Because his father is a noted author of children's books, one might assume that Paul Fleischman grew up wanting to follow in his footsteps, but he did not seriously entertain the thought of a writing career until he was in college. Nevertheless, it is clear that he had a creative spirit from the time he was a child. Paul Fleischman was born September 5, 1952 in Monterey, California. His mother, Beth Taylor Fleischman, was a homemaker. His father, Albert Sidney Fleischman—known professionally as Sid Fleischman—was the highly esteemed author of many classic children's books, including The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, Chancey and the Grand Rascal, and the "McBroom" series of tall tales. Although Paul was not a reader, he absorbed an understanding of literature as his father read aloud chapters of his books as they were written, often asking his son and two daughters for suggestions.
Although Fleischman wrote what his father described as "whimsical little booklets" as birthday presents, his main creative pursuits involved playing the piano, making sculptures out of found items such as pine needles and driftwood, and experimenting with the family's printing press. All three of these activities seem to have prepared him for his writing career, as his prose is known for its musical quality and he continues to delight in finding items (often incidents recorded in musty old books) that he can sculpt into fiction.
After attending the University of California-...
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