On September 5, 1952, in Monterey, California, Paul Fleischman was born to Albert Sidney, well-known children's author, and Beth Taylor Fleischman. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, from 1970-72 and graduated with a B.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1977. He is married, has two children, Seth and Dana, and lives in Pacific Grove, California.
Prior to writing full time he worked at a variety of jobs: a carpenter, bagel baker, bookstore clerk, library aide, and proofreader. He is a member of the Authors Guild and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
His books have received numerous awards including a Newbery Honor Book medal for Graven Images: Three Stories in 1983 and the Newbery Medal in 1989 for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. Whirligig received the Golden Kite Honor Book from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in 1999.
His love of music influences his writing as he blends musical language with quirky looks at the world. He said of himself in School Library Journal, "I'm a maker at heart . . . I collect materials, relying heavily on chance. I sort and discard. I envision possible shapes the book might take.... A sculpture grows upward; paragraphs grow down."
His writing embraces a variety of themes and styles across varied genres. He is equally at ease writing poetry for multiple voices as he is writing fantasy, historical fiction, or contemporary realistic fiction.
He grew up in Santa Monica, California, hearing his father's stories as they came out of his typewriter. He said in School Library Journal, "I was exposed to books, but was not a reader and certainly had no plans to be a writer." He and his sisters spent their time exploring the beach town where they lived, riding their bicycles up and down every street and alley....
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