The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Sid Fleischman

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Fleischman devotes the early part of his autobiography to the process by which he became a magician. Have the more noted magicians of our time, David Copperfield, for example, undergone similar training? Are they different in any way from the ones who were on the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s and 1930s?

2. Compare Fleischman's tall stories to those of Mark Twain and other writers of the nineteenth century. Is he their equal in the creation of these stories?

3. Bill Goldfarb of John Wayne's production company, Batjac, tells Fleischman: "You write so visually, so cinematically.. .." How does the author accomplish this? Was the talent an asset for a writer of children's books?

4. Paul Fleischman won the Newbery Medal a few years after his dad. Compare their styles of writing. Are they similar?

5. Fleischman says that his novel, By the Great Horn Spoon!, is used in California's public schools in history courses dealing with the Gold Rush. What does this novel contribute to the history of the era? Compare it with a textbook account of California history.