Like father, like son. Paul Fleischman’s father, Sid Fleischman, won the Newbery Medal in 1987 for his book The Whipping Boy. Paul won the award in 1989 for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. They are the only father-and-son pair to ever win the coveted prize. Sid would read the books he was writing to Paul chapter by chapter as he wrote them when Paul was a child. This led to the younger Fleischman’s love of literature and writing. He later became interested in authoring historical fiction after living in a 200-year-old home in New Hampshire. Along with his novels, he has written several plays that combine poetry, prose, and multiple points of view.
Facts and Trivia
- As a child, Fleischman would bicycle around his town and collect odd bits of trash, which he later made into sculptures. He still does interesting art projects—but now he uses his computer instead of trash.
- Fleischman said that he writes for young people because he enjoys the freedom of making up his own genres, something he feels he could not do if he were publishing books for adults.
- Fleischman has worked as a bookstore clerk, a library shelver, and a proofreader.
- He started the grammar watchdog groups ColonWatch and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to English.
- A film version of his novel A Fate Totally Worse Than Death was released in 2005.