Literary Essay

Avi's Common Book Themes

Have you ever been courageous before? You may think it doesn't matter, but it really does. How could you defeat someone who was evil and four times the size of you, or how could you sacrifice not being able to go home for everyone else. Avi shows us that you have to be courageous in life, to get what you want. Avi shows us in his books Poppy and What Do Fish Have To Do With Anything.

One way Avi shows courage in his books is in “Poppy”. In Poppy he shows courage by having Poppy go into Ereth’s log. Poppy a deer mouse is on a quest to prove that Mr. Ocax (an owl that is tricking all the mice) is evil. Ereth is a porcupine and the mice were taught that porcupines will kill them. Poppy shows courage because she runs into the log of an animal that later turns out to be a porcupine. As in Poppy on page 91 it says “The closer she came to the log,the stronger grew a scent unfamiliar to her. She sensed trouble.” She also starts talking to the porcupine, and discovers they are not a predator to mice. Without the courage to enter the log and talk to the porcupine she would have never made this new discovery.


Another way Avi shows courage in “Poppy” is,she goes on an adventure across the forest by herself. If it were me I would be scared with some of the larger animals out to kill me. When Poppy leaves home for New House it says “Poppy, not wanting to look back because she thought it might make her lose heart, dashed away.”(p71) Going on this journey across the forest by herself shows courage alone.

Finally, Avi shows courage in his books is in “What Do Fish Have To Do With Anything”. In “What Do Fish Have To Do With Anything” there is a boy named Willie who lives in a apartment building with his mom. In front of the apartment building there is a homeless man and Willie’s mom tells him not to look at the man. Then at night when Willie’s mom goes to work Willie goes outside and talks to the man. Willie also gives him some money and offers him cake. Willie shows courage by talking to the homeless man. As in the text on page 16 it says “Willie stretched forward and dropped the coin into the man’s open right hand.” Before Willie drops the coin into the man's hand, he got nervous but eventually builds up courage to give the man the coin.


A valuable lesson is that you need to be courageous in life. People think that they do it every day, but they don’t show courage in reality. In Avi’s books he teaches us to be courageous or you won’t get what you want/need. If the characters didn’t have courage they wouldn’t be able to get what they wanted/needed.