The Barn

The Barn

by Avi


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545607445
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 668,347
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Avi's work spans nearly every genre and has received nearly every major prize, including the Newbery Medal for CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD and Newbery Honors for NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE. Avi lives in Denver, Colorado. You can learn more about him online at

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Your father has met with an accident." Schoolmaster Dortmeister, his wife by his side, spoke gravely to me in the best parlor of their house in Portland, where I was boarding at school. The only other time I had seen that room was when my father had left me there, seven months before. That was also the last time I had seen Father.

Mrs. Dortmeister put the back of her small hand to my cheek and said, "Benjamin, I understand it's not so very bad."

"But you're needed at home," the schoolmaster said. "Your sister has come to take you.

Father had brought me to Portland for Mother's sake. To soothe my upset over leaving our farm, he told two tales for every mile the mule trod on the journey. He recited his best jokes, too — taking on voices, making sounds and gesturing as if he had ten tongues and fifteen hands. We were so full of our usual private mischief that I was much comforted. He promised to fetch me for a holiday in four months' time. He never came.

So of course I wanted to rush off and find Nettle; yet I would not leave the parlor without permission.- They were fair in that place but strict.

"Benjamin," the schoolmaster went on, "you are the finest student I have ever had." He always called me Benjamin, though I preferred what my father called me: Ben. But that name, Ben, Mr. Dortmeister told me, was not dignified. He said I must put it aside since — as far as he was concerned — I was destined for higher things. "You may be only nine years old, but you're fit for more than farming. You

know your letters, sums, and geometry better and are wiser than all the rest ofmy students combined."

Mr. Dortmeister had round gray eyes and a nose too big for his face. Tufts of hair grew out of his ears. I had always thought him comical. But when I looked up at him that time, in his best parlor, I thought he seemed about to cry.

As for me, my head was crowded with worry about Father and thoughts of Nettie, who was outside, waiting — impatiently, no doubt. At the best of times, Nettie was not a patient soul. Nothing happened fast enough for her.

Mrs. Dortmeister said, "Your sister suggests that you'll be home only a short time. So we shall look for your early return."

I replied, "I am sure I'll return," though I said it mostly because I thought that's what the schoolmaster wanted to hear.

"Do," he said. "You'll always be welcome."

I made a move to go, but Mr. Dortmeister held me by speaking again. "Benjamin,"he said, "you must tell your father that I agree with him, that your gift of learning is particular fine. He will know then how truly sorry I am to lose you."

I said, "I'll tell him, sir."

"Wish your father a sound recovery. I'll retain the school fees against your return."

"Yes, sir," I said, and once again made a motion to leave.

Still, he would not release me. "Benjamin," he said, "we want to pray with you now." He and his wife bowed their heads. So I did the same.

"Our Father," the schoolmaster began, "who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

"Amen," he ended, as did his wife.

"Amen," I echoed.

Then he sighed. "Very well, Benjamin. Your sister is waiting. We bid you farewell." Young as I was, he shook my hand, and we parted like two refined gentlemen. At last I turned and dashed away.

I found Nettle pacing up and down by our wagon. She was tall and thin with hairblack as night and a sweet face that never" could hide thoughts. The moment I saw her peering out from her poke bonnet, I knew Father's situation worse than I'd been told.

Customer Reviews

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Barn 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read this book in class and it is very amusing. I think all readers should read this book.
ElenaEstrada on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book is about a teenager who goes off to school after his mother has passed away. He is called back home because his father has suffered a stroke, and has become incapacitated. His two siblings and he decide to take on the responsibility of running the family farm and building the barn. The plot is set in Oregon territory in 1855, and it depicts how harsh life in the country could be especially for three teenagers who are forced to take on adult responsibilities. This book is a high interest book is for 9-12 graders, but it is written at a 4th grade reading level.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Barn is a great book! it inspired me to go and enjoy my life as it is because you never know what life will be like in the future. Read this book to know how people lived the life back in the days where you made everything by hand.i really enjoyed this book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I wasn't expecting the ending, but this book is the first book in a long time that has made me cry. I would recommend this book to anyone. I am going to probably read it again and again. It is a short book with a lot of passion and a lot to offer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Horriblity bad book wehn I read it i had to stop too sad
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Barn is a great book it keep you on your feet with all of the suprise. It's good for the hole family to read and enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like farming and mystery you'll love the barn. It has to be a good book because it is by AVI. The main character is Ben. He is in school because he is really smart. Then his father gets really sick when he was plowing, so Ben had to come home and take care of his father. Ben has two siblings, Harrison and Nettie. While Ben is taking care of his father, he talks to him and figures out that he can answer him by blinking his eyes. Then his father is getting worse, and Ben has a great idea. If they build a barn, he thinks his father will get better.So they built a barn, just the three of them your going to have to read the book to find out what happend. I think it is a great book!