Award-winning children's literature author to present at Steinfirst Lecture
He goes by Avi, a name given to him by his twin sister at the age of one. The award-winning author will be delivering the keynote address, “My name is Avi,” at the 2006 Steinfirst Lecture held by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science (SILS).
Avi, a self-proclaimed poor student who wanted to prove that he could write, decided as a high school senior to pursue writing and has since transformed himself into an internationally famed author for children and young adults. “I think you become a writer when you stop writing for yourself or your teachers and start thinking about readers,” he discusses on his Web site.
Now familiar to many grade-school students, Avi has penned famous young adult and children's literature which has routinely appeared on school reading lists nationwide. His accomplishments include the Award-winning historical novel Crispin: The Cross of Lead and Honor recipients True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing but the Truth. He has also received the Hornbook Award and Honor, the Scott O'Dell Award and the Anne V. Zarrow Award presented by the Tulsa Library Trust.
His literature is not just for children, but for readers of all ages. “I encountered Avi as an adult, rather than as a young adult, and I regret having missed his work at that age,” said SILS associate professor Dr. Brian Sturm. “I find his writing addictive: passionate, adventuresome and involving. He captures the essence of his characters' lives, builds wonderfully sophisticated worlds in which to set them, and gives them authentic and exciting voices. I am thrilled that he will perform some of his works for us here at UNC.”
Although he started out as a playwright, Avi began writing for children when he had a family of his own. “Kids are wonderful readers. They read very differently than adults do,” Avi described in a Reading Rockets interview. “They're fully engaged. They identify with the stories. They live through a story in a very different way.”
The Susan Steinfirst Memorial Lecture in Children's Literature honors the memory of Susan Steinfirst, a professor of children's and young adult literature at SILS from 1976 to 1996. She dedicated her life to the promotion of children's literature by teaching future librarians and by publishing scholarly works in the field.
The lecture will be given on Saturday, March 4 at 10 a.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room of The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Avi's lecture will be followed by a book signing where books will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public.
Parking for the event will be available on campus. Please visit UNC's Visitor's Center Web site at http://www.unc.edu/visitors/ for directions and a campus parking map. You can learn more about Avi, including a complete listing of the books he has published on his Web site at: www.avi-writer.com
For more information, please call Meg McKee at 919.962.8366.