Paul Fleischman Books In Order


  1. The Half-A-Moon Inn (1980)
  2. Phoebe Danger, Detective, in the Case of the Two-minute Cough (1983)
  3. The Path of the Pale Horse (1983)
  4. Rear-View Mirrors (1986)
  5. Saturnalia (1990)
  6. The Borning Room (1991)
  7. Time Train (1991)
  8. A Fate Totally Worse Than Death (1995)
  9. Seedfolks (1997)
  10. Whirligig (1998)
  11. Mind’s Eye (1999)
  12. Seek (2001)
  13. Breakout (2003)
  14. The Dunderheads (2009)
  15. He Walked Among Us (2012)


  1. Graven Images (1982)
  2. Coming and Going Men (1985)
  3. Bull Run (1993)


  1. Zap (2004)

Picture Books

  1. The Birthday Tree (1979)
  2. The Animal Hedge (1983)
  3. Finzel the Farsighted (1983)
  4. Rondo in C (1988)
  5. Shadow Play (1990)
  6. Weslandia (1999)
  7. Lost! a Story in String (2000)
  8. Sidewalk Circus (2004)
  9. The Dunderheads Behind Bars (2012)
  10. The Matchbox Diary (2013)
  11. Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal (2016)
  12. Fearsome Giant, Fearless Child (2019)


  1. First Light, First Life (2016)

Non fiction

  1. Townsend’s Warbler (1992)
  2. Dateline: Troy (1996)
  3. Cannibal in the Mirror (2000)
  4. Eyes Wide Open (2014)
  5. No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer’s Road to Page One (2019)

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Paul Fleischman Books Overview

The Half-A-Moon Inn

A twelve year old mute boy sets off to find his mother in a blizzard, and becomes the captive of an evil woman in the Half a Moon Inn. A suspenseful tale with archetypal characters and a haunting atmosphere…
. The brisk pace and steady accumulation of events build tension, while Fleischman’s fine writing begs to be read aloud.’ BL. 1980 Children’s Reviewers’ Choices BLNotable Books of the Year 1980 NYT1980 Golden Kite Award Honor Book for Fiction SCBWChildren’s Books of 1980 Library of Congress1980 Silver Medal for Literature Commonwealth Club of California

Rear-View Mirrors

When Olivia is summoned by her father, a man she barely remembers, to determine whether she is worthy of inheriting his legacy, she embarks on a personal odyssey that teaches her the true meaning of love and kinship.


‘I Want You To Know That My Eye Is Upon You’It is December 1681, and the words of Mr. Baggot, the tithingman, terrify young William. William is living a strange double life. By day he is a printer’s apprentice living in a white man’s house. By night, he is Weetasket of the Narraganset tribe who must risk Baggot’s wrath to search for his lost brother. Then comes the winter celebration of the Saturnalia the ancient Roman holiday on which masters and slaves trade roles. Will William’s secret be revealed? And what dark deed of others will be brought to light on this fateful night?

The Borning Room

It’s a place where life and love begin, and loss is borne.

Mothers give birth in The Borning Room. The dying take their departure there.

Ouside the Lott family’s Ohio farmhouse, the Civil War rages, slavery falls, and the world marvels at the wonder of electricity. Inside, within the walls of The Borning Room, Georgina Lott will experience her life’s greatest turnings. Across the years, she discovers womanhood and first love, experiences the mourning that comes with loss, and, as did her mother and grandmother, at last takes her place in the room as another precious life is about to begin.

The Borning Room is a room that figures large in the life of an Ohio farm girl born in 1851. Through its doorway pass the members of a free thinking family, bearing news of the world beyond the window: talk of runaway slaves, the siege of Vicksburg, seances, chloroform, electricity. In this heartfelt and haunting work, an account of one life, one family, and one room widens into a panoramic view of the human seasons and the procession of generations.’From an innovative, highly talented novelist and poet…
memorable characters and valuable glimpses of social history in a beautifully crafted novel. Deeply rewarding.’ K.

Notable Children’s Books of 1992 ALA
1992 Best Books for Young Adults ALA
1992 Fanfare Honor List The Horn Book
Best Books of 1991 SLJ
1991 Books for Youth Editors’ Choices BL
1992 Teacher’s Choices IRA
Notable 1991 Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies NCSS/CBC
1991 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts NCTE
1991 Golden Kite Award Honor Book for Fiction SCBW
1991 Choices: The Year’s Best Books Publishers Weekly
100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1991 NY Public Library
Bulletin Blue Ribbon Books 1991 C
Children’s Books of 1991 Library of Congress
1992 Books for the Teen Age NY Public Library

Time Train

Miss Pym’s class is in for a comic adventure beyond their wildest dreams. They’ve boarded the Rocky Mountain Unlimited, a mysterious train that’s winding its way into the heart of prehistoric times. Join the class and a horrified Miss Pym as they scramble dinosaur egg for breakfast, go stegosaurus back riding and pterodactyl gliding, and play soccer with their giant reptilian friends.

A Fate Totally Worse Than Death

Welcome to Cliffside High, the school of your nightmares. It’s run by the Huns, a ruthless clique of rich students and, as poor Charity Chase discovers, messing with them can be murder. There’s Tiffany, avid reader of every beauty magazine going; Brooke, desperate for a date; Danielle, Al Capone in Miss America’s body, with her sights set firmly on millionaire’s son Drew. Unfortunately, like every other boy at Cliffside, Drew only has eyes for Helga, the ravishing new student from Norway…
wherever that may be. As far as Danielle’s concerned, Helga could be from another world. In fact, if she doesn’t lay off Drew, she just might be…
Getting rid of her ought to be as easy as taking candy off a helpless old lady. Only…
something weird is happening to Danielle and her friends; something much nastier than the horror stories she loves to read; something that can only be described as A Fate Totally Worse Than Death


Common GroundA vacant lot, rat infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha’s heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil’s dad, who seems a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Mariclea, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead. Thirteen very different voices old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood. An old man seeking renewal, a young girl connecting to a father she never knew, a pregnant teenager dreading motherhood. Thirteen voices tell one story of the flowering of a vacant city lot into a neighborhood garden. Old, young, Jamaican, Korean, Hispanic, tough, haunted, hopeful’Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman weaves characters as diverse as the plants they grow into a rich, multi layered exploration of how a community is born and nurtured in an urban environment. 00 01 Utah Book Award Gr. 7 12 Chosen as a state and citywide read in communities across the country: Vermont Racine, WI Tampa, FL Newburgh, NY Boca Raton, FL


With a family always on the move, popularity and the ability to fit in quickly are vital to Brent Bishop’s high school survival. When he blows his chances with the girl of his dreams in front of everyone, he’s devastated. Brent tries to end it all in a fatal car crash, but instead he finds an unlikely beginning. He’s sent on a journey of repentance-a cross-country trip building Whirligigs. His wind toys are found by people in need: a Maine schoolgirl yearning for her first love, a Miami street-sweeper desperate for peace and quiet, a kid in Washington who just wants to play baseball, and a San Diego teenager dealing with loss. Brent’s Whirligigs bring hope to others, but will they be able to heal the wounds deep inside himself?

Mind’s Eye

Eighty eight year old Elva and Courtney, an attractive sixteen year old with a severed spinal chord, lie in adjacent beds in a grim Bismarck, North Dakota convalescent home. Ignored by the world, the only resource they have left is their imagination. As Elva and Courtney go on a fantasy trip to Italy accompanied by Elva’s long dead husband and guided by a 1910 travel book, Elva shows Courtney a new way to envision love. But to accept it, and the gift of the imagination, Courtney must make the trip her own even if she destroys the art Elva holds most dear. Written entirely in dialogue, Mind’s Eye can be performed as reader’s theater, but it is a fully satisfying novel. In this extraordinarily innovative, profound, and yet readable book Paul Fleischman makes us all feel what a powerful and dangerous tool the imagination can be.


Assigned to write his autobiography, high school senior Rob Radkovitz instead creates an oral portrait of his life, centering on the search for his missing father. Lenny G. abandoned Rob’s mother when she was pregnant, leaving behind a tape of his last show as a DJ and a record of the sounds of his native Louisiana. Author Paul Fleischman winner of the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images uses Rob s memories: his crusty grandfather, his adoring aunts, his mother s Spanish soap operas, his grandmother s racy mysteries read aloud, and especially and repeatedly his father s lone tape to build a counterpoint of past and present, recorded and heard, that is an ever unfolding, ever fascinating fugue. Determined to find his father, Rob acquires a series of increasingly sophisticated radios, searching obscure stations across the country for that missing voice. This powerful need to find the absent part of his life drives the story forward as Rob both imitates his father in becoming a radio personality and makes a final break in accepting the family he has.


Del has spent 17 years bouncing among foster homes. Smart, sharp tongued, a master mimic, she’s fed up with her world and with being Del. Faking her own death, she leaves both herself and L.A. behind until her escape lands her in an all day traffic jam. Fast forward eight years. It s opening night for the one woman play she s written and is starring in a show called Breakout, about a Los Angeles traffic jam. Wildly funny, she skewers workaholics, road ragers, pickup artists, and car culture in general. Readers will see what her audience can t that the show is a portrait of herself, of her hunger for her mother and her terror of rejection, her free floating identity and yearning for connection. Flashing between Del s present and future, Breakout gives us a backstage pass into a young playwright s psyche, letting us watch her life being transformed into an art, heartache into comedy, solitude into community, and anger gradually giving way to acceptance.

The Dunderheads

Dunderheads, unite! A tyrannical teacher gets her just due in a delightfullysubversive, outrageously funny tale by Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman. Miss Breakbone hates kids. Especially the time squandering, mindwandering, doodling, dozing dunderheads in her class. But when she confiscates Junkyard’s crucial fi nd, she fi nally goes too far. Enter Wheels and his souped up bike with forty eight extra gears, Pencil who can draw anything from memory, Spider look up and you ll fi nd him, and their fellow misfi ts in a spectacular display of teamwork aimed at teaching Miss Breakbone a lesson she won t soon forget. From the incomparable Paul Fleischman comes a winning cast of underdogs and one of the most terrifying teachers you ll ever meet brought to vivid life in David Roberts s quirky, hilarious illustrations. From the Hardcover edition.

Graven Images

Paul Fleischman spins three engrossing stories about the unexpected ways an artist’s creations reveal truths tales whose intriguing plots and many moods will entertain readers and inspire future writers. Can wood, copper, or marble communicate? They can if they are the Graven Images in Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman’s trio of eerie, beguiling short stories. If you whisper a secret into a wooden statue’s ear, will anyone find out? Can a wobbly weathervane bearing the image of Saint Crispin, the patron saint of shoemakers, steer a love struck apprentice toward the girl of his dreams? And if a ghost hires a sculptor to carve a likeness of him holding a drink to a baby’s lips, what ghastly crime might lie behind his request? And, in a brand new afterword, the acclaimed storyteller reveals how he found his own author’s voice. From the Hardcover edition.

Bull Run

A Civil War drama told in sixteen voices, this is a heartbreaking and remarkably vivid portrait of a war that remains our nation’s bloodiest conflict. Fleischman s artistry is nothing short of astounding. Publishers Weekly. Fleischman has done what he does best create a unique piece of fiction with echoes of his poetry throughout. H. Outstanding unforgettable as historical fiction an important book for every library. SLJ. Notable Children’s Books of 1994 ALA1994 Best Books for Young Adults ALA1994 Fanfare Honor List The Horn BookBest Books of 1993 SLJ1993 Books for Youth Editors’ Choices BL1994 Teachers’ Choices IRANotable 1994 Childrens’ Trade Books in Social Studies NCSS/CBC1994 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts NCTE1994 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Children1993 Choices: The Year’s Best Books Publishers WeeklyChildren’s Books of 1993 Library of Congress1994 Books for the Teen Age NY Public Library100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1994 NY Public Library1994 Silver Medal for Literature Commonwealth Club of California1994 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award Winner Westchester, NY Library System


‘Zap offers a new intriguing option for young adults tired of the usual fare performed in high school auditoriums.’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

‘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.’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘A wildly innovative play that fuses seven different dramatic genres to get the audience thinking, and laughing.’ PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE

The Birthday Tree

Planting a birthday tree has enduring effects in this poignant tale of a roving boy’s link to nature and the roots of his family s love.

When baby Jack arrives, his father and mother plant an apple seedling to honor his birth. As Jack grows taller, so does the tree. When Jack is happy, the tree limbs stand straight and proud. When he is cold, the leaves tremble on their stems. But one day Jack s parents awake to find his bed empty. When they see a gull perched atop the tree, they realize that their Jack has run away to sea. Paul Fleischman s lyrical prose and Barry Root s magical illustrations tell the story of a boy s powerful connection to his family despite distance and adds new meaning to the old custom of planting a birthday tree.

The Animal Hedge

‘The versatile Fleischman presents a delightful tale of following one’s dreams…
. Joyous, peaceful, and lovely.’ KIRKUS REVIEWS starred reviewNo one loves animals more than the farmer. But when a drought befalls the land, and he must sell his livestock and move to a cottage with only a hedge around it, he and his three sons discover something remarkable about their hedge and something unique about each person who trims its branches. A testament to vision, passion, and destiny, matched by Bagram Ibatoulline s virtuoso paintings.

Rondo in C

As a young piano student plays Beethoven’s Rondo in C at her recital, each member of the audience is stirred by memories.


Weslandia honors the misfits and the creators among us. School is over and Wesley needs a summer project. Having learned that every civilization has a staple food crop, he decides to plant a garden and start his own civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth in his yard, and plants begin to grow. Soon they tower above him and bear a curious looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he discovers that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn’t long before neighbors and classmates have developed more than an idle curiostiry about Wesley and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation. Enter the witty, intriguing world of Weslandia.

Lost! a Story in String

A Newbery winning author and a brilliant new artist create a story that young readers will read and perform for years to come. Watch and listen as a grandmother recounts a tale of a resourceful farm girl lost in a blizzard, searching for her dog. As she describes that young girl’s hazardous journey, a sequence of string figures takes shape in her hands, illustrating each step along the way. Striking scratchboard illustrations bring the grandmother’s story to life, while clear instructions and careful diagrams at the end of the book allow you to recreate the tale, and to hold string figure performances of your own. Paul Fleischman’s own intergenerational string troupe, String Quartet, has made Lost! a regular part of its repertoire, and you can too.

Sidewalk Circus

‘This delightful book will fascinate children and help them to see their world with new eyes.’ SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL starred review

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Step right up and witness an astounding assemblage of tightrope walkers, strong men, sword swallowers, and clowns. The Garibaldi Circus is coming soon, but for those with clear eyes, the performers may already be in the ring. So get ready to sharpen your vision and look very closely a show like you ve never seen is about to begin! The creators of WESLANDIA are back in the spotlight with a spectacular, wordless picture book that shows the transformative power of imagination.

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Once upon a time, in Mexico…
in Ireland…
in Zimbabwe…
there lived a girl who worked all day in the rice fields…
then spent the night by the hearth, sleeping among the cinders. Her name is Ashpet, Sootface, Cendrillon…
Cinderella. Her story has been passed down the centuries and across continents. Now Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis craft its many versions into one hymn to the rich variety and the enduring constants of our cultures.A Junior Library Guild Selection Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella is a 2008 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Dateline: Troy

‘Perhaps the ultimate model for making history relevant…
.A superb and often inspiring work.’ – KIRKUS REVIEWS

The legend of the Trojan War, with its twists of tragedy and powerful portraits of human nature, has transfixed readers for thousands of years. In this updated edition of Dateline: Troy, Paul Fleischman juxtaposes his absorbing retelling of the Trojan War with newspaper clippings from the First World War to the current War on Terror. As the story unfolds, striking similarities between the world of Homer’s ILIAD and our contemporary world become clear. Proud Achilles, prophetic Cassandra, crafty Odysseus, and all the rest are reflected in our leaders, enemies, and next-door neighbors. Dateline: Troy vividly shows both the relevance of the past and its resonance with the present.

Cannibal in the Mirror

Selections from anthropological writings are paired with photographs of twentieth century people engaged in similar activities.

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