March 20th, 2010 by Nancy
Just a few moons ago, when we covered the theme Historical Fiction, my book pick was By the Great Horn Spoon!, by Sid Fleischman. The first time I read that book was in the fourth grade, and I remember borrowing it many times from the library after that, even when I was “too old” to be reading it. Last September I bought a brand new copy, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did many, many moons ago. Well, Kidsmomo-ers, I’m sorry to report that Mr. Fleischman passed away on Wednesday, March 17th. 🙁
Mr. Fleischman had just turned 90 years old, and in his lifetime wrote over 60 books, fiction and nonfiction — including Newbery Honor book The Whipping Boy. Just like Jemmy, Prince Horace, and many of his other characters who went on great, and oftentimes funny, adventures, so had Mr. Fleischman. Before he was a children’s book author, he was a regular ol’ author for grown-ups (BOR-ing). But his own kids wondered what he did all day, so he wrote a book for them and voilà! — he became a children’s author.
And even before being a regular ol’ author, he had been in the U.S. Naval reserve, worked as a newspaper reporter, and performed as a magician — as one-half of the act called The Mirthful Conjurers! While on the road for the act, he wrote a book about magic and eventually also wrote the nonfiction book ESCAPE! The Story of the Great Houdini.