal Winner“Avi”by Jennifer Hemsath

The End of the Beginning:

Being the Adventures of a Small Snail

(And an Even Smaller Ant)

Let’s Meet Our Author

  • Avi was born in New York, New York in 1937

  • His real name is Edward Irving Wortis, but his twin sister began calling him “Avi” when they were very young

  • Avi wanted to design airplanes when he grew up, but began writing plays instead

  • Avi was born into a creative family of writers, artists, and musicians

  • Books have always been an important part of Avi’s life

  • “My life has always been with, around, and for books.”~ Avi

  • He didn’t begin to write books when he had kids of his own

  • Avi enjoys communicating with students who are lonely, frustrated, and isolated – he especially enjoys helping those with learning disabilities, because he understands them


Edward Irving Wortis

  • Avi has worked hard to become the writer that he is today

  • He admits that he was not always a very good student; he was not a very good writer

  • Avi failed all of his classes in high school, so his parents moved him to a small school

  • Avi received special tutoring and help with reading and writing

  • Avi suffers from dysgraphia, which causes reversal of letters and misspelled words

  • This made school difficult for Avi because his teachers thought that he just didn’t care about his work- but he did

  • It takes Avi about a year to write a book, as he must write over and over to correct his mistakes

  • He writes all kinds of books for different ages which we will explore

It Doesn’t Come Easy

  • What does it take to win the Newbery Medal?

  • The author must be a citizen of the United States

  • The book will be reviewed by a committee

  • The book must be written for children

  • It must be a “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year.”

The Newbery Medal

  • We will be reading this adventure about Avon the snail and Edward the ant

  • Avon seeks adventure and Edward does not think anyone should go on an adventure alone

  • They wonder what they will see, how far they will go, and who they will meet

  • Edward likes to teach Avon as they proceed with their adventure

  • Avi writes in a way that will make us think a little harder about this adventure

  • We will see how far this small snail and even smaller ant go on their adventure

  • We will find out what they have learned about life

The End of the BeginningWinner of the Newbery Medal

Questions to Ponder…

  • What does it mean to go on an adventure?

  • When you go on an adventure do you always know where you are going or how far it will take you?

  • What interesting creatures to you think that Avon and Edward will meet along the way/

  • When it comes to the adventure, Edward will tell us, “It is better to look for nothing and find something than to look for something and find nothing.”

  • What does the difference between the words “suggestions” and “directions”?

  • Avon will share a poem with us in the story,

    “How I wonder why the air

    Is the same here as it was there.”

  • How do you think this poem will make sense in the story?

  • When asked where Avi gets his ideas for writing books, this is what he says:

  • “Everybody has ideas. What do you do with them?”

  • “I take my ideas and put them into stories.”

  • “What do you think you’ll do with your ideas?”

  • “Listen and watch the world around you.”

  • “Try to understand why things happen.”

  • “Understand why you believe things.”

  • “Write what you honestly feel.”

  • To watch an interview with Avi, go to the following site:

Exploration of Avi’s Work:What it takes to Write

  • Avi writes historical fiction, fantasies, comedies, mysteries, ghost stories, adventure tales, and realistic fiction.

  • Avi received the Newbery Medal for his adventure tale, The End of the Beginning

  • He has written more than 70 books

  • Many of his books have received awards

  • Some of the books that he is known for are:

    Crispin: Cross of Lead

    Nothing but the Truth

    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    The Man Who Was Poe


Other Books by Avi

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