Skip to main content
Select Source:

Fleischman, Sid 1920–

Fleischman, Sid 1920–

(Max Brindle, Albert Sidney Fleischman, Carl March)

Personal

Born March 16, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Reuben and Sadie Fleischman; married Betty Taylor, January 25, 1942; children: Jane, Paul, Anne. Education: San Diego State College (now University), B.A., 1949. Hobbies and other interests: Magic, gardening.

Addresses

Home—Santa Monica, CA.

Career

Writer for children and adults. Worked as a magician in vaudeville and night clubs, 1938-41; traveled with Mr. Arthur Bull's Francisco Spook Show (magic act), 1939-40; Daily Journal, San Diego, CA, reporter and rewrite man, 1949-50; Point (magazine), San Diego, associate editor, 1950-51; full-time writer, 1951—. Author of scripts for television show 3-2-1 Contact, 1979-82. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1941-45; served as yeoman on destroyer escort in the Philippines, Borneo, and China.

Member

Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Writers Guild of America West, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book, New York Herald Tribune, and Honor Book designation, Boston Globe/Horn Book, both 1962, both for Mr. Mysterious & Company; Spur Award, Western Writers of America, Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award, and Junior Book Award, Boys' Clubs of America, all 1964, Recognition of Merit Award, George C. Stone Center for Children's Books, 1972, and Friends of Children and Literature (FOCAL) Award, Los Angeles Public Library, 1983, all for By the Great Horn Spoon!; Juvenile Book Award, Commonwealth Club of California, 1966, for Chancy and the Grand Rascal; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1969, for McBroom Tells the Truth; Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book designation, Book World, and Notable Books selection, American Library Association (ALA), both 1971, both for Jingo Django; Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award, 1972, for "Comprehensive Contribution of Lasting Value to the Literature for Children and Young People"; Golden Kite Honor Book, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 1974, for McBroom the Rainmaker; Mark Twain Award, Missouri Association of School Libraries, and Charlie May Simon

Children's Book Award, Arkansas Elementary School Council, both 1977, and Young Hoosier Award, Association for Indiana Media Educators, 1979, all for The Ghost on Saturday Night; National Book Award finalist, and Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction, both 1979, both for Humbug Mountain; Newbery Medal, ALA, and Children's Books of the Year selection, Child Study Association of America, both 1987, and Nene Award, 1992, all for The Whipping Boy; Paul A. Witty Award, International Reading Association, and Children's Picturebook Award, Redbook, 1988, both for The Scarebird; Parents Choice Award, 1990, for The Midnight Horse, and 1992, for Jim Ugly; Jo Osbourn Award for Humor in Children's Literature, 1997; Children's Literature Council of Southern California Award, 1997, for The Abracadabra Kid; Charley May Simon Children's Book Award, Arkansas Elementary School Council, and Black-eyed Susan Award (MD), both 1998, and California Young Reader Medal, 1999, all for The 13th Floor; John and Patricia Beatty Award, California Library Association, 1999, and FOCAL Award, Los Angeles Public Library, 2002, both for Bandit's Moon; Golden Dolphin Award, Southern California Children's Booksellers Association; Literary Fellowship, Magic Castle's Academy of Magical Arts, 2002; establishment of Sid Fleischman Humor Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2003.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS

Mr. Mysterious & Company, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1962, reprinted, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

By the Great Horn Spoon!, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1963, published as Bullwhip Griffin, Avon (New York, NY), 1967.

The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, illustrated by Warren Chappell, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1965, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1989.

Chancy and the Grand Rascal, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1966, reprinted, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

McBroom Tells the Truth, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1966, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1981, illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1998.

McBroom and the Big Wind, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1967, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

McBroom's Ear, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1969, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

Longbeard the Wizard, illustrated by Charles Bragg, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

Jingo Django, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1971, reprinted, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.

McBroom's Ghost, illustrated by Robert Frankenberg, Grosset (New York, NY), 1971, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1981, illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1998.

McBroom's Zoo, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Grosset (New York, NY), 1972, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

The Wooden Cat Man, illustrated by Jay Yang, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1972.

McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm (includes McBroom Tells the Truth, McBroom and the Big Wind, and McBroom's Ghost), illustrated by Quentin Blake, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1972, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

McBroom the Rainmaker, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Grosset (New York, NY), 1973, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.

The Ghost on Saturday Night, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974, new edition illustrated by Laura Cornell, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

Mr. Mysterious's Secrets of Magic (nonfiction), illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1975, published as Secrets of Magic, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1976.

McBroom Tells a Lie, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1976, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.

Here Comes McBroom (includes McBroom Tells a Lie, McBroom the Rainmaker, and McBroom's Zoo), illustrated by Quentin Blake, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1976, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

Kate's Secret Riddle Book, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1977.

Me and the Man on the Moon-eyed Horse, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1977, published as The Man on the Moon-eyed Horse, Gollancz (London, England), 1980.

Humbug Mountain, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1978.

Jim Bridger's Alarm Clock and Other Tall Tales, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Dutton (New York, NY), 1978.

McBroom and the Beanstalk, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1978.

The Hey Hey Man, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1979.

McBroom and the Great Race, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1980.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Flying Clock, illustrated by William Harmuth, Random House/Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Cackling Ghost, illustrated by Anthony Rao, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of Princess Tomorrow, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Secret Message, illustrated by William Harmuth, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang's Secret Code Book, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the 264-Pound Burglar, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

McBroom's Almanac, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1984.

The Whipping Boy, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986, reprinted, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2003.

The Scarebird, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1988.

The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1989.

The Midnight Horse, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1990.

Jim Ugly, illustrated by Joseph A. Smith, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1995.

The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life (nonfiction), Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1996.

Bandit's Moon, illustrated by Joseph A. Smith, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1998.

A Carnival of Animals, illustrated by Marylin Hafner, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Bo and Mzzz Mad, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Disappearing Act, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2003.

The Giant Rat of Sumatra; or, Pirates Galore, illustrated by John Hendrix, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2006.

The White Elephant, illustrated by Robert McGuire, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2006.

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2007.

NOVELS; FOR ADULTS

The Straw Donkey Case, Phoenix Press (New York, NY), 1948.

Murder's No Accident, Phoenix Press (New York, NY), 1949.

Shanghai Flame, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1951.

Look behind You, Lady, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1952, published as Chinese Crimson, Jenkins (Austin, TX), 1962.

Danger in Paradise, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1953.

Counterspy Express, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1954.

Malay Woman, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1954, published as Malaya Manhunt, Jenkins (Austin, TX), 1965.

Blood Alley, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1955.

Yellowleg, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1960.

The Venetian Blonde, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1963.

SCREENPLAYS

Blood Alley, Batjac Productions, 1955.

Goodbye, My Lady (based on a novel by James Street), Batjac Productions, 1956.

(With William A. Wellman) Lafayette Escadrille, Warner Brothers, 1958.

The Deadly Companions (based on his novel Yellowleg), Carousel Productions, 1961.

(With Albert Maltz) Scalawag, Byrna Productions, 1973.

(Under pseudonym Max Brindle) The Whipping Boy (adapted from his novel), Disney, 1994.

OTHER

Between Cocktails, Abbott Magic Company (Colon, MI), 1939.

(Under pseudonym Carl March) Magic Made Easy, Croydon (New York, NY), 1953.

The Charlatan's Handbook, L & L Publishing (Tahoma, CA), 1993.

Contributor, Paul Heins, editor, Crosscurrents of Criticism, Horn Book (Boston, MA), 1977.

Fleischman's books have been translated into sixteen languages.

Adaptations

By the Great Horn Spoon! was filmed as Bullwhip Griffin by Walt Disney, 1967; The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, starring Peter Sellers, was filmed by Cavalcade Films, 1974.

Sidelights

Regarded as a master of the tall tale as well as one of the most popular humorists in American children's literature, Sid Fleischman is noted for writing action-filled adventure stories that weave exciting plots, rollicking wit, and joyous wordplay with accurate, well-researched historical facts and characterizations that reveal the author's insight into and understanding of human nature. He is perhaps best known as the author of The Whipping Boy, a Newbery Medal-winning story that features a spoiled prince and the stoical lad who takes his punishment, as well as a comic series of tall tales about blustery Iowa farmer Josh McBroom and his amazingly productive one-acre farm. Often compared to such writers as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Leon Garfield, Fleischman has been praised for his ingenuity, vigorous literary style, polished craftsmanship, and keen sense of humor.

Fleischman's works, which often draw on American folklore and are set against historic backdrops such as the California Gold Rush, seventeenth-century piracy, and rural life from Ohio to Vermont, are consistently acknowledged for their diversity of subjects and settings. Formerly a professional magician, Fleischman fills his books with mystery, elements of surprise, and quick-witted characters. As Emily Rhoads Johnson noted in Language Arts, Fleischman's young protagonists often embark on quests "for land or treasure or missing relatives," and in doing so "meet up with every imaginable kind of trouble, usually in the form of villains and cut-throats, impostors and fingle-fanglers." In his book Written for Children, John Rowe Townsend asserted that, like Garfield, Fleischman "is fond of flamboyant, larger-than-life characters, and of mysteries of origin and identity; a recurrent Fleischman theme is the discovery of a father or father-substitute."

Although he frequently styles his stories as farces, Fleischman underscores his works with a positive attitude toward life and a firm belief in such values as courage, loyalty, and perseverance. The author's love of language—an attribute for which he is often lauded—is evident in the flamboyant names he gives to his characters, his use of wild metaphors and vivid images, and the colorful expressions that dot his stories. As Johnson explained, Fleischman's "words don't just sit there on the page; they leap and cavort, turn somersaults, and sometimes just hang suspended, like cars teetering at the top of a roller coaster." Acknowledged as exceptional to read aloud, Fleischman's works are often considered appropriate choices for reluctant readers.

Reviewers have consistently given Fleischman's books a warm critical reception. Johnson noted in Language Arts that the author has "produced some of the funniest books ever for children," while Jane O'Connor claimed in the New York Times Book Review that "when it comes to telling whopping tall tales, no one can match Sid Fleischman." Writing in the same publication, Georgess McHargue maintained that Fleischman "can put more action into thirty-two pages than some authors of ‘explosive best sellers’ can put into seventy-five turgid chapters." Writing in Horn Book, Mary M. Burns noted that although Fleischman's books are expectedly funny, his "transforming setbacks into comic situations and seeing possible triumphs where others with lesser gifts see only disasters … [is perhaps] what makes his books so popular." Observing that Fleischman's characters care deeply about each other, Johnson noted, "this … is what gives his books their substance and strength. To know Sid Fleischman, in person or through his work, is to experience an affirmation of life."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Fleischman was raised in San Diego, California. He credits his father Reuben, a Russian Jewish immigrant whom his son described as "an airy optimist with nimble skills," and his mother Sadie, a "crackerjack penny ante card player," with fostering his interest in storytelling. "My earliest literary memories were funny ones," Fleischman wrote in Horn Book. Although he recalled his mother reading Aesop's Fables and Uncle Tom's Cabin to him, the book that affected the future writer most profoundly was Robin Hood, which he described as "my first great reading experience, and my favorite of those early years."

As a member of a minority in San Diego due to his Jewish faith, the young Fleischman developed an identity with underdogs. He also developed a strong interest in magic, voraciously reading books on the subject, perfecting tricks to perform, and creating inventions of his own. As a teen, he decided to write a book of his original tricks, Between Cocktails. Published when Fleischman was nineteen, the book was still in print a half century later. "When I saw my name on the cover," Fleischman once recalled, "I was hooked on writing books."

After graduating from high school, Fleischman traveled around the country with stage acts such as Mr. Arthur Bull's Francisco Spook Show. His first-hand experience of the last days of vaudeville, traveling in small towns throughout America, gained Fleishman the exposure to folk tales and folk speech that inspired his son, Newbery Award-winning writer Paul Fleischman, to describe his father as a prestidigitator of words" in Horn Book. The author himself referred to his own writing as "sleight-of-mind" in an interview with Sybil S. Steinberg in Publishers Weekly.

During World War II, Fleischman served in the U.S. Naval Reserve on a destroyer escort in the Philippines, Borneo, and China. In 1942, he married Betty Taylor, with whom he raised his three children: Jane, Paul, and Anne. After the war, Fleischman began writing detective stories, suspense tales, and other pulp fiction for adults, learning "to keep the story pot boiling, to manage tension and the uses of surprise," as he later recalled. In 1949, he graduated from San Diego State College and began working as a reporter for the San Diego Daily Journal. A year later, Fleischman was hired on as associate editor of Point magazine, a position he held until 1951 when he became a full-time writer.

When his children were young, Fleischman recalled in Publishers Weekly, they "didn't understand what I did for a living. So one day I sat down and wrote a story for children and read it to them." This book, Mr. Mysterious & Company, which includes Fleischman and his family as characters, became his first published book for children. Describing the warm relationship of the Hackett family, Mr. Mysterious & Company includes the concept of Abracadabra Day, an annual event where children are allowed to be as bad as they want to be without fear of reproach. Dorothy M. Broderick wrote in her New York Times Book Review appraisal of the book that Abracadabra Day is "a marvelous institution that may well sweep the country." In Horn Book, Ruth Hill Viguers called Mr. Mysterious & Company "wholly delightful" and added: "It is hard to imagine a child who would not enjoy it."

The central premise of the author's popular "McBroom" series, about an Iowan and his fertile farmland, came to mind while Fleishman was writing Chancy and the Grand Rascal, a story about a young boy and his peripatetic uncle that New York Times Book Review contributor Jane Yolen dubbed a "perfect blend of one part quest story and two parts tall tale." "For all readers who adore braggadocio and consider Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill the apogee of American humor," Yolen continued, "Chancy and the Grand Rascal is a godsend." While coming up with two tall tales for the book, Fleischman was so amused by his initial invention that he turned it into the first "McBroom" book, McBroom Tells the Truth. Although he did not intend to write another story about McBroom, Fleischman went on to pen several more books about the folksy character, a man who entertains young readers by describing a succession of wild impossibilities involving his farm and his eleven offspring. As Zena Sutherland described it in her Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books review, "the marvelous McBroom farm" is a place "where instantaneous growth from superfertile soil and blazing Iowa sun provide magnificent crops of food and stories."

Another popular book series by Fleischman features the Bloodhound Gang, a team of three multiethnic junior detectives. Based on Fleischman's scripts for the 3-2-1 Contact television show, which aired on public television, the "Bloodhound Gang" stories are fast paced, fun-to-solve preteen mysteries that include short chapters filled wit plenty of action. In each book, as Judith Goldberger noted in Booklist, "a neatly worked out plot is based on simple, believable gimmicks."

With The Whipping Boy, Fleischman departs from his characteristic American settings to write a story that, according to Horn Book reviewer Ethel L. Heins, is styled in "the manner of Joan Aiken and Lloyd Alexander" and "set in an undefined time and place." Reminiscent of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and written in a style that harkens back to that of nineteenth-century melodramas, The Whipping Boy describes how spoiled Horace—nicknamed Prince Brat because of his behavior—runs away with Jemmy, a street-smart orphan who takes punishments for the things the prince refuses to do, like learn to read. When the two boys are kidnapped by villains Cutwater and Hold-Your-Nose Billy, they switch identities. After escaping the scoundrels in an exciting chase through a rat-filled sewer, Horace and Jemmy return to the palace as friends: Jemmy has learned to sympathize with the prince's restricted life and admire the boy's courage while realizing his own desire for knowledge, and Horace discovers his personal strength and his ability to change. "Like much of the author's writing," maintained Heins, "beneath the surface entertainment, the story also speaks of courage, friendship, and trust." Janet Hickman, writing in Language Arts noted that, in addition to "its lively entertainment value and stylistic polish, [The Whipping Boy] … has much to say about human nature and the vagaries of justice." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Martha Saxton deemed the book "a good, rollicking adventure," and Frances Bradburn wrote in the Wilson Library Bulletin that "the importance of education, the true meaning of friendship, and the need for understanding and compassion for all people are…. such an integral part of the story that there would be no story without them."

The initial idea for The Whipping Boy was inspired by historical research Fleischman was doing for another book, and it took almost ten years to write. In his Newbery Medal acceptance speech, as printed in Horn Book, Fleischman explained: "I stumbled across the catapulting idea for The Whipping Boy…. I checked the dictionary. ‘A boy,’ it confirmed, ‘educated with a prince and punished in its stead.’" Fleischman thought he could write the book quickly, but "after about eighteen months I was still trying to get to the bottom of page five." Eventually, he realized the problem. "My original concept for the story was wrong," he explained. "Wrong, at least, for me. I saw The Whipping Boy as a picture book story." One day he read over the manuscript and discovered that his work needed to be much longer: "Once I took the shackles off, the story erupted. Scenes, incidents, and characters came tumbling out of a liberated imagination. Within a few months, I had it all on paper." When told that The Whipping Boy had won the Newbery Medal, Fleischman was elated. "I don't happen to believe in levitation, unless it's done with mirrors, but for a few days I had to load my pockets with ballast. The Newbery Medal is an enchantment. It's bliss. It should happen to everyone."

Following The Whipping Boy, Fleischman published The Scarebird, which contains illustrations by Peter Sis, an artist who has also provided the pictures for several of the author's other works. The Scarebird describe how Lonesome John, a man whose sole companion is the scarecrow in his yard, slowly makes friends with Sam, an orphan looking for work who comes to John's farm. In her review in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Betsy Hearne stated that, "in a period of thin picture books, this has much to teach about the substance of story and the complement of illustration."

With The Midnight Horse, Fleischman returns to the adventure story genre with what Ethel R. Twichell described in Horn Book as "a mixture of tall tale, folktale, and downright magic." Fleishman's story outlines how Touch, an orphan boy who comes to the small New Hampshire town of Cricklewood and ultimately reclaims his rightful inheritance from his wicked great-uncle with the help of a ghostly magician. "The enjoyment of the book," Twichell concluded, "lies in Fleischman's exuberant narrative flow and his ingenuity in dispatching his scoundrels." A Publishers Weekly critic called The Midnight Horse a "deftly told tale of innocence and villainy."

Fleischman's novel Jim Ugly is a parody set in the American West that includes such thinly disguised film stars of the early twentieth century as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Mae West, and W.C. Fields. In this story, twelve-year-old Jake discovers that the father he thought he had buried is, in fact, alive and an accused thief. Meanwhile, with his father's dog—an animal that is actually part wolf—as companion, Jake and Jim Ugly travel by baggage car from town to town, trying to escape a villainous bounty hunter. In a review of Jim Ugly for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Zena Sutherland wrote that Fleischman's "lively, clever, and humorous" novel "must have been as much fun to write as it is to read," and School Library Journal contributor Katherine Bruner added that, "with a little silent-movie piano accompaniment, this rollicking parody of Western melodrama would effortlessly unfold across any stage."

With The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story Fleischman makes his first contribution to the time-travel genre of fantasy literature. In this work, twelve-year-old Buddy and his lawyer-sister Liz are left penniless when their parents are killed in a plane crash. Liz disappears after meeting a client on the thirteenth floor of an old building, and the client turns out to be the siblings' ghostly ancestor, a young girl who had been accused of witchcraft in Puritan Boston. When Buddy goes after Liz, he is taken by magic elevator to a pirate ship captained by another ancestor. After being cast adrift, he is reunited with Liz, who defends—and acquits—ten-year-old Abigail in court. At the end of the book, the siblings return safely to the twentieth century with a valuable treasure in hand. As a Publishers Weekly critic advised: "Hold on to your hats—there's never a dull moment when Fleischman is at the helm." In Horn Book Ann A. Flowers described the book as "an easy, light-hearted adventure," noting that Fleischman's informative "author's note also points out the serious consequences of ignorance and superstition."

With Bandit's Moon, Fleischman spins a tale of a Mexican bandit and an orphan girl who live during the California Gold Rush. Annyrose Smith is left in the care of a man who turns out to be less than honorable. Disguised as a boy, she makes her escape, only to be swept up by the outlaw band of legendary Joaquin Murrieta.

Murrieta, it turns out, is badly in need of someone to teach him how to read, and he protects the young girl to that end. For her part, Annyrose is shocked by the behavior of the robber gang. Then she learns about the wrongs done to Murrieta and other Mexicans at the hands of the whites. Fleischman's plot includes his characteristic combination of fast pace and twists and turns, leading readers to a surprise ending. Writing in School Library Journal, Marlene Gawron called Bandit's Moon "classic Sid Fleischman: a quick read, with lots of twists, wonderful phrasing, historical integrity, and a bit of the tall tale thrown in." Calling the novel more than just "thundering hooves and gunfire," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that Fleischman "expertly crafts a fictionalized tale that takes a clear-eyed look at bigotry and racism, while steering away from the twin pitfalls of pedantry and sermonizing." Similarly, Horn Book contributor Ann A. Flowers concluded that the author managed to "clothe issues of loyalty and honesty in a roaring adventure story, smartly written and chock full of humor and derring-do."

A Carnival of Animals is a compilation of a half-dozen tall tales about the effects on various animals of a tornado that hits Barefoot Mountain. In "The Windblown Child," for example, a strange pink creature is blown in with the tornado; she turns out to be a hairless sheep whose fleece has been whisked away to take the place of missing hair on a bald farmer. "Emperor Floyd" tells of a rooster who develops a peculiar affliction as a result of the storm, and in "Stumblefrog," the amphibian in question gets jumping fever after eating the contents of a sack of Mexican jumping beans, torn open by the tornado. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that "the glee with which [Fleischman] relates his outrageous yarns is infectious." In Booklist Gillian Engberg had similar praise for the stories, commenting that, "as usual, Fleischman writes about the fantastic and absurd with a captivating balance of casual assuredness and precise detail." Grace Oliff, reviewing the collection in School Library Journal, called Fleischman "a master of the tall tale."

Animals are also featured in Fleischman's picture book The White Elephant. With artwork by Robert McGuire, the book introduces a young elephant trainer named Run-Run, who lives in Siam where he works with ageing pachyderm Walking Mountain in removing stumps from farmer's fields. When Walking Mountain incurs the anger of a petulant prince, Run-Run is burdened with a white elephant who, while requiring the best of food, is prohibited from working. Fortunately, the white elephant, Sahib, is drawn to the older elephant and mimics its efforts pulling stumps from the ground. Although Run-Run worries that the prince will discover that his gift of Sahib is being misused, nature intervenes and Sahib ultimately proves his worth. While noting that The White Elephant features a slow-moving plot, a Publishers Weekly contributor praised Fleischman for creating "a rewarding portrayal of friendship and loyalty." In Horn Book, Robin Smith wrote that "the short chapters, evocative pencil sketches, and rich Siamese setting" in The White Elephant "will easily hold the interest of readers and listeners alike."

Returning to the novel with Bo and Mzzz Mad, Fleischman serves up another "classic … tale," according to a contributor for Publishers Weekly. When twelve-year-old Bo Gamage's parents die, the orphaned boy decides to visit long-lost relatives living in the Mojave Desert. Arriving in Queen of Sheba, California, Bo finds that the town is little more than a retired movie set, and its only residents are his relatives. A former actor in Westerns, great-uncle Charlie—alias Paw Paw—is now a full-time grump. Other relatives include an aunt and a cousin, Madeleine, a girl who prefers to call herself Mzzz Mad and who takes an immediate dislike to her new relative. Aunt Juna is the only one to take any interest in Bo; she talks him into tricking Paw Paw with a fake treasure map in order to restore the unhappy man's flagging spirits. The map is antiqued to mimic an old map showing the location of a gold mine that played a part in the family's original misfortunes. When a gang of modern bandits arrive in town, Bo and his feuding relatives get more adventure than they expected, and ultimately they team up and work together to survive. "The narrative speeds along with enough plot twists to keep readers flipping pages," observed Steve Clancy in a School Library Journal review of Boo and Mzzz Mad. A contributor to Publishers Weekly described the novel as a "thumping good page-turner spiced with humor, snappy descriptions … and a lickety-split plot," the critic noting that Fleischman seems to be "in top form." For a Horn Book critic, the novel is "a light-as-cotton-candy concoction," and Booklist critic Stephanie Zvirin pronounced it a "quick, enjoyable read that will fly off the shelves."

Orphans and adventure also figure in the plot of Disappearing Act. In this novel by Fleischman, Kevin and Holly Kidd have just lost their archaeologist mother in an earthquake in Mexico. When their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is subsequently targeted by burglars, the siblings suspect that someone is stalking them. Fleeing to Southern California, Kevin and Holly find a new home near the Venice boardwalk and rename themselves Gomez. Kevin becomes Pepe and takes up fortune-telling on the boardwalk, while his older sister, a fledgling opera singer, becomes Chickadee. The teens slowly establish themselves in this strange new life, making friends with such local characters as a juggling medical student, a human mannequin, a screenwriter with a penchant for bugs, and a benevolent landlady. Holly eventually lands a role in a production of La Bohème, but when the stalker from New Mexico shows up, all is put into jeopardy again.

In Booklist John Peters wrote that in Disappearing Act Fleischman mixes "themes both comic and serious" and is able to pull together the manifold plot lines of "his twisty, nail-biter to an untidy, but satisfying, conclusion." Other critics found that the novel's cast of secondary characters is the primary draw of Disappearing Act. Betty Carter, writing in Horn Book, observed that the book "paints vivid character sketches" even as it "fails to sustain a coherent plot." For School Library Journal contributor Steven Engelfried, the "characters and the setting are the main draws," although "Fleischman neatly frames the conclusion into something more thoughtful and meaningful" than a mere potboiler. A critic for Kirkus Reviews also praised "the colorful assemblage of secondary characters," concluding of Disappearing Act: "Realistic fiction it's not, but good, quick, and smart fun—definitely."

Fleischman draws on the history of European Jewry in The Entertainer and the Dybbuk. In the novel, World War II is now over, but Freddie, an American ventriloquist and former GI, has remained on the continent and is performing his act throughout postwar Europe. Suddenly, Freddie becomes aware of the spiritual presence of Avrom Poliakov, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. While Avrom, with his quick wit, helps Freddie improve his on-stage act, the spirit also has a mission. Possessed by the young ghost (or dybbuk), Freddie sets to work tracking down the Nazi colonel responsible for Avrom's death, as well as the deaths of hundreds of other Jewish children. Noting the novel's serious themes, John Peters wrote in Booklist, that "Avrom's wisecracking will counterbalance matter-of-fact accounts of Nazi cruelty for young readers." Still, Peters added, more mature readers "will best appreciate the novel's eloquent ‘inner voice’ of conscience," and appreciate the sometimes horrible details Fleischman includes regarding the one and a half million Jewish children who were killed during the Holocaust. While Paula Rohrlick wrote in Kliatt that Avrom's "repartee with Freddie … is often very funny and affecting," she added that The Entertainer and the Dybbuk "mingles horror and humor," serving young readers as an "excellent and unusual addition to YA Holocaust literature." Noting that the novel stands out from "the plethora of mostly depressing Holocaust children's and YA literature," a Kirkus Reviews writer added that Fleischman's book is "quick, creative, clever and thoroughly entertaining."

The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life is Fleischman's autobiography for young readers. Considered as lively and eminently readable as his fiction, the book includes personal information on the author as well as advice on writing; each chapter is introduced with quotes from children's letters to the author, ends with a cliff-hanging episode from Fleischman's eventful life, and features black-and-white family photographs. "Fleischman is a pro," asserted Betsy Hearne in her review of the book for the Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books, "and it shows in this autobiography as much as it does in his fiction." A Kirkus Reviews contributor claimed that Fleischman "offers a gold mine of interesting reflections of writing" from one who has "lived adventurously and thoughtfully." Mary J. Arnold, reviewing the book in Kliatt, called The Abracadabra Kid an "engaging memoir that serves as proof positive that writing flows from life experience." For Arnold, Fleischman's autobiographical sketch is "non-stop funny and entertaining," while in Voice of Youth Advocates Candace Deisley commented that "the reader is rewarded with an appreciation for the author's art, and spurred with the desire to read more of his works." Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, concluded of the book that, "from cover to cover," The Abracadabra Kid serves up "a treat" to Fleischman's young fans.

"Novels are written in the dark," Fleischman commented in an essay for Children's Books and Their Creators. "At least mine are. Unlike many sensible authors, I start Chapter One with rarely a notion of the story that's about to unfold. It's like wandering down a pitch-black theater and groping around for the lights. One by one the spots and floodlights come on, catching a character or two against a painted backdrop. I sit back and enjoy the show. When the final curtain falls a year or two later, the stage is ablaze with lights, and I have a new novel."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults, Volume 4, Beacham Publishing (Osprey, FL), 1990, Volume 11, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Cameron, Eleanor, The Green and Burning Tree, Atlantic/Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1969.

Children's Books and Their Creators, edited by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

Meigs, Cornelia, and others, editors, A Critical History of Children's Literature, revised edition, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1969.

St. James Guide to Children's Writers, fifth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Townsend, John Rowe, Written for Children: An Outline of English Language Children's Literature, revised edition, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1974.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 1976, Barbara Elleman, review of McBroom Tells a Lie, p. 174; April 15, 1981, Judith Goldberger, review of The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Cackling Ghost and The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of Princess Tomorrow, p. 1159; September 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life, p. 126; March 1, 1999, Sally Estes, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 1212; September 1, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 113; May 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 1750; June 1, 2003, John Peters, review of Disappearing Act, pp. 1774-1775; February 1, 2005, Michael Cart, review of The Giant Rat of Sumatra; or, Pirates Galore, p. 957; September 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The White Elephant, p. 125; September 1, 2007, John Peters, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, p. 114.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1970, Zena Sutherland, review of McBroom's Ear, p. 143; September, 1988, Betsy Hearne, review of The Scarebird, pp. 6-7; March, 1992, Zena Sutherland, review of Jim Ugly, p. 179; October, 1995, p. 53; September, 1996, Betsy Hearne, review of The Abracadabra Kid, pp. 11-12; September 1, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 113; May 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, 1750; October, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, p. 83.

Horn Book, June, 1962, Ruth Hill Viguers, review of Mr. Mysterious & Company, p. 279; May-June, 1986, Ethel L. Heins, review of The Whipping Boy, pp. 325-326; July-August, 1987, Sid Fleischman, "Newbery Medal Acceptance," pp. 423-428; July-August, 1987, Paul Fleischman, "Sid Fleischman," pp. 429-432; November-December, 1990, Ethel R. Twichell, review of The Midnight Horse, p. 744; November-December, 1995, Ann A. Flowers, review of The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story, pp. 741-742; November-December, 1996, Mary M. Burns, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 759; November, 1998, Ann A. Flowers, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 728; May, 2001, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 323; May-June, 2003, Betty Carter, review of Disappearing Act, p. 345; March-April, 2005, Betty Carter, review of The Giant Rat of Sumatra, p. 200; July-August, 2006, Betty Carter, review of Escape@: The Story of the Great Houdini, p. 463; November-December, 2006, Robin Smith, review of The White Elephant, p. 708.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1972, review of McBroom's Zoo, p. 1144; July 1, 1996, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 967; March 1, 2003, review of Disappearing Act, p. 383; February 1, 2006, review of The Giant Rat of Sumatra, p. 176; June 15, 2006, review of Escape!, p. 632; September 15, 2006, review of The White Elephant, p. 952; August 1, 2007, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk.

Kliatt, September, 1998, Mary J. Arnold, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 35; January, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of The Giant Rat of Sumatra, p. 8; September, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, p. 11.

Language Arts, 1982, Emily Rhoads Johnson, "Profile: Sid Fleischman," pp. 754-759; December, 1986, Janet Hickman, review of The Whipping Boy, p. 822.

New York Times Book Review, May 13, 1962, Dorothy M. Broderick, review of Mr. Mysterious & Company, p. 30; November 6, 1966, Jane Yolen, review of Chancy and the Grand Rascal, p. 40; September 11, 1977, Jane O'Connor, review of Me and the Man on the Moon-eyed Horse, p. 32; January 20, 1980, Georgess McHargue, review of The Hey Hey Man, p. 30; February 22, 1987, Martha Saxton, review of The Whipping Boy, p. 23.

Publishers Weekly, February 27, 1978, Sybil S. Steinberg, "What Makes a Funny Children's Book?: Five Writers Talk about Their Method," pp. 87-90; August 10, 1990, review of The Midnight Horse, p. 445; October 9, 1995, review of The 13th Floor, p. 86; August 3, 1998, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 86; August 28, 2000, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 83; March 26, 2001, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 94; February 21, 2005, review of The Giant Rat of Sumatra, p. 176; July 10, 2006, review of Escape!, p. 83; November 6, 2006, review of The White Elephant, p. 61; September 24, 2007, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, p. 73.

Reading Teacher, April, 1998, review of The Ghost on Saturday Night, pp. 588-589; October, 1999, review of McBroom Tells the Truth, p. 178; June-July, 2003, review of Disappearing Act, p. 32.

Reading Today, June-July, 2003, Lynne T. Burke, review of Disappearing Act, p. 32.

School Library Journal, April, 1992, Katherine Bruner, review of Jim Ugly, pp. 113-114; September, 1998, Marlene Gawron, review of Bandit's Moon, pp. 200-202; October 2000, Grace Oliff, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 124; May, 2001, Steve Clancy, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 149; May, 2003, Steven Engelfried, review of Disappearing Act, pp. 150; August, 2006, Vicki Reutter, review of Escape!, p. 136; October, 2006, Lee Bock, review of The White Elephant, p. 110; August, 2007, Elaine E. Knight, review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, p. 116.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1997, Candace Deisley, review of The Abracadabra Kid, pp. 52, 54.

ONLINE

Sid Fleischman Home Page,http://www.sidfleischman.com (December 15, 2007).

OTHER

Good Conversation!: A Talk with Sid Fleischman (video), Tina Podell Productions, 2006.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fleischman, Sid 1920–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fleischman, Sid 1920–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fleischman-sid-1920

"Fleischman, Sid 1920–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fleischman-sid-1920

Fleischman, (Albert) Sid(ney) 1920- (Carl March, Max Brindle)

FLEISCHMAN, (Albert) Sid(ney) 1920-
(Carl March, Max Brindle)


Personal

Born March 16, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Reuben and Sadie (Solomon) Fleischman; married Betty Taylor, January 25, 1942; children: Jane, Paul, Anne. Education: San Diego State College (now University), B.A., 1949. Hobbies and other interests: Magic, gardening.


Addresses

Home 305 Tenth St., Santa Monica, CA 90402.


Career

Writer for children and adults. Is also a screenwriter and has been a professional magician. Worked as a magician in vaudeville and night clubs, 1938-41; traveled with Mr. Arthur Bull's Francisco Spook Show (magic act), 1939-40; Daily Journal, San Diego, CA, reporter and rewrite man, 1949-50; Point (magazine), San Diego, associate editor, 1950-51; full-time writer, 1951. Author of scripts for television show 3-2-1 Contact, 1979-82. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1941-45; served as yeoman on destroyer escort in the Philippines, Borneo, and China.


Member

Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Writers Guild of America West, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


Awards, Honors

Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book, New York Herald Tribune, and Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book, both 1962, both for Mr. Mysterious & Company; Spur Award, Western Writers of America, Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award, and Junior Book Award, Boys' Clubs of America, all 1964, Recognition of Merit Award, George C. Stone Center for Children's Books, 1972, and Friends of Children and Literature (FOCAL) Award, Los Angeles Public Library, 1983, all for By the Great Horn Spoon!; Juvenile Book Award, Commonwealth Club of California, 1966, for Chancy and the Grand Rascal; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1969, for McBroom Tells the Truth; Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book, Book World, and Notable Books selection, American Library Association (ALA), both 1971, both for Jingo Django; Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award, 1972, for "Comprehensive Contribution of Lasting Value to the Literature for Children and Young People"; Golden Kite Honor Book, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 1974, for McBroom the Rainmaker; Mark Twain Award, Missouri Association of School Libraries, and Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award, Arkansas Elementary School Council, both 1977, and Young Hoosier Award, Association for Indiana Media Educators, 1979, all for The Ghost on Saturday Night; National Book Award finalist, and Award for Fiction, Boston Globe-Horn Book, both 1979, both for Humbug Mountain; Newbery Medal, ALA, and Children's Books of the Year selection, Child Study Association of America, both 1987, both for The Whipping Boy; Paul A. Witty Award, International Reading Association, and Children's Picturebook Award, Redbook, 1988, both for The Scarebird; Parents Choice Award, 1990, for The Midnight Horse, and 1992, for Jim Ugly; Nene Award, 1992, for The Whipping Boy; Jo Osbourne Award for Humor in Children's Literature, 1997; Children's Literature Council of Southern California Award, 1997, for The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life; Charley May Simon Children's Book Award, Arkansas Elementary School Council, and Black-Eyed Susan Award (Maryland), both 1998, and California Young Reader Medal, 1999, all for The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story; John and Patricia Beatty Award, California Library Association, 1999, and FOCAL Award, Los Angeles Public Library, 2002, both for Bandit's Moon; Golden Dolphin Award, Southern California Children's Booksellers Association; Literary Fellowship, Magic Castle's Academy of Magical Arts, 2002; establishment of Sid Fleischman Humor Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2003.


Writings


FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS


Mr. Mysterious & Company, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1962, reprinted, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

By the Great Horn Spoon!, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1963, published as Bullwhip Griffın, Avon (New York, NY), 1967.

The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, illustrated by Warren Chappell, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1965, new edition illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1989.

Chancy and the Grand Rascal, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1966, reprinted, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

McBroom Tells the Truth, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1966, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1981, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1998.

McBroom and the Big Wind, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1967, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

McBroom's Ear, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Norton (New York, NY), 1969, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

Longbeard the Wizard, illustrated by Charles Bragg, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

Jingo Django, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1971, reprinted, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.

McBroom's Ghost, illustrated by Robert Frankenberg, Grosset (New York, NY), 1971, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1981, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1998.

McBroom's Zoo, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Grosset (New York, NY), 1972, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982.

The Wooden Cat Man, illustrated by Jay Yang, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1972.

McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm (includes McBroom Tells the Truth, McBroom and the Big Wind, and McBroom's Ghost ), illustrated by Quentin Blake, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1972, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

McBroom the Rainmaker, illustrated by Kurt Werth, Grosset (New York, NY), 1973, new edition illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1982, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.

The Ghost on Saturday Night, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974, new edition illustrated by Laura Cornell, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

Mr. Mysterious's Secrets of Magic (nonfiction), illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1975, published as Secrets of Magic, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1976.

McBroom Tells a Lie, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1976, new edition illustrated by Amy Wummer, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.

Here Comes McBroom (includes McBroom Tells a Lie, McBroom the Rainmaker, and McBroom's Zoo ), illustrated by Quentin Blake, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1976, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

Kate's Secret Riddle Book, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1977.

Me and the Man on the Moon-Eyed Horse, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1977, published as The Man on the Moon-Eyed Horse, Gollancz (London, England), 1980.

Humbug Mountain, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1978.

Jim Bridger's Alarm Clock and Other Tall Tales, illustrated by Eric von Schmidt, Dutton (New York, NY), 1978.

McBroom and the Beanstalk, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1978.

The Hey Hey Man, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1979.

McBroom and the Great Race, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1980.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Flying Clock, illustrated by William Harmuth, Random House/ Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1981. The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Cackling Ghost, illustrated by Anthony Rao, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of Princess Tomorrow, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Secret Message, illustrated by W. Harmuth, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

The Bloodhound Gang's Secret Code Book, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the 264-Pound Burglar, illustrated by Bill Morrison, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

McBroom's Almanac, illustrated by Walter Lorraine, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1984.

The Whipping Boy, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2003.

The Scarebird, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1988.

The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1989.

The Midnight Horse, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1990.

Jim Ugly, illustrated by Joseph A. Smith, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Peter Sis, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1995.

The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life (nonfiction), Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1996.

Bandit's Moon, illustrated by Joseph A. Smith, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1998.

A Carnival of Animals, illustrated by Marylin Hafner, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Bo and Mzzz Mad, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Disappearing Act, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2003.

The Giant Rat of Sumatra, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), in press.


NOVELS; FOR ADULTS


The Straw Donkey Case, Phoenix Press (New York, NY), 1948.

Murder's No Accident, Phoenix Press (New York, NY), 1949.

Shanghai Flame, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1951.

Look behind You, Lady, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1952, published as Chinese Crimson, Jenkins (Austin, TX), 1962.

Danger in Paradise, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1953.

Counterspy Express, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1954.

Malay Woman, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1954, published as Malaya Manhunt, Jenkins (Austin, TX), 1965.

Blood Alley, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1955.

Yellowleg, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1960.

The Venetian Blonde, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1963.


SCREENPLAYS


Blood Alley (starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall), Batjac Productions, 1955.

Goodbye, My Lady (based on a novel by James Street), Batjac Productions, 1956.

(With William A. Wellman) Lafayette Escadrille, Warner Brothers, 1958.

The Deadly Companions (based on his novel Yellowleg ), Carousel Productions, 1961.

(With Albert Maltz) Scalawag, Byrna Productions, 1973.

(Under pseudonym Max Brindle) The Whipping Boy, Disney, 1994.


OTHER


Between Cocktails, Abbott Magic Company (Colon, MI), 1939.

(Under pseudonym Carl March) Magic Made Easy, Croydon (New York, NY), 1953.

The Charlatan's Handbook, L and L Publishing (Tahoma, CA), 1993.


Contributor to Crosscurrents of Criticism, edited by Paul Heins, Horn Book (Boston, MA), 1977.


Fleischman's books have been translated into sixteen languages.


Adaptations

By the Great Horn Spoon! was filmed as Bullwhip Griffin by Walt Disney, 1967; The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, starring Peter Sellers, was filmed by Cavalcade Films, 1974.


Sidelights

"While my books rarely draw upon my personal experience," commented author Sid Fleischman in St. James Guide to Children's Writers, "I catch ghostly glimpses of my presence on almost every page. The stories inevitably reveal my interests and enthusiasmsmy taste for the comic in life, my love of adventure, the seductions (for me) of the nineteenth-century American frontier, and my enchantment with the folk speech of that period. Language is a wondrous toy and I have great literary fun with it." Regarded as a master of the tall tale as well as one of the most popular humorists in American children's literature, Fleischman is noted for writing action-filled adventure stories that weave exciting plots, rollicking wit, and joyous wordplay with accurate, well-researched historical facts and characterizations that reveal the author's insight into and understanding of human nature. He is perhaps best known as the author of The Whipping Boy, a Newbery Medal-winning story that features a spoiled prince and the stoical lad who takes his punishment, and a comic series of tall tales about blustery Iowa farmer Josh McBroom and his amazingly productive one-acre farm. Compared to such writers as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Leon Garfield, Fleischman is praised for his ingenuity, vigorous literary style, polished craftsmanship, and keen sense of humor.


His works, which often draw on American folklore and pioneer history and use backgrounds such as the California Gold Rush, seventeenth-century piracy, and rural life from Ohio to Vermont, are consistently acknowledged for their diversity of subjects and settings. Formerly a professional magician, Fleischman fills his books with mystery, elements of surprise, and quick-witted characters. His young protagonists, who are regarded as figures with whom young readers can quickly identify, often embark on quests, noted Emily Rhoads Johnson in Language Arts, "for land or treasure or missing relatives," where "the heroes meet up with every imaginable kind of trouble, usually in the form of villains and cut-throats, impostors and fingle-fanglers." In his Written for Children, John Rowe Townsend asserted that, like Garfield, Fleischman "is fond of flamboyant, larger-than-life characters, and of mysteries of origin and identity; a recurrent Fleischman theme is the discovery of a father or father-substitute." Although he frequently styles his stories as farces, Fleischman underscores his works with a positive attitude toward life and a firm belief in such values as courage, loyalty, and perseverance. The author's love of languagean attribute for which he is often laudedis evident in the flamboyant names he gives to his characters, his use of wild metaphors and vivid images, and the colorful expressions that dot his stories. Johnson explains that Fleischman's "words don't just sit there on the page; they leap and cavort, turn somersaults, and sometimes just hang suspended, like cars teetering at the top of a roller coaster." Acknowledged as exceptional to read aloud, Fleischman's works are often considered effective choices for reluctant readers.

Reviewers usually provide Fleischman with a warm critical reception. Johnson noted that he has "produced some of the funniest books ever for children," while Jane O'Connor claimed in the New York Times Book Review, "When it comes to telling whopping tall tales, no one can match Sid Fleischman." Writing in the same publication, Georgess McHargue says that Fleischman "can put more action into thirty-two pages than some authors of 'explosive best sellers' can put into seventy-five turgid chapters." Writing in Horn Book, Mary M. Burns added that although Fleischman's books are expectedly funny, his "transforming setbacks into comic situations and seeing possible triumphs where others with lesser gifts see only disasters . . . [is perhaps] what makes his books so popular." Observing that Fleischman's characters care deeply about each other, Johnson noted, "this, I feel, is what gives his books their substance and strength. To know Sid Fleischman, in person or through his work, is to experience an affirmation of life." In Twentieth Century Children's Writers, Jane Yolen concluded that Fleischman "has made the particular voice of the tall tale so much his own that, if any one author could be said to be master of the genre, it is he. . . . [He has made] highly original contributions to the literature of childhood, at least in this critic's opinion."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Fleischman was raised in San Diego, California. He credits his father Reuben, a Russian Jewish immigrant whom his son calls "an airy optimist with nimble skills," and his mother Sadie, a "crackerjack penny ante card player," with fostering his interest in storytelling. "My earliest literary memories," wrote Fleischman in Horn Book, "were funny ones. I remember most vividly the woodman's wife with the link sausages attached to her nose in 'The Three Wishes.' That had me rolling in the aislesor on the living-room carpet. A little later came Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter." Fleischman recalls Aesop's Fables and Uncle Tom's Cabin being read to him by his mother; however, the book that he claims affected him most profoundly was Robin Hood, which he calls "my first great reading experience, and my favorite of those early years." As a minority in San Diego due to his faith, Fleischman developed an identity with underdogs. "I can see this," he told Language Arts, "in the dynamics of my choice of characters to write about. The butler in By the Great Horn Spoon! The gypsies in Jingo Django. And children, of course, are every generation's underdogs." As a small boy, Fleischman developed a strong interest in magic, voraciously reading books on the subject, perfecting tricks to perform, and creating inventions of his own. At the age of seventeen, he decided to write a book of his original tricks, Between Cocktails; published when Fleischman was nineteen, the book was still in print over fifty years later. "When I saw my name on the cover," Fleischman once recalled, "I was hooked on writing books."

After graduating from high school, Fleischman traveled around the country with stage actssuch as Mr. Arthur Bull's Francisco Spook Showduring the last days of vaudeville. This experience, during which he heard folktales and folk speech in small towns throughout America, is often thought to have influenced the improvisational quality of the author's works; Fleischman's son, Paul, himself a Newbery Award-winning writer, called his father "a prestidigitator of words" in Horn Book, while Fleischman referred to his own writing as "sleight-of-mind" in an interview with Sybil S. Steinberg in Publishers Weekly. During the Second World War, Fleischman served in the U. S. Naval Reserve on a destroyer escort in the Philippines, Borneo, and China. In 1942, he married Betty Taylor; the couple has three children: Jane, Paul, and Anne. After the war, Fleischman began writing detective stories, suspense tales, and other pulp fiction for adults, learning, he says, "to keep the story pot boiling, to manage tension and the uses of surprise." In 1949, he graduated from San Diego State College and began working as a reporter for the San Diego Daily Journal. A year later, Fleischman became associate editor of Point magazine, a position he held until 1951 when he became a full-time writer. In 1955, he began a continuing career as a screenwriter when his novel Blood Alley was adapted to film.

When his children were young, Fleischman related in Publishers Weekly, they "didn't understand what I did for a living. So one day I sat down and wrote a story for children and read it to them." This book, Mr. Mysterious & Company, which includes Fleischman and his family as characters, became his first published book for children. Describing the warm relationship of the Hackett family, Mr. Mysterious includes the concept of Abracadabra Day, an annual event where children are allowed to be as bad as they want to be without fear of reproach. "A marvelous institution that may well sweep the country," wrote Dorothy M. Broderick in a New York Times Book Review, while Horn Book reviewer Ruth Hill Viguers called Mr. Mysterious "wholly delightful. . . . It is hard to imagine a child who would not enjoy it."

The McBroom series about the Iowan and his fertile farmland was prompted during the writing of Chancy and the Grand Rascal, a story about a young boy and his "coming-and-going" uncle that Jane Yolen called a "perfect blend of one part quest story and two parts tall tale" in the New York Times Book Review. "For all readers who adore braggadocio and consider Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill the apogee of American humor," Yolen continued, "Chancy and the Grand Rascal is a godsend." While coming up with two tall tales for Chancy, Fleischman was so amused by his initial invention that he turned it into the first McBroom book, McBroom Tells the Truth. Although he did not intend to write another story about McBroom, Fleischman has written a dozen books about the folksy character who entertains young readers with a succession of wild impossibilities on, as Zena Sutherland described it in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, "the marvelous McBroom farm, where instantaneous growth from superfertile soil and blazing Iowa sun provide magnificent crops of food and stories"; in addition to his tales about the farmer and his eleven children, Fleischman has written a compendium of McBroom's homespun advice in almanac format. McBroom's shaggy dog stories are usually considered to be as funny as they are unlikely. In Now upon a Time: A Contemporary View of Children's Literature, Myra Pollack Sadker and David Miller Sadker noted that "Fleischman has created a tall tale hero who delights younger independent readers and also provides a grand vehicle for storytelling and reading aloud." Another of Fleischman's most popular series features the Bloodhound Gang, a team of three multiethnic junior detectives. Based on Fleischman's scripts for the 3-2-1 Contact television show for the Children's Television Workshop, the books are fast-paced, fun-to-solve mysteries directed to middle graders and early adolescents that include short chapters filled with plenty of action. In each book, as Judith Goldberger noted in Booklist, "a neatly worked out plot is based on simple, believable gimmicks."

With The Whipping Boy, Fleischman departs from his characteristic yarns with American settings to write a story, in the words of Horn Book reviewer Ethel L. Heins, in "the manner of Joan Aiken and Lloyd Alexander [that is] set in an undefined time and place." Reminiscent of The Prince and the Pauper and written in a style that harkens back to that of nineteenth-century melodramas, The Whipping Boy describes how spoiled Horace, nicknamed Prince Brat because of his behavior, runs away with Jemmy, the street-smart orphan who takes the punishment for the things that the prince refuses to do, like learn to read. When they are kidnapped by villains Cutwater and Hold-Your-Nose Billy, the boys switch roles; after escaping the scoundrels in an exciting chase through a rat-filled sewer, Horace and Jemmy return to the palace as friends. Jemmy has learned to sympathize with the prince's restricted life and to admire his courage while realizing his own desire for knowledge, while Horace, who takes a whipping for Jemmy, discovers his personal strength and ability to change. "Like much of the author's writing," maintained Heins, "beneath the surface entertainment, the story also speaks of courage, friendship, and trust." Janet Hickman of Language Arts noted that besides "its lively entertainment value and stylistic polish, the story has much to say about human nature and the vagaries of justice." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Martha Saxton concluded, "This is indisputably a good, rollicking adventure, but in its characterizations The Whipping Boy offers something special." Frances Bradburn of Wilson Library Bulletin added, "The importance of education, the true meaning of friendship, and the need for understanding and compassion for all people are enclosed within the covers of this bookbut not so obviously that children will find them offensive. Rather, they are such an integral part of the story that there would be no story without them."

It took almost ten years for Fleischman to write The Whipping Boy. The initial idea for the book came to the author from some historical research he was doing for another book. In his Newbery Medal acceptance speech printed in Horn Book, Fleischman said, "I stumbled across the catapulting idea for The Whipping Boy. . . . I checked the dictionary. 'A boy,' it confirmed, 'educated with a prince and punished in its stead.'" Fleischman thought he could write the book quickly, but "after about eighteen months," he recalled in Horn Book, "I was still trying to get to the bottom of page five." Eventually, Fleischman realized the problem. "My original concept for the story was wrong," he explained. "Wrong, at least, for me. I saw The Whipping Boy as a picture book story." One day he read over the manuscript and discovered that his work needed to be much longer: "Once I took the shackles off, the story erupted. Scenes, incidents, and characters came tumbling out of a liberated imagination. Within a few months, I had it all on paper." When told that The Whipping Boy had won the Newbery Medal, Fleischman was elated. "I don't happen to believe in levitation, unless it's done with mirrors, but for a few days I had to load my pockets with ballast. The Newbery Medal is an enchantment. It's bliss. It should happen to everyone."

Following The Whipping Boy, Fleischman published The Scarebird, which contains illustrations by Peter Sis, who has also provided the pictures for several of the author's other works. The story and pictures describe how Lonesome John, whose sole companion is the scarecrow in his yard, slowly makes friends with Sam, an orphan looking for work who comes to John's farm. In her review in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Betsy Hearne stated, "In a period of thin picture books, this has much to teach about the substance of story and the complement of illustration." With The Midnight Horse, Fleischman returns to the adventure story genre with a novel that is, in the worlds of Ethel R. Twichell of Horn Book, "a mixture of tall tale, folktale, and downright magic." The story outlines how Touch, an orphan boy who comes to the town of Cricklewood, New Hampshirewhere the entry sign reads "Population 217. 216 Fine Folks and 1 Infernal Grouch"reclaims his rightful inheritance from his wicked great-uncle with the help of a ghostly magician. "The enjoyment of the book," Twichell concluded, "lies in Fleischman's exuberant narrative flow and his ingenuity in dispatching his scoundrels." A Publishers Weekly critic called The Midnight Horse a "deftly told tale of innocence and villainy."

Fleischman's next novel, Jim Ugly, is a parody set in the Old West that includes such thinly disguised movie stars of the time as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Mae West, and W. C. Fields. In this story, twelve-year-old Jake discovers that the father that he thought he had buried is alive and is accused of stealing some missing diamonds; with his father's dogwhich Jake describes as "part elkhound, part something else, and a large helping of short-eared timber wolf"as companion, Jake and Jim Ugly travel by baggage car from town to town, trying to escape a villainous bounty hunter; in the end, Jake and his father are reunited in San Francisco and the mystery of the diamonds is solved. In Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Zena Sutherland wrote: "Lively, clever, and humorous, this must have been as much fun to write as it is to read," while School Library Journal contributor Katherine Bruner added, "With a little silent-movie piano accompaniment, this rollicking parody of Western melodrama would effortlessly unfold across any stage." With The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story, Fleischman makes his first contribution to the time-travel genre of fantasy literature. In this work, twelve-year-old Buddy and his lawyer-sister Liz are left penniless when their parents are killed in a plane crash. Liz disappears after meeting a client on the thirteenth floor of an old building, and the client turns out to be their ancestor, a young girl accused of witchcraft in Puritan Boston. When Buddy goes after Liz, he is taken by magic elevator to a pirate ship captained by another ancestor and, after being cast adrift, is reunited with Liz, who defendsand acquitsten-year-old Abigail in court; at the end of the book, the siblings return safely to the twentieth century with a treasure in hand. A critic from Publishers Weekly advised, "Hold on to your hatsthere's never a dull moment when Fleischman is at the helm." "An easy, light-hearted adventure," maintained Ann A. Flowers in Horn Book, "yet the author's note also points out the serious consequences of ignorance and superstition."

The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life is Fleischman's autobiography for young readers. Considered as lively and eminently readable as his fiction, The Abracadabra Kid includes Fleischman's personal information as well as his advice on writing; each chapter is introduced with quotes from children's letters to the author, ended with a cliff-hanging episode from his life, and illustrated with black and white family photographs. "Sid Fleischman is a pro," asserted Betsy Hearne in Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books, "and it shows in this autobiography as much as it does in his fiction." A Kirkus Reviews contributor claimed that Fleischman "offers a gold mine of interesting reflections of writing," from one who has "lived adventurously and thoughtfully." Mary J. Arnold, reviewing the book in Kliatt, called it an "engaging memoir that serves as proof positive that writing flows from life experience." For Arnold, Fleischman's autobiographical sketch was "non-stop funny and entertaining." Writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, Candace Deisley commented, "The reader is rewarded with an appreciation for the author's art, and spurred with the desire to read more of his works." Carolyn Phelan of Booklist concluded, "From cover to cover, a treat."

Although more than eighty years old, Fleischman continues to entertain young readers with his raucous tales. With Bandit's Moon, he tells a tale of a Mexican bandit and an orphan girl during the California Gold Rush. Annyrose Smith is left in the care of a man who turns out to be less than honorable. Disguised as a boy, she makes her escape, only to be swept up by the outlaw band of legendary Joaquin Murrieta. Murrieta, it turns out, is badly in need of someone to teach him how to read, and he protects the young girl to that end. For her part, Annyrose is shocked by the behavior of the gang, but then she begins to discover the wrongs that have been done to Murrieta and other Mexicans at the hands of the whites. The plot includes the usual combination of fast pace and twists and turns which Fleischman typically employs; Annyrose slowly begins to be won over by Murrieta, saving his life at various times. In the end, however, believing he was responsible for the death of her brother, Lank, she turns on him. Murrieta manages to escape and slip awayunlike what actually happened to him historically. Writing in School Library Journal, Marlene Gawron called the book "classic Sid Fleischman: a quick read, with lots of twists, wonderful phrasing, historical integrity, and a bit of the tall tale thrown in." For a contributor to Publishers Weekly, the novel was more than just "thundering hooves and gunfire." Fleischman, according to this reviewer, "expertly crafts a fictionalized tale that takes a clear-eyed look at bigotry and racism, while steering away from the twin pitfalls of pedantry and sermonizing." Similarly, Horn Book 's Ann A. Flowers felt that Fleischman managed to "clothe issues of loyalty and honesty in a roaring adventure story, smartly written and chock full of humor and derring-do."

Published in 2000, A Carnival of Animals is a compilation of a half-dozen tall tales about the effects on various animals of a tornado that hits Barefoot Mountain. In "The Windblown Child," for example, a strange pink creature is blown in with the tornado; hairless, her fleece has been whisked away to take the place of missing hair on a bald farmer. "Emperor Floyd" tells of a rooster who develops a peculiar affliction as a result of the storm, and in "Stumblefrog," the amphibian in question gets jumping fever after eating the contents of a sack of Mexican jumping beans, torn open by the tornado. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that "the glee with which [Fleischman] relates his outrageous yarns is infectious." Booklist 's Gillian Engberg had similar praise for the book of stories, commenting that "as usual, Fleischman writes about the fantastic and absurd with a captivating balance of casual assuredness and precise detail." Grace Oliff, reviewing the collection in School Library Journal, called Fleischman "a master of the tall tale."

Returning to the novel form with Bo and Mzzz Mad, Fleischman serves up another "classic . . . tale," according to a contributor for Publishers Weekly, offering a starred review. When twelve-year-old Bo Gamage's parents die, the youth decides to visit long-lost relatives in the Mojave Desert, separated by a family feud involving a lost gold mine. Arriving in Queen of Sheba, California, Bo finds a town that is little more than an old movie set, and its only residents are said relatives. A former actor in Westerns, great-uncle Charlie, alias Paw Paw, is now a full time grump and tired of life.

There is also an aunt and his cousin, Madeleine, who prefers to call herself Mzzz Mad. These two, of course, discover mutual dislike at first sight. Aunt Juna is the only one to take any interest in Bo; she talks him into tricking Paw Paw with a fake treasure map in order to restore his love of life. The map is supposedly one that shows the gold mine which set off the feud between the two sides of the family. But when some modern bandits arrive on the scene, Bo and his feuding relatives get more than they expected and need to pull together to survive. "The narrative speeds along with enough plot twists to keep readers flipping pages," observed Steve Clancy in a School Library Journal review. A contributor for Publishers Weekly also found the book a "thumping good page-turner spiced with humor, snappy descriptions . . . and a lickety-split plot." The same reviewer felt that Fleischman was "in top form" with Bo and Mzzz Mad. For a Horn Book critic, the novel was "a light-as-cotton-candy concoction," while Booklist 's Stephanie Zvirin pronounced the book a "quick, enjoyable read that will fly off the shelves."

More orphans appear in Fleischman's 2003 title, Disappearing Act. Kevin and Holly Kidd have just lost their archaeologist mother in an earthquake in Mexico. Now their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is struck by burglars and they think someone is stalking them. They escape memories and their fears and run off to Southern California, living near the Venice boardwalk and renaming themselves Gomez. Kevin becomes Pepe and takes up fortune-telling on the boardwalk, while his older sister, a fledgling opera singer, becomes Chickadee. They slowly establish themselves in this strange new life, making friends with all the local characters, including a juggling medical student, a human mannequin, a screenwriter with a penchant for bugs, and a benevolent landlady. Holly even gets a role in a production of La Bohème. Then the stalker from New Mexico shows up, and all is put into jeopardy again. Booklist 's John Peters thought that Fleischman mixed "themes both comic and serious" in this story, and was able to pull together the manifold plot lines of "his twisty, nail-biter to an untidy, but satisfying, conclusion." Many critics found that the cast of secondary characters was the primary draw in this novel. Betty Carter, for example, writing in Horn Book, wrote that the book "primarily paints vivid character sketches" but "fails to sustain a coherent plot." For Steven Engelfried, writing in School Library Journal, the "characters and the setting are the main draws," though he also noted that "Fleischman neatly frames the conclusion into something more thoughtful and meaningful" than a mere potboiler. And a critic for Kirkus Reviews also praised "the colorful assemblage of secondary characters," concluding, "Realistic fiction it's not, but good, quick, and smart fundefinitely."

"Novels are written in the dark," Fleischman commented in an essay for Children's Books and Their Creators. "At least mine are. Unlike many sensible authors, I start Chapter One with rarely a notion of the story that's about to unfold. It's like wandering down a pitch-black theater and groping around for the lights. One by one the spots and floodlights come on, catching a character or two against a painted backdrop. I sit back and enjoy the show. When the final curtain falls a year or two later, the stage is ablaze with lights, and I have a new novel."


Biographical and Critical Sources


BOOKS


Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults, Volume 4, Beacham Publishing (Osprey, FL), 1990, Volume 11, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Cameron, Eleanor, The Green and Burning Tree, Atlantic/ Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1969.

Children's Literature Review, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 1, 1976, Volume 15, 1988.

Fleischman, Sid, in Children's Books and Their Creators, edited by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

Huck, Charlotte S., and Doris Young Kuhn, Children's Literature in the Elementary School, 2nd edition, Holt (New York, NY), 1968.

Meigs, Cornelia, and others, editors, A Critical History of Children's Literature, revised edition, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1969.

Sadker, Myra Pollack and David Miller Sadker, Now upon a Time: A Contemporary View of Children's Literature, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.

St. James Guide to Children's Writers, fifth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Townsend, John Rowe, Written for Children: An Outline of English Language Children's Literature, revised edition, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1974.

Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, fourth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995.


PERIODICALS


Booklist, September 15, 1976, Barbara Elleman, review of McBroom Tells a Lie, p. 174; April 15, 1981, Judith Goldberger, review of The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of the Cackling Ghost and The Bloodhound Gang in the Case of Princess Tomorrow, p. 1159; September 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life, p. 126; March 1, 1999, Sally Estes, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 1212; September 1, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 113; May 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 1750; June 1, 2003, John Peters, review of Disappearing Act, pp. 1774-1775.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1970, Zena Sutherland, review of McBroom's Ear, p. 143; September, 1988, Betsy Hearne, review of The Scarebird, pp. 6-7; March, 1992, Zena Sutherland, review of Jim Ugly, p. 179; October, 1995, p. 53; September, 1996, Betsy Hearne, review of The Abracadabra Kid, pp. 11-12; September 1, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 113; May 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, 1750.

Horn Book, June, 1962, Ruth Hill Viguers, review of Mr. Mysterious & Company, p. 279; October, 1976, pp. 465-470; May-June, 1986, Ethel L. Heins, review of The Whipping Boy, pp. 325-326; July-August, 1987, Sid Fleischman, "Newbery Medal Acceptance," pp. 423-428; July-August, 1987, Paul Fleischman, "Sid Fleischman," pp. 429-432; November-December, 1990, Ethel R. Twichell, review of The Midnight Horse, p. 744; November-December, 1995, Ann A. Flowers, review of The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story, pp. 741-742; September-October, 1996, p. 567; November-December, 1996, Mary M. Burns, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 759; November, 1998, Ann A. Flowers, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 728; May, 2001, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 323; May-June, 2003, Betty Carter, review of Disappearing Act, p. 345.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1972, review of McBroom's Zoo, p. 1144; April 1, 1992, p. 463; October 1, 1995,
p. 1427; July 1, 1996, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 967; March 1, 2003, review of Disappearing Act, p. 383.

Kliatt, September, 1998, Mary J. Arnold, review of The Abracadabra Kid, p. 35.

Language Arts, 1982, Emily Rhoads Johnson, "Profile: Sid Fleischman," pp. 754-759; December, 1986, Janet Hickman, review of The Whipping Boy, p. 822.

New York Times Book Review, May 13, 1962, Dorothy M. Broderick, review of Mr. Mysterious & Company, p. 30; November 6, 1966, Jane Yolen, review of Chancy and the Grand Rascal, p. 40; October 17, 1971; September 11, 1977, Jane O'Connor, review of Me and the Man on the Moon-Eyed Horse, p. 32; January 20, 1980, Georgess McHargue, review of The Hey Hey Man, p. 30; February 22, 1987, Martha Saxton, review of The Whipping Boy, p. 23.

Publishers Weekly, February 27, 1978, Sybil S. Steinberg, "What Makes a Funny Children's Book?: Five Writers Talk about Their Method," pp. 87-90; August 10, 1990, review of The Midnight Horse, p. 445; October 9, 1995, review of The 13th Floor, p. 86; August 3, 1998, review of Bandit's Moon, p. 86; August 28, 2000, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 83; March 26, 2001, review of Bo & Mzzz Mad, p. 94.

Reading Teacher, April, 1998, review of The Ghost on Saturday Night, pp. 588-589; October, 1999, review of McBroom Tells the Truth, p. 178; June-July, 2003, review of Disappearing Act, p. 32.

Reading Today, June-July, 2003, Lynne T. Burke, review of Disappearing Act, p. 32.

School Library Journal, April, 1992, Katherine Bruner, review of Jim Ugly, pp. 113-114; September, 1998, Marlene Gawron, review of Bandit's Moon, pp. 200-202; October 2000, Grace Oliff, review of A Carnival of Animals, p. 124; May, 2001, Steve Clancy, review of Bo and Mzzz Mad, p. 149; May, 2003, Steven Engelfried, review of Disappearing Act, pp. 150.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1997, Candace Deisley, review of The Abracadabra Kid, pp. 52, 54.

Wilson Library Bulletin, April, 1987, Frances Bradburn, review of The Whipping Boy, p. 48.


ONLINE


Sid Fleischman Home Page, http://www.sidfleischman. com/ (January 12, 2004).*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fleischman, (Albert) Sid(ney) 1920- (Carl March, Max Brindle)." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fleischman, (Albert) Sid(ney) 1920- (Carl March, Max Brindle)." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fleischman-albert-sidney-1920-carl-march-max-brindle

"Fleischman, (Albert) Sid(ney) 1920- (Carl March, Max Brindle)." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fleischman-albert-sidney-1920-carl-march-max-brindle