Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

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Once there was a boy named Leonard who loved to sing and to act. His parents were immigrants who felt like aliens in America, and certainly didn’t understand Leonard’s drive to perform…

A moving biography of the late Leonard Nimoy, whose story exemplifies the American experience and the power of pursuing your dreams, by his close friend, gallerist, and the author of many acclaimed books for adults and children.

Fascinating Awards:

  • 2017 Massachusetts Book Award Honor
  • 2017 Sydney Taylor Award Silver Medal
  • 2017 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People — National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council
  • 2016 Junior Library Guild Gold Medal

Watch Richard Michelson’s StoryMakers video



Each year at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, every state offers one book that highlights its literary culture. At this year’s festival Massachusetts will celebrate “Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy’’ by Richard Michelson. Michelson has produced a sensitive and intelligent portrait of the young boy paying particular attention to his perseverance and dedication to following his dreams. (full review)
—The Boston Globe

There’s a wonderful new biography of Nimoy for children, and it’s one of the most unapologetically Jewish profiles for kids in ages. It made me cry. (full review)

Nimoy’s story is a universal one of following one’s dreams and living long and prospering in the world of the arts. (full review)

This  biography includes, yes, fascinating details about the origin of the famous Vulcan salute and an encounter, and advice, from a shared taxi ride with Congressman John F. Kennedy. ..the story of a young boy seeking to belong and to pursue his dreams in America should inspire readers to live long and prosper.

…a warm and moving picture book biography …With a knack for elegantly weaving biographical and contextual details into the narration, Michelson highlights young Lenny’s early flirtations with the stage and photography, …, and the roots of Mr. Spock’s famous Vulcan greeting gesture in Jewish tradition. (full review)
Publishers Weekly

…a simple but effective lesson on persistence and perseverance.  Although this biography would work well as an independent read, it could also be a great option for group read-alouds …VERDICT In the words of Spock, “Live long and prosper.” Recommended.
School Library Journal

…a story of connection between a past wave of immigration and a continuing mission to imagine the future. This is a perfect fit for inter-generational sharing.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Michelson … focuses on Nimoy’s upbringing in an observant Jewish household in Boston, his rise to fame on Star Trek, and the backstory behind that famous “Live long and prosper” Vulcan hand symbol (repurposed by Nimoy from, fascinatingly, a Jewish prayer gesture). (full review)
Horn Book Starred


Radio and TV


Junior Library Guild Award
Junior Library Guild Award

In Leonard’s profound absence – it is so lucky that his dear friend Richard Michelson has thought to bring us this richly illustrated account of his inspiring
life. Together with Edel Rodriguez they beautifully capture some of the highlights of Leonard’s journey from immigrants’ son in Boston’s west end – to one of the
most iconic and recognizable characters in the world.
Zachary Quinto

“Leonard Nimoy became a legend. But, he remained a humble, compassionate, and poetic soul. A true artist. In FASCINATING, Richard Michelson captures Leonard’s story with tenderness and admiration. There will never be another man like my husband.”
Susan Bay Nimoy

“I’ll never get tired of hearing stories about my Dad’s childhood. Fascinating by Richard Michelson tells a wonderful and sweet story about the young Leonard growing up in Boston and his determination and passion to achieve his dream of

Julie and Adam Nimoy with Richard Michelson
Julie and Adam Nimoy with Richard Michelson

becoming an actor in Hollywood. My Dad loved his family, his life and the arts… he will always be missed greatly.”
Julie Nimoy

“An inspirational tale of what can happen when a young man follows his bliss, his passion. And a heartwarming tribute to Dad’s incredible journey.”
Adam Nimoy

View photos of the publication party and opening of UNSEEN: Fifty Never Before Exhibited Photographs in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

Leonard Nimoy discusses Richard Michelson in a PODWOM interview:

See Leonard Nimoy’s photography

View photos from the Fascinating Publication Party and Book Signing on the R. Michelson Galleries’ facebook page.

Live Long and Prosper
Limited Edition Fine Art Pigment Prints available!