Avi (author)

Avi (author)
Edward Irving Wortis
Born Edward Irving Wortis
December 23, 1937 (1937-12-23) (age 73)
Brooklyn, New York
Pen name Avi
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genres Young adult
Notable work(s) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing But the Truth
Notable award(s) Newbery Honor, Newbery Medal
Spouse(s) Linda Cruise Wright
Partner(s) married
Relative(s) Alan Arkin (first cousin)


Edward Irving Wortis (born December 23, 1937), better known by the pen name Avi,[1][2] is an American author of young adult and children's literature. He is a winner of both the Newbery Honor and Newbery Medal.



Avi and his twin sister Emily Wortis Leider (also a writer) were born in New York City to Joseph Wortis, a psychiatrist, and Helen Wortis, a social worker. In the year after Avi's birth, his family moved to Brooklyn. When he was young his sister gave him the nickname "Avi."[3] Two of Avi's grandfathers were writers, and one grandmother was a playwright. In interviews, he recalled his mother reading to him and his sister every night, and going to the public library on Fridays. He is also the first cousin of the Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin.

Avi's parents transferred him from Stuyvesant High School to Elisabeth Irwin High School, a smaller private school. There he studied with a tutor, Ella Ratner, whom he credits for his writing success. He struggled in school due to suffering from dysgraphia, a writing disorder.[4]

Avi has written more than 70 books. He has written books for different age groups and in many different genres including historical fiction, fantasies, comedies, mysteries, ghost stories, adventure tales, realistic fiction, and picture books. Avi has won awards for his books, including a Newbery Honor for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle in 1991 and another for Nothing But the Truth in 1992. His fiftieth book, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2003. Avi's book, Iron Thunder, about the ironclad Monitor and its battle with the CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads, Va., was selected as the 2009 Beacon of Freedom Award winner by Williamsburg Regional Library and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.[5] At of the end of 2010, Avi will have published 71 books, all written for children/young adults. In 2006 Avi wrote a sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead titled Crispin: At the Edge of the World. The third part of the series, Crispin: the End of Time was published in 2010.

After living in Providence, Rhode Island in the 1980s and 1990s, Avi now lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Linda Cruise Wright. He has adult children.


  • Sherwood Anderson's The Triumph of the Egg : and experiment in production styles, 1962 (dissertation)
  • Things That Sometimes Happen, 1970
  • Snail Tail: The Adventures of a Rather Small Snail, 1972
  • No More Magic, 1975
  • Captain Grey, 1977
  • Emily Upham's Revenge or How Deadwood Dick Saved the Banker's Niece: A Massachusetts Adventure, 1978
  • Night Journeys, 1979
  • American Children's cokacola : A Bibliographic History, 1979
  • Encounter At Easton, 1980
  • History of Helpless Harry: to which is add a variety of amusing and entertaining adventures, 1980
  • Man From The Sky, 1980
  • Who Stole The Wizard Of Oz?, 1981
  • A Place Called Ugly, 1981
  • Sometimes I Think I Hear My Name, 1982
  • Shadrach's Crossing, 1983
  • Smuggler's Island, 1983
  • Devils Race, 1984
  • S.O.R. Losers, 1984
  • The Fighting Ground, 1984
  • Bright Shadow, 1985
  • Wolf Rider, 1986
  • Romeo & Juliet, Together and Alive at Last, 1987
  • Something Upstairs: A Tale of Ghosts 1988
  • The Man Who Was Poe 1989
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, 1990
  • Nothing But the Truth, 1991
  • Windcatcher, 1991
  • Blue Heron, 1992
  • Who Was that Masked Man Anyway?, 1992
  • City of Light, City of Dark, 1993
  • Punch With Judy, 1993
  • The Barn, 1994
  • The Bird the Frog and the Light : A Fable, 1994
  • Poppy, 1995
  • Tom, Babbette & Simon, 1995
  • Beyond the Western Sea: The Escape from Home (Book I), 1996
  • Beyond the Western Sea: Lord Kirkle's Money (Book II), 1996
  • Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams, 1997
  • Keep Your Eyes on Amanda, 1997
  • What Do Fish Have To Do With Anything? and other stories, 1997
  • Talk to Me, 1997
  • Perloo the Bold, 1998
  • Poppy & Rye, 1998
  • Abigail Takes the Wheel, 1999
  • Midnight Magic, 1999
  • Tales From Dimwood Forest: Ragweed, 1999
  • Amanda Joins the Circus, 1999
  • Second Sight: Stories for a New Millennium, 1999
  • Ereth's Birthday, 2000
  • The Christmas Rat, 2000
  • Don't You Know There's a War On?, 2001
  • Prairie School, 2001
  • The Good Dog, 2001
  • The Secret School, 2001
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead, 2002
  • Silent Movie, 2003
  • The Mayor of Central Park, 2003
  • Never Mind, 2004
  • The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant), 2004
  • Poppy's Return, 2005
  • The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic, 2005
  • Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation, 2006
  • Crispin: At the Edge of the World, 2006
  • The Traitors' Gate, 2007
  • Iron Thunder, 2007
  • The Seer of Shadows, 2008
  • A Beginning, a Muddle and an End, 2008
  • Poppy and Ereth,2009
  • Murder at Midnight, 2009
  • Hard Gold,2009
  • Crispin: The End of Time, 2010
  • Something upstairs


  1. ^ American Library Association: "Cataloging Rules." URL accessed 15 January 2007.
  2. ^ Joan M. Reitz, Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
  3. ^ About Avi, section of his official site
  4. ^ http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/contributor.jsp?id=3262
  5. ^ Beacon of Freedom Award

External links

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