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Beyond the Page: Mark P. Friedlander

This week we are excited to feature Mark P. Friedlander, author of Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over (Science, Naturally, November 2014). Get to know Mark through fun questions below.

If you could only eat one food for a week, what would you pick?

Since rice is a staple for a large portion of the world population, that would be an obvious choice for survival; but as an overweight, gastronomically spoiled person, I would indulge my weakness for tasty delights by selecting brown rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins.

What 3 items would you pick to go in a time capsule and why?

I would select a copy of the Constitution of the United States, the American flag, and a menu from McDonalds. I would pick the Constitution because, from a historical perspective, it proposed a plan that produced the greatest republic in history; the flag to symbolize the America that grew from the Constitution, and the McDonald’s menu as a pleasant and humorous symbol of what freedom could offer a happy population, without being political.

What would you title your memoir?

The Chronicle of a Fortunate Man.  As a plain vanilla person, shorter than most men, ordinary in countenance, and not as smart as many; I have nevertheless, enjoyed many achievements, survived four years as a pilot in the Korean War, raised a remarkable family, succeeded in the practice of law, and published books I enjoyed writing, all by being incredibly lucky every day.

Tell us one insider-fact about Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over.

The editors objected to the first draft because the middle school characters had originally not been disciplined for ducking their chaperons and taking a dangerous airplane ride without permission. As a result, I rewrote and added many new chapters, which turned out to be the best and most amusing parts of the book.


Mark P. Friedlander

Mark P. Friedlander Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, earned a law degree from the University of Virginia, and launched a career as a trial lawyer. He has authored and coauthored books on a variety of history and science topics. His passion for learning new subjects and passing this excitement on to kids helps keep him young at heart.  

Leonardo aa Vinci Gets a Do-Over is a Mathical Honor book. The Mathical Book Prize is awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and in coordination with the Children’s Book Council (CBC).  

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