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Paul Fleischman was born on September 5, 1952 in Monterey California. His father is fellow children's author, Sid Fleischman. Fleischman attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years, from 1970 to 1972. He dropped out to go on a train/bicycle trip and along the way took care of an old house which would eventually appear in many of his stories. Fleischman eventually earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977. Before becoming an author, Fleischman worked as a bookstore clerk, a proofreader and a bagel baker. He has written over 25 books for children and young adults. His book "Joyful Noise" won a Newberry Medal and his book "Graven Images" won a Newberry Honor. "Whirligig" was voted Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, the School Library Journal and Booklist. It was also voted a notable book by the New York Times.