Sid Fleischman, the Newbery Award-winning author of The Whipping Boy, proclaims that he had an ordinary childhood just like that of any other child. But perhaps his childhood was not so typical after all. Though he was born in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in San Diego during the Great Depression,deciding in the fifth grade that he wanted to become a magician. Just out of high school, he traveled widely in vaudeville and with a midnight ghost-and-goblin show!
After his wartime service in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he finished college and went on to work as a reporter for the San Diego Daily Journal. When the paper disbanded in 1950, he turned his talents to writing fiction. He experienced some moderate success: one of his novels was bought for a major motion picture, and he was offered a contract to write the screenplay.
However, it was Sid's children that led him into writing children's books. They didn't understand what it was that he did for a living. So he decided to clear up the mystery by writing a book just for them. Today, he divides his time between writing films and children's books. As a children's book author, Fleischman says that he feels a special obligation to his young readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever—they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph, and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work."
Sid Fleischman has always lived by the ocean, and now resides in Santa Monica, California, where he enjoys hearing the sound of the nearby Pacific Ocean. He lives in an old-fashioned, two-story house, full of creaks and character.
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