The Most Important Thing

Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfathers

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Walker Books Australia

Age 10+

General Fiction

Seven short stories exploring the vital ties between fathers and sons.

In this compellingly honest collection of stories, Avi introduces seven boys seeking acceptance, guidance, or just someone to look up to. Luke sees the ghost of his father. Paul takes a camping trip with the grandfather he’s just met. And Ryan has some surprising questions for his potential stepfather. Each story shines a different light on the question, “What’s the most important thing a father can do for his son?”


Avi is a multi-award-winning American author of children’s and young adult literature. He has received the Newbery Medal, two Newbery Honors, two Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the Christopher Award for Young People and several American Library Association (ALA) Notables.


In this collection of seven heartfelt stories, the indefatigable Avi breathes new life into an old theme: the relationship between sons and fathers (and the occasional grandfather). Ranging in tone from the somber (“Departed”) to the sprightly (“Tighty-Whities or Boxers?”), the stories have in common a psychological acuity, the presence of inevitable change, and the grace of Avi’s simile-rich style.


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