Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Report/The Abracadabra Kid

The Abracadabra Kid
A Writer's Life
by Sid Fleischman
unabridged audio read by Nelson Runger
autobiography, 1996
finished 4/17/08

Even if you've never read any of Fleischman's children's books, this is a most enjoyable story of his life. It is the story of America, as well, during the Great Depression, the Second World War, and beyond. He has led a fascinating life as a magician, a soldier, a husband and parent, and a writer. He has a way with words that drew me right into the book, and again, I stayed up way too late two nights in a row caught up in the man's story. Although I haven't read his books, I still enjoyed hearing how he got his inspirations, and about the actual process of writing. He is very prolific, and along with the children's books, he has written screenplays over the years. His son, Paul is also a children's author, and together, they are the only father and son to have won the Newbery Award. Each chapter of the autobiography begins with a delightful snippet from kids' letters to him.

I don't like your stories. You use those weird words.

I despise reading, but The Whipping Boy is a book I could not stop reading.

Here's my phone number, but please don't call collect.

I suppose you want to know all about me, so heregoes.

Why are there so many words?

I was captivated by the humor, the description, and the very details of this man's long, good life. As far as I could find out, he is still living, at 88 years old.

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