by Avi (1995)
Read to Them is proud to offer it’s first title from the renowned and prolific author, Avi. We’ve selected the first title in his popular Tales of Dimwood Forest – Poppy.
Poppy tells the story of an extended family of mice who live in a dilapidated house but have to negotiate the natural world all the time. Readers – students and families – will identify with and root for the plight and challenges of the mice as they brave the perils of nature. They will especially admire the lead character, a tiny, exceptionally brave, deer mouse named Poppy – who doesn’t always like to do what she’s told.
Poppy is a rich One School, One Book selection because Avi presents nature in all its guises – it’s charms and threats, its variety, its ethics and psychology – with realism and depth.
The book plays out as nature plays out, the natural instincts of one species butting heads with the natural instincts of another species. As nature would have it, animals need to eat, and oftentimes that means some animals are predators and some are prey. That makes Poppy a suspenseful read. But Poppy is special because it abounds with unexpected teamwork and endearing friendships that reach across species’ lines.
Avi’s Poppy is filled with enriching prose and a brave, curious, and observant protagonist who will show students how to overcome their own stereotypes and fears.
Poppy is also filled with a bucolic bounty of information on woodland, field, farm, and sky creatures, providing schools with rich and inspiring educational opportunities for further exploration.
The Boston Globe awarded Avi their prestigious Horn Book Award for Poppy. Schools selecting Poppy for their next One School, One Book read will discover why. Your readers will explore the natural world of Poppy and share the resourceful drive of its protagonist. When they’re done, they’ll be glad to know there are four more titles in the Dimwood series. See how many of your students ask for the rest of the Dimwood series for Christmas after they’ve read Poppy. It’s the perfect way to establish and extend the habit of reading aloud together.