word craft


Poppy & Rye

Poppy & Rye

Harper­Collins, 1998
illus­trat­ed by Bri­an Flo­ca
Book 4 of 7

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
John McDonough

The Poppy Books
Book 1 of 7
Ragweed & Poppy
Book 2 of 7
Book 3 of 7
Ereth's Birthday
Book 5 of 7
Poppy's Return
Book 6 of 7
Poppy & Ereth
Book 7 of 7
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What’s this book about?

Heart­bro­ken over the death of her fiance, Rag­weed, Pop­py, a deer mouse, jour­neys west through the vast Dim­wood For­est to bring the sad news to Rag­weed’s fam­i­ly. But Pop­py and her prick­ly por­cu­pine pal, Ereth, arrive only to dis­cov­er that beavers have flood­ed the serene val­ley where Rag­weed lived. Togeth­er Pop­py and Rag­weed’s broth­er Rye brave kid­nap­ping, impris­on­ment, and a dar­ing res­cue to fight the beavers. At the same time, Rye—who has lived in Rag­weed’s shadow—fights to prove him­self wor­thy of Pop­py’s love.


Story Behind the Story

There are six books in the Pop­py series. That was nev­er the plan. Yes, the last chap­ter of Pop­py begins: “Almost thir­teen full moons to the night Ocax killed Rag­weed, Pop­py and her hus­band, Rye (how they met and mar­ried is anoth­er story) … “

Though I had writ­ten just that I had no par­tic­u­lar plan to go for­ward and write the sto­ry. Indeed, Pop­py & Rye did not appear until three years later.

The rea­son it appeared at all was that the pub­lish­er of Pop­py was in all kinds of tur­moil, and it was not pos­si­ble to work with my reg­u­lar edi­tor, Richard Jackson.

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Awards and Recognition

  • Children’s choice nom­i­nee, Vermont
  • Children’s choice nom­i­nee, Illinois
  • Children’s choice nom­i­nee, Pennsylvania
  • Children’s choice nom­i­nee, New Mexico
  • Children’s choice nom­i­nee, Iowa


“The bat­tle against the beavers is excit­ing: Rye is cap­tured sneak­ing into the beavers’ lodge and held pris­on­er; Pop­py makes her way by raft to the lodge and enters through a vent hole and almost drowns as she escapes. As he took on the pol­i­tics of pow­er in Pop­py, Avi here tack­les the advance of progress for the sake of progress, no mat­ter the con­se­quences. … Pop­py’s fans will wel­come her return and cheer her on in her new adven­ture.” (Book­list)

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The Poppy Books
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