Paul Fleischman's books for children and young adults are known for bridging the page and performance. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices has been rendered onstage by Word for Word in San Francisco and won the 1989 Newbery Medal. His novels, Bull Run and Seedfolks, use monologues from multiple vantages to describe battle and the birth of a Cleveland community garden respectively. Breakout, a mix of novel and one-woman show based on an all day Los Angeles traffic jam, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Using 52 voices to tell a high school senior's story, Seek was performed at the Kennedy Center in 2006.
His plays include the one-act Mind's Eye and the seven-plays-in-one parody of theatrical warhorses, Zap. His work for adults has been published in The New Yorker and includes the play Logomaniacs, an intellectual freak show exhibiting 26 real life word-obsessives. In 2012, Paul Fleischman was the United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award.