Books by Avi

SOPHIA'S WAR by Avi
Released: Sept. 25, 2012

"Recommend this to sentimental youngsters or as a supplemental text. (glossary of 18th-century words, author's note) (Historical fiction. 9-13)"
During the American Revolution, Sophia becomes a spy for the patriots, but will she have the courage to relay vital information? Read full book review >
CITY OF ORPHANS by Avi
Kirkus Star
by Avi, illustrated by Greg Ruth
FICTION
Released: Sept. 6, 2011

"Heroic deeds, narrow escapes, dastardly villains, amazing coincidences and a family rich in love and hope are all part of an intricate and endlessly entertaining adventure. Terrific! (Historical fiction. 10-14) "
An immigrant family tries to survive crime, poverty and corruption in 1893 New York City. Read full book review >
CRISPIN: THE END OF TIME by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: June 1, 2010

"Thrilling and beautifully wrought. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Avi guides his hero toward a final, very satisfying destiny in this wonderfully realized conclusion to the Crispin trilogy. Read full book review >
MURDER AT MIDNIGHT by Avi
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"The denouement is as contrived as can be, but readers will be glued to this suspenseful, headlong caper from first page to last. (Adventure. 10-12)"
Avi returns to Renaissance Pergamontio for another round of murder and political intrigue, set two years before the events of Midnight Magic (1999). Read full book review >
POPPY AND ERETH by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2009

"There's life in the old series yet. (Fantasy. 10-12)"
Avi bills this as the final episode in the series and burns down Dimwood Forest to underscore the claim—but since all but one of the characters survive at the end, there's no reason to believe him. Read full book review >
HARD GOLD by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 30, 2008

Centering on the more-or-less overlooked American gold rush in Colorado, this historical novel follows Early Wittcomb as he travels from Iowa to Pike's Peak in search of a favorite uncle who set off to find gold and save the family farm from bank foreclosure. Read full book review >
THE SEER OF SHADOWS by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2008

"This tale proves that the time-honored ghost story, capably researched, well-paced and fusing the Gothic elements of mystery, madness and romance, can still thrill in the hands of a skilled craftsman. (Fiction. 8-12)"
In 1870s New York, at the intersection of scientific advances in photography and post-Civil War superstition, sentimentality and mourning, Horace's father apprentices him to a spirit photographer. Read full book review >
A BEGINNING, A MUDDLE, AND AN END by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 2008

"Tusa's simple line drawings capture a snail's-eye view of the world of tree, leaf and bird, and bestow a droll sincerity on the faces of Avon and Edward. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Invertebrate and inadvertent punsters Avon the snail and Edward the ant explore new territory: storytelling. Read full book review >
IRON THUNDER by Avi
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"The bibliography is limited, but readers may find themselves so absorbed in Tom's exciting narrative that they will seek out for themselves other good works on the Civil War. (Fiction. 8-12)"
The Confederacy has built a monster ship to break the Union's blockade of the Atlantic coast, and 13-year-old Tom Carroll has a new job at Rowland's Continental Iron Works in Brooklyn helping to build its opponent. Read full book review >
THE TRAITORS’ GATE by Avi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 5, 2007

"There's a pleasingly twist-filled resolution, though, with enough residual intrigue for a sequel. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Returning to the mid-19th century for both a London setting and the narrative's many-chaptered, confessional style, Avi spins a Dickensian web of blackmail, treason and spycraft. Read full book review >
CRISPIN by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"Super storytelling. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
An orphan boy continues searching for freedom amid the social and political chaos of 14th-century England in this swiftly paced sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2004). Read full book review >
STRANGE HAPPENINGS by Avi
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2006

"The mix of contemporary and fantasy settings is effective and eerie enough to produce a shiver or two. (Short stories. 8-12)"
Strange, indeed—these tales are actually startling. Read full book review >
POPPY’S RETURN by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

"Well, it's a worthy thought, and, well supplied with Floca's ground-level vignettes, agreeably presented. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Avi's intrepid deer mouse sets out for a visit home in this fifth Dimwood Forest adventure, taking along her mutinously adolescent son Ragweed Junior in hopes of promoting some bonding. Read full book review >
THE BOOK WITHOUT WORDS by Avi
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"But the conclusion, including the apprentice's disturbing end and Thorston's cinematic comeuppance, seems thin and foregone—what seemed at first like gold is more like sand. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Avi's fable (as the subtitle and an author's note would have it) is an uneasy amalgam of medieval alchemy, Northumbrian magic and saint lore from the early northern Church that never quite achieves solidity. Read full book review >
THE END OF THE BEGINNING by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"The compact, simple text is readable in a large font with great spacing; the small trim size and Tusa's graceful, whimsical black-and-white drawings suit the contents perfectly. (Fiction. 4-10)"
Avon, a snail whose reading tastes run to adventure, longs for a real journey of his own. Read full book review >
NEVER MIND! by Avi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2004

"It's a real collaboration; the alternating voices of their characters ring true, and the narrative is seamless. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Avi and Vail pair up in this often hilarious and sometimes poignant comedy of errors starring 12-year-old dueling fraternal twins. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF CENTRAL PARK by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Avi can do better than this predictable plot, and despite his habit of calling park residents "voters," and Floca's natty Wind in the Willows–type animal figures, any satiric or metaphorical subtext is buried beyond recovery. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Central Park's furred and feathered residents face an incursion of gangster rats in this turn-of-the-20th-century tale of baseball, interspecies romance, and ingenuousness triumphant. Read full book review >
SILENT MOVIE by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by C.B. Mordan
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

"Arresting illustrations and, except for the extreme financial success at the end that is atypical of silent movie endings, a compelling homage to a beloved art form. (Picture book. 4-7)"
An ambitious and largely successful attempt to capture the magic of silent movies in picture-book format. Read full book review >
THINGS THAT SOMETIMES HAPPEN by Avi
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"These cheerfully unconventional, irresistibly buoyant episodes will brighten any young child's outlook—and cheer up some adults, too. (Short stories. 4-8)"
Avi at his most Margaret Wise Brown–esque, in nine offbeat, gnomic tales, drawn from the 30 in his first, same-named collection (1970). Read full book review >
THE GOOD DOG by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Almost wholly absent from the story is a real exploration of the mutual affection that underlies the human-dog relationship; without this, McKinley's decision to stay with his humans rather than follow Lupin is an intellectual, and ultimately unsatisfying, one. (Fiction. 8-12)"
When the wild calls, will this good dog answer? Read full book review >
THE SECRET SCHOOL by Avi
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"This isn't heavy stuff, but it gives a glimpse into a past where, although the form of education may have been very different from today's, the problems facing the schools and students will be all too familiar to modern readers. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A strong-willed young woman pursues her educational dreams in this Andy Hardy–esque tale of a rural school in peril, circa 1925. Read full book review >
CRISPIN by Avi
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2001

"The title hints at a sequel; let us hope that it includes notes. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A tale of one boy's coming into self-knowledge is set against a backdrop of increasing peasant unrest in 14th-century England. Read full book review >
PRAIRIE SCHOOL by Avi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2001

In his third entry in the I Can Read Chapter Book series, master storyteller Avi (Abigail Takes the WheeI, 1999, etc.) offers another transitional chapter book with a historical setting, this time the isolated prairie of Colorado in pioneer days. Read full book review >
THE CHRISTMAS RAT by Avi
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"The allegory is hammered in, but the building of tension is very skillfully done, and readers who enjoy horror and suspense will enjoy the descriptions of the ambiguous Anje and his deadly serious game. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Eric Andrick's Christmas visitor is anything but a warm and fuzzy bringer of holiday joys, in this suspenseful but heavy-handed allegory by a gifted writer. Read full book review >
ERETH’S BIRTHDAY by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: May 31, 2000

"Like Eeyore (with a temper), Ereth will be a source of amusement for his dark moods and gloomy outlook. (Fiction. 10-12)"
The gruff but good-hearted porcupine of Avi's Poppy tales gets an adventure of his own, along with plenty of opportunities to fulminate. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT MAGIC by Avi
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"Readers, especially fans of John Bellairs's books, will be riveted from page one. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Conspiracies, intrigue, murder, deceit, apparitions, dusty secret passages, false identities, a clever investigator, and his loyal if credulous young servant: Avi's new page-turner has it all. Read full book review >
SECOND SIGHT by Avi
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"There are also pieces by Janet Taylor Lisle and Michael Cadnum; the whole comprises a mixed bag, but the good outweighs the bad. (Short stories. 10-14)"
An uneven collection of stories about the new millennium from well-known YA authors. Read full book review >
RAGWEED by Avi
Released: May 1, 1999

Avi (see review, above) elaborates on the "city mouse, country mouse" theme in this rousing prequel to Poppy (1995), starring Poppy's ill-fated beau. Read full book review >
PERLOO THE BOLD by Avi
FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

"Perhaps inevitably, there are plenty of loose ends to tie up in a sequel."
Fans of Brian Jacques's Redwall doorstoppers will hear echoes in this animal fantasy, although Avi (Poppy and Rye, p. 808, etc.) not only has the vegetarians attacking the carnivores, but throws in other clever twists too. Read full book review >
POPPY AND RYE by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1998

"Readers may wonder who to root for in this disappointing follow-up to one of the best animal stories in years. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Still grieving over the loss of her beau Ragweed of Poppy (1995), the intrepid deer mouse decides to bring the sad news to his family in this uneven, heavy-handed sequel. Read full book review >
WHAT DO FISH HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? by Avi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Appealingly varied in tone and narrative voice, rich in character insights, and replete with imaginatively presented ideas, these tales offer something to please almost everyone. (Short stories. 9-14)"
Avi (Finding Providence, p. 56, etc.) has experimented with virtually every literary form; here the versatile veteran returns to short fiction with seven thoughtful tales. Read full book review >
FINDING PROVIDENCE by Avi
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 28, 1997

"A complement to other sources on Williams's life—this is neither interesting enough for general readers, nor specific enough for those not already grounded in the facts. (Fiction. 7-9)"
Avi's first entry in the I Can Read chapter-book series tells the true story of Roger Williams's 1635 flight from arrest for "preaching dangerous new ideas." Read full book review >
BEYOND THE WESTERN SEA by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Many plot threads are left a- dangle; Avi (Poppy, 1995, etc.) promises a sequel but few readers will be chewing their nails waiting for it. (Fiction. 11-13)"
From an author who's made a career of experimenting with different narrative structures comes this first sprawling tale in The Escape From Home books; it's done as a Victorian serial novel with a huge cast, and a multiplicity of short chapters setting out an episodic plot replete with chance meetings, narrow escapes, and dismaying revelations. Read full book review >
POPPY by Avi
by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)"
An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area. Read full book review >
TOM, BABETTE, AND SIMON by Avi
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 1995

"With scratchy b&w illustrations. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Shape-shifting adventures in a grand tradition. Read full book review >
THE BARN by Avi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A small, quiet book that may appeal to perceptive readers. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Once again, the ever-resourceful Avi (The Bird, the Frog, and the Light, p. 391, etc.) explores new ground. Read full book review >
THE BIRD, THE FROG, AND THE LIGHT by Avi
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 1994

"Spare and well-told, a tale that will especially lend itself to discussion. (Picture book. 5-9)"
An intriguing original fable concerning a self-styled "Frog King" who invites a bird he's overheard singing to the sun into his underground "kingdom." Read full book review >
CITY OF LIGHT, CITY OF DARK by Avi
FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"A bold venture that will probably entertain the young more than their elders. (Fiction. 10+)"
Complications abound in a graphic novel related in brief narrative boxes plus dialogue (some of it in both Spanish and English) in hundreds of b&w comic-book frames. Read full book review >
PUNCH WITH JUDY by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: April 30, 1993

"Lisker's incisively sketched figures lighten the format. (Fiction. 10-14)"
In a dark tale like the verso of one of Sid Fleischman's comic adventures of traveling performers, Avi explores the idea that great clowns derive power from a profound sense of the tragic. Read full book review >
'WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN, ANYWAY?' by Avi
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Avi's 1992 Newbery honor book): an entertaining farce; an outspoken satire on the mesmerizing effects of the media; and a thought-provoking contrast between the heroic fantasies of a boy deprived of his busy parents' attention and the horrors of real war. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Gorged on an excess of radio drama, "Chet Barker, Master Spy" (a.k.a. sixth-grader Frankie Wattleston) drags "Skipper O'Malley" (Mario Calvino), his "faithful but brilliant sidekick," into a series of hilarious misadventures. Read full book review >
BLUE HERON by Avi
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1992

"A thoughtful, beautifully crafted story. (Fiction. 11+)"
A versatile author whose popular books include rousing historical adventures (The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, 1990, Newbery Honor) and sparkling satire (Nothing But the Truth, 1991) portrays a contemporary family under unusual stress. Read full book review >
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Avi
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Wryly satirical: nothing but the deplorable truth about our increasingly inarticulate, media-driven society. (Fiction. 11+)"
Ninth-grader Philip has never been in trouble, but he's upset because his English grade is keeping him off the track team. Read full book review >
WINDCATCHER by Avi
FICTION
Released: March 29, 1991

"Lighter fare than The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990, Newbery Honor Book); still, fine, low-violence mystery."
A contrived but exciting adventure in which a summer vacation on the Connecticut coast becomes a hunt for sunken treasure. Read full book review >
THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

"Tautly plotted, vividly narrated, carefully researched: a thrilling tale deepened by its sober look at attitudes that may have been more exaggerated in the past but that still persist."
Returning from Britain in 1832 to her family in Rhode Island, 13-year-old Charlotte tangles with a tyrannical sea captain and his mutinous crew. Read full book review >
MAN WHO WAS POE by Avi
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"Though Poe himself is thinly drawn here, the period detail is somewhat better, and the mystery plot, while not fresh, will satisfy and (with luck) may draw readers into Poe's own tales."
An amusing adventure that suggests a Poe-style mystery of deduction, featuring Poe himself; as in Poe's stories, the reader deduces very little. Read full book review >
SOMETHING UPSTAIRS by Avi
Released: Sept. 1, 1988

A suspenseful tale of multiple hauntings, time travel, and murder in old Rhode Island. Read full book review >
ROMEO AND JULIET--TOGETHER (AND ALIVE!) AT LAST by Avi
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1987

"Kids won't be able to resist the humor, even if they miss the full import of the malapropisms; they may even absorb the message that Shakespeare can be approachable."
The kids from South Orange River (S.O.R. Losers, 1984) are back, now in eighth grade and putting on a much-abridged, student-run, unintentionally slapstick version of Shakespeare's play. Read full book review >
WOLF RIDER by Avi
Released: Oct. 31, 1986

This gripping psycho-mystery ends with several plot threads left unresolved, but it should have wide appeal, especially among reluctant readers. Read full book review >
WHO STOLE THE WIZARD OF OZ? by Avi
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

Who stole The Wizard of Oz? Read full book review >
A PLACE CALLED UGLY by Avi
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 1981

"Owen's cause is less than compelling to readers, yet Avi asks us to take the struggle and the two-dimensional characters as seriously as Owen does."
Fourteen-year-old Owen, who has made many moves with his paents and is not looking forward to starting yet another school this fall, loves the beach cabin where he and his parents have spent the last three weeks of summer for ten years. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1981

"A dubious undertaking not very well executed."
A literary conceit, mocking the conventions and sentiments of old-time fiction, has precious little chance with youngsters of nine or so. Read full book review >
ENCOUNTER AT EASTON by Avi
Released: April 1, 1980

Robert Linnly and Elizabeth Mawes, the boy and girl runaways aided by orphan Peter York in Night Journeys (1979), continue their flight in this crisp chronicle, which is presented as testimony by a number of those involved in the story. Read full book review >
NIGHT JOURNEYS by Avi
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1979

"Worthy, then, but vacuum-packed."
An efficiently worked-out object lesson, communicated in Colonial-ese. Read full book review >
EMILY UPHAM'S REVENGE by Paul O. Zelinsky
FICTION
Released: March 20, 1978

"Set in 1875 and played as the fluffiest of spoofs, it's all expertly timed, performed with flair, and illustrated in kind."
This is subtitled "How Deadwood Dick Saved the Banker's Niece"—but Dick is really eleven-year-old runaway Seth Marple, and instead of saving Emily when she's sent to stay with her uncle but finds no one waiting for her at the station, Seth convinces her that the town is full of bandits and she'd better stay with him in his lean-to hideaway. Read full book review >
NO MORE MAGIC by Avi
Released: Aug. 25, 1975

"But even a witch couldn't anticipate the final twists of this plot, and though the solution isn't quite cricket by detective novel rules, it works an amusing twist on those by now routine manifestations of the supernatural in suburbia."
Chris' stolen bike, Muffin's missing warlock costume winning the Halloween parade for a mystery marcher, even the disappearance of Muffin's parents. . . creates a tangled puzzle that Chris sets out to solve logically according to the system of his librarian dad. Read full book review >