The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant)

by Avi, Tricia Tusa

An unusual and inspiring story from Newbery Medalist Avi

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780152055325
  • ISBN-10: 0152055320
  • Pages: 144
  • Publication Date: 04/01/2008
  • Carton Quantity: 88

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About the Book
About the Authors
  • About the Book
    Avon the snail has never had an adventure. And adventure, he has heard, is the key to a happy life. So with his new friend Edward the ant, Avon sets out on a journey to find the excitement his life has been missing.
    This modern fable is filled with funny--and profound--insights about the meaning of things . . . great and small.
  • About the Author
  • Excerpts

    Chapter one


    In Which the Adventure Begins


    avon, a rather small snail, read a book every day. He loved to read because books told him all about the things that creatures did when they went on adventures.

               Now, Avon had noticed that when creatures finished their adventures, and when the stories ended, the creatures were always happy. Because Avon had never had an adventure of his own, the more he read, the sadder he became. It was absolutely necessary, he decided, to have adventures for himself. Only then would he be happy.

               He sighed. “No adventures will ever come my way.”

               A newt who was passing by overheard Avon’s words. “Nay, lad, don’t say such things.”

               “But don’t you see,” said Avon, close to tears, “the most important thing in the world is having adventures. Not only have I not had any, I don’t think I ever will. And if I don’t have adventures—like the ones I’ve read about in these books—I’m bound to be unhappy forever.”

               “Then go out and seek some adventures,” said the newt.

               “I don’t know how,” Avon said.

               “Remember, lad,” said the newt, “if it’s going to be tomorrow, it might as well be today. And if it is today, it could have been yesterday. If it was yesterday, then you’re over and done with it, and can write your own book. Think about that.”

                    Avon thought about it for a long moment, and then he said right out loud,

               “Yes, I will do it. Yesterday for sure!”



    Text copyright © 2004 by Avi

    Illustrations copyright © 2004 by Tricia Tusa


    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.


    Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the ­following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

  • Reviews

    "A charming tale."--Publishers Weekly

    "A story that begs to be read aloud."--Booklist

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