We’ll Miss You, Sid Fleischman

March 20th, 2010 by

Sid Fleischman Mar 16, 1920 - Mar 17, 2010

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. 🙁

An earlier edition of The Whipping Boy

Mr. Fleischman had just turned 90 years old, and in his lifetime wrote over 60 books, fiction and nonfiction &#151 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! &#151 he became a children’s author.

I'll never have to return this one to the library! It's mine! MINE!

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 &#151 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.

To learn more about Sid Fleischman, check out his website, and of course, read his amazing books. Naturally, I recommend (again) By the Great Horn Spoon!

&#151 Nancy

Kidsmomo Podcast #7: “History Repeating”

October 5th, 2009 by

From the 21st century to the 1860s, then on to Depression-era Illinois and California during the Gold Rush — even all the way back to the Stone Age… In our latest podcast on historical fiction, we fire up the time machine in our minds! (As opposed to the time machine in the basement — never using that thing again after what happened last time. Let’s just say, Karen’s left eyebrow is still growing back funny.)

ALSO, we reveal the answer to our historical Mystery Book Theater! And a big congrats to these super sleuths who got it right:

  • Tessa, age 9, from Ohio — our big winner!
  • Peter, age 11, from Pennsylvania
  • Anna, age 11
  • Riley, age 9, from California
  • Tyler, age 14, from Ohio

(And also cheers to Greg, Maggi, and Sharnon — three adults who got into the act and sent in their guesses too!)

    Download the MP3 (11.2 MB)

  • From puke in the 1860s to parties in the 1920s (plus cavemen!)
  • Our historical fiction picks (By the Great Horn Spoon and A Long Way From Chicago + A Year Down Yonder)
  • A review from YOU (Between Two Seas)

And when you’re done listening, don’t forget: our next theme is mysteries! So watch our latest Mystery Book Theater video and track down these intriguing mystery books.)

AND… SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re extending our mystery theme for two weeks because we’ll be out of town next weekend. Nope, we’re not slacking; we’ll be in Washington, DC for the first ever Tween Girl Summit! [Insert joke here about how we both have the mentalities of tween girls even though we’re supposedly adults — like we haven’t heard that before!] If you’ll be at the summit too, leave a comment and let us know! And for everyone else, please try to go on with your lives without a new podcast or Mystery Book Theater next week. We know it will be hard, but be strong. We’ll be back in full force on 10/19 with a new theme, and we’ll still be blogging as usual along the way.

— Nancy and Karen