No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer’s Road to Page One

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2019. 160p. photos. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062857453.
Gr 4-8–Newbery Award–winning author Fleischman uses moments in his life to explain his literary path and show how anyone can create stories. The book begins in 1962, when Fleischman, 10, had just received a shortwave radio, which sparked his interest in stories and words. Readers will also learn about his family’s printing press; his “illegal” student newspaper; his love of travel, including some long bike trips; and his willingness to live outside his comfort zone. “Writing Know-How” sections following most chapters provide useful tips but interrupt the flow of the narrative. Also, while the book is geared toward a younger audience, a lot of the references may need more context. Back matter includes Fleischman’s books and awards.
VERDICT A well-written and engaging work that will inspire young readers and writers, although a straightforward memoir might have been even more appealing.

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