Books by Paul Fleischman

FIRST LIGHT, FIRST LIFE by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An origin tale as messy as humans can be. (author's note) (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)"
In this multicultural mashup, the duo behind Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella (2007) weaves a wonderfully chaotic creation story. Read full book review >
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"For high schools that assign one book for all students to read and discuss: This is the one. (source notes, bibliography, suggested resources, glossary, acknowledgements, image credits, index, website) (Nonfiction. 14-18)"
With simple, matter-of-fact language, an attractive layout and an abundance of references, this compact guide to addressing climate change is a must-read for millennials and for all who seek solutions to global warming. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 12, 2013

"Captivating and powerful. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The story of one person's life is the very essence of history, transcending time, distance and generations. Read full book review >
THE DUNDERHEADS BEHIND BARS by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2012

"Delightfully smart and deliciously funny—don't miss it. (Fiction. 7-9)"
The Dunderheads are back in another amusing caper that's sure to please fans of their earlier exploits (The Dunderheads, 2009). Read full book review >
THE DUNDERHEADS by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2009

"Share with special readers; it's well worth the effort. (Fiction. 7-10)"
A group of underachievers engages in a battle of wits with their unsympathetic teacher and emerges triumphant. Read full book review >
THE BIRTHDAY TREE by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

"This is addressed more to parents than children, but the tree's role adds a touch of magic that may appeal to younger listeners. (Picture book. 7-9, adult)"
A new illustrator gives both color and more variety in the visuals to Fleischman's 1979 tale of a child who leaves but then comes back. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"For anyone who ever thought they'd seen enough of Cinderella, here's an offering that, in celebrating both its universality and specificity, makes the old tale new again. (Picture book/folklore. 4-10)"
A gem of a book shines a light on the multifaceted Cinderella. Read full book review >
ZAP by Paul Fleischman
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"However, high-school theater departments willing to experiment with something new might try this as an alternative to the same old reruns of Grease and Romeo and Juliet. (Fiction. 14+)"
"High art meets short attention span" in a new play that's really seven plays in one. Read full book review >
SIDEWALK CIRCUS by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2004

"A lovely tribute to the endless power of imagination. (Picture book. 2-7)"
The splendor of everyday life is revealed in this quietly exciting wordless offering. Read full book review >
THE ANIMAL HEDGE by Paul Fleischman
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Joyous, peaceful, and lovely. (Picture book. 6-9)"
The versatile Fleischman presents a delightful tale of following one's dreams. Read full book review >
BREAKOUT by Paul Fleischman
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"A stunning tour de force. (Fiction. YA)"
Life begets art begets life: "It's fiction. Read full book review >
SEEK by Paul Fleischman
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A splendid, smart, and savvy addition to YA literature. (Fiction. YA)"
The classic teen quest for identity is recast in an ambitious, challenging, hilarious format. Read full book review >
LOST! by Paul Fleischman
Kirkus Star
by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by C.B. Mordan
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2000

"Nevertheless, this unique book offers several fascinating points of entry and will be enjoyed in many ways. (Fiction. 8-12)"
In this story within a story, a grandmother entertains her granddaughter with a string story when the girl laments the loss of electricity during a storm that eliminates all her usual forms of electronic entertainment. Read full book review >
MIND'S EYE by Paul Fleischman
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"Disturbing and moving. (Fiction. 12+)"
The author of Bull Run (1993) and Dateline: Troy (1996) charts another bitter campaign, this one for a teenager's spirit, and waged entirely within the walls of a nursing home. Read full book review >
WESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 1999

"Children will be swept up in Wesley's vision, and have a fine time visiting Weslandia. An alphabet appears on the endpapers. (Picture book 5-9)"
Wearing purple sneakers and a bemused expression, Wesley knows he's an outcast: he dislikes pizza, soda, and football, and fleeing his tormentors is "the only sport he was good at." Read full book review >
WHIRLIGIG by Paul Fleischman
YOUNG ADULT
Released: May 1, 1998

At once serious and playful, this tale of a teenager's penitential journey to four corners of the country can be read on several levels. Read full book review >
SEEDFOLKS by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 11, 1997

"It's a worthy idea, accompanied by Pedersen's chapter-heading black-and-white portraits, providing advance information about the participants' races and, here and there, ages. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Using the multiple voices that made Bull Run (1995) so absorbing, Fleischman takes readers to a modern inner-city neighborhood and a different sort of battle, as bit by bit the handful of lima beans an immigrant child plants in an empty lot blossoms into a community garden, tended by a notably diverse group of local residents. Read full book review >
DATELINE: TROY by Paul Fleischman
Released: March 1, 1996

"Despite these minor drawbacks, this is a superb and often inspiring work. (Folklore. 10+)"
Perhaps the ultimate model for making history relevant: Fleischman (A Fate Totally Worse Than Death, 1995, etc.) retells the major events of the Trojan War, while the accompanying collages show photos and newspaper articles and headlines from this century that in some way are similar to those ancient events. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Clueless readers will appreciate the book jacket's reassurance that this is, indeed, a take-off, because like any good satire, it's not easy to tell. (Fiction. 12+)"
Fear and loathing stalk the halls of Cliffside High in this barbed sendup of teenage horror fiction from the versatile Fleischman (Copier Creations, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
COPIER CREATIONS by Paul Fleischman
Released: May 30, 1993

"Lists of recommended books with collections of clip art and of work by professional copy artists (including David Hockney). (Nonfiction. 8+)"
"Using Copy Machines to Make Decals, Silhouettes, Flip Books, Films, and Much More!"—including customized stationery, miniature scenes and toys, jigsaw puzzles, iron-on motifs, gummed stamps and seals, collages, stencils, and bumper stickers. Read full book review >
BULL RUN by Paul Fleischman
Released: Feb. 28, 1993

"Maps and illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 10+)"
Using a montage of characters in the manner of Spoon River Anthology, a fine novelist and poet offers 60 vignettes from 16 contrasting individuals who describe experiences from Fort Sumter to Bull Run. Read full book review >
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER by Paul Fleischman
Released: May 30, 1992

"How the bird got its name is interesting and exemplary; the narrative structure is a worthy experiment; but the story—like Townsend's specimen—lost its vitality along the way to being memorialized. (Nonfiction. 8+)"
In a slim volume whose understated, elegant appearance recalls his Newbery winner (Joyful Noise, 1988), Fleischman recounts the journey of John Kirk Townsend, who left Philadelphia in 1834 to follow the Oregon Trail with fellow-naturalist Thomas Nuttall; and—in alternating vignettes—we see the migration of the warblers that Townsend eventually spotted the next spring. Read full book review >
THE BORNING ROOM by Paul Fleischman
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Not showy, but deeply rewarding. (Fiction. 11+)"
From an innovative, highly talented novelist and poet (Joyful Noise, 1989 Newbery Award), a quiet cycle of episodes from the life of Georgina Lott, born on her father's Ohio farm in 1851 and eventually revealed to be narrating from her deathbed in the same little room, 67 years later. Read full book review >
SHADOW PLAY by Paul Fleischman
Released: Sept. 15, 1991

"Good for discussion; better yet to correlate with other creative activities."
Two kids at a fair can't afford tickets to see the fierce bull, Stupendo, so they go to the Shadow Play instead. Read full book review >
TIME TRAIN by Paul Fleischman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A good entry in an ever-popular genre. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Miss Pym takes her class on a very special train that travels not only from New York west but back in time: they see Civil War uniforms in Pittsburgh and snowy mastodons beyond Ohio, finally arriving at a warm, swampy campground where they photograph and romp with various dinosaurs before starting on their return journey. Read full book review >
SATURNALIA by Joel Spector
Released: April 10, 1990

"A fine achievement."
Fleischman, 1989 Newbery poetry winner, returns with historical fiction about masters and servants in 17th-century Boston. Read full book review >
RONDO IN C by Janet Wentworth
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"An unusual tribute to the power of music, and to the depth and diversity to be found in any group of people."
From a gifted novelist and poet for children (Joyful Noise, 1988), 13 neatly phrased lines of verse, each a succinct expression of the memory that Beethoven's piano piece evokes for one of the listeners at a recital in a large, comfortable living room: "The first squint of sunlight on the water in Maine/Lightning bolts! Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1987

"A joyful noise that should find a wide audience."
A splendid collection of poems in many moods about the lives and dreams of insects. Read full book review >
REAR-VIEW MIRRORS by Paul Fleischman
Released: April 1, 1986

"These are the book's virtues, but it's as tidy as a sampler and about as interesting."
Olivia Tate, newly graduated from high school, returns to her late father's house in New Hampshire to complete another rite of passage in this slight novel. Read full book review >
COMING AND GOING MEN by Randy Gaul
Released: April 10, 1985

"One can easily imagine Fleischman himself as a coming-and-going man, fabricating his way through his storybook Early America and enthralling the populace with his illusionist's wordcraft."
Silhouette cutter Cyrus Snype, skilled at reading character in his subjects' shadowed profiles, travels the country in search of the devil, whom he blames for destroying his once-illustrious career. Read full book review >
FINZEL THE FARSIGHTED by Marcia Sewall
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"A droll and shapely little book—on a par, in its way, with Graven Images."
Fleischman's favorite folk-motif, the tell-tale object, is used with panache in this tale of Finzel the fortune-teller—who, in true Fools of Chelm tradition (the jacket says it, but it's so), can see a person's past or future in a lemon or a walnut. . . but can't see well enough to tell whose lemon is whose. Read full book review >
PATH OF THE PALE HORSE by Paul Fleischman
Released: April 13, 1983

"Lep's Philadelphia encounters are neatly interconnected variations on the theme of fraud, faith, and science; Mr. Tweakfield's treacherous servants and Clara's escape from her oily employer keep the plot perking; and Fleischman's period tone and narrative artifice assure the comforts of a tale well told."
The 1793 adventure of Lep, short for Asclepius, a devoted doctor's apprentice who goes to bed with his Materia Medica. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1983

"The case itself is pretty heavy-handedly contrived, then, though Fleischman keeps the kids in motion and the tone light—and Apple's winning touch adds considerable appeal."
The latest detective on the crowded juvenile scene is ten-year-old Phoebe Danger-field, who shortened her name for her newspaper ad because she couldn't afford the extra line. Read full book review >
GRAVEN IMAGES by Bagram Ibatoulline
Released: Sept. 1, 1982

"Fleischman establishes a storyteller's hold on his audience; they can put themselves in his hands with the assurance that they won't be disappointed—and that all the surprises will be well within the established conventions."
From the author of The Half-a-Moon Inn; three polished tales set in the past and told with dexterous application of old genre techniques. Read full book review >
THE HALF-A-MOON INN by Kathy Jacobi
Released: March 5, 1980

"Otherwise, if this is little more than an exercise in handling very old conventions, Fleischman has learned to wield the conventions most proficiently."
Paul Fleischman, who wrote last year's sentimental Birthday Tree, is more successful (if not much more original) with this atmospheric story of a mute 12-year-old boy held as a prisoner/servant by a thieving, sinister old innkeeper. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 17, 1978

"A trio of mile-high mini-tales from the master you'll never catch nodding."
Jim Bridger's alarm clock happens to be a slab-flat mountain: moving south on a night so bitter cold that a spark from his fire gives him frostbite, Jim calculates just how far from the mountain he should camp so that eight hours later his own wakeup roar will come echoing back. Read full book review >