Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Abracadabra Kid

The first day of spring was warm and sunny here in Los Angeles, a perfect day to spend a few hours in the Huntington Gardens in San Marino. My enjoyment was tempered with sadness, though - when I skimmed my email yesterday morning, I found the news of Sid Fleischman's death.

He lived in Santa Monica and because he attended many local literary events, I ran into him here and there. His warmth and graciousness won over everyone he met and I'm probably not the only person with a slight crush on him. However, I knew him mainly through his writing. My absolute favorite book of his is Mr. Mysterious & Company, which I read and loved as a child, but I also love Bandit's Moon and all of his biographies (including his autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid). His recent book The Dream Stealer is a strange and wonderful fantasy.

Sid Fleischman could perform magic, tell great jokes, AND write with awe-inspiring grace and skill. He was kind, gentle, funny, and smart. What a man. He will be missed.

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