Avi was born in 1937 in the City of New York and was raised in Brooklyn. His name came from his twin sister when they were both about a year old and it just stuck. From elementary school to high school he did bad in all his classes and the worst of them was writing. As a kid he didn't like playing sports but instead loved to read. He made up his mind as a high school senior that he wanted to become a writer. Avi has published over 30 books since 1970 when he first began writing. Now an award winning author living in Denver Colorado, Avi enjoys visiting schools and talking to kids who have learning disabilities.
Genre, Setting, and Theme
The Man Who Was Poe is a realistic fiction, mystery novel set in the town of Providence, Rhode Island. The time is set in November of 1848. The theme of the book is about a boy named Edmund who loses his aunt and his twin sister and is doing everything he can to try to find out what happened to them.
Edmund and his twin sister and their aunt live in a tenement. They went to live there while their Aunt went in search of their mother who went missing in that area. Their aunt went into town for a few hours and hadn't returned for days. Out of food, Edmund went into town to go get some but when he returned, Sis was gone. Now Edmund must find out what happened to his sister before it's too late.
Edmund, who is 5 minutes older than his twin sister, is a frail boy who only wants to find his sister, aunt, and mother.
Mr. Dupin is a mysterious man who is helping Edmund to find his missing family members but his intentions for doing so is to write a good story about the suspense and mystery of Edmund's situation. We later find out that his real name is Edgar Allen Poe.
Although not very well described in the book, Edmund's Aunt Pru is mentioned throughout the story and is the reason Edmund moved to Providence and the reason he is searching for his mom, his sister, and her. She is the twin sister of Edmund's mom.
The main conflict in the book begins when Edmund's Aunt takes them to move to Providence Rhode Island in search of his mother. When she goes missing Edmund is left all alone with his sister. They get hungry and Edmund leaves his sister alone in the tenement while he goes into town to get food. When he comes back he discovers his sister is missing too. With no mom, no aunt, and no sister, Edmund is all alone in the world and he must act fast to find out what happened to them.
I loved reading this book. It was definitely intriguing and kept me interested the whole time. It really struck my curiosity the way the story kept you wondering what was going to happen at the end. In that aspect, the author really made me not want to put the book down. When Edmund found his aunt dead and didn't know it, that really gave way to some clues as to what happened to Edmund's mom and sister. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.
"With horror Edmund stared into the room. Sis was not there." (9) - This is the first clue we get about what might have happened to Aunty Pru and Edmund's mother.
"You entered a clothing store and were chased out. When you were there a Mr. Rachette saw you and fled." (95) - A few pages before that it mentioned that Edmund had a step father he never met but that he stole his mother's money and that his mother had come to Providence Rhode Island to get the money back and divorce him. The way Mr. Rachette fled when he saw Edmund tells us that he is really Edmund's step father.