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Author visit inspires Neil Armstrong readers

Imagine taking all your questions about your favorite book right to the source: a one-on-one conversation with the author themselves.  

The fifth-grade students in Laurie Ashodian’s class at Neil Armstrong Elementary School had that chance during a virtual Q and A with award-winning author Avi from his home in the Rocky Mountains. Avi is the author of dozens of books for children and young adults. Ashodian says she has been teaching Avi’s books and reading them with her classes for 25 years.  

The fifth graders recently read Avi’s novel “Poppy”, the story of a young mouse questing to help her family from under the rule of a tyrannical owl. Ashodian’s classroom is decorated with student art of the characters from the novel.  

“Every time I read [the novel], the students become immersed in Dimwood Forest. They learn powerful vocabulary, voice of characters, animal facts and fictional writing skills that include a vast amount of figurative language,” said Ashodian. 

Students stood at the head of the class and fired off questions about the characters in the book, and about his writing process. Avi also shared writing suggestions with students. 

"It was helpful because he gave us a lot of tips that will help us be better writers. For example, he told us not to ask someone to read our own writing, but instead read it to another person. This way you get to be a better reader and writer,” said NA student Affhia. 

Fifth-grader Jayla said it was "inspiring to talk to a real author, especially if you want to be one someday."  

Avi told the students he is writing three books at the moment and that most of his books take a year to write – something students said they could barely believe!


A student stands in front of a classroom and reads a question from a notecard aloud.