Thursday, December 28, 2006


Fleischman, Sid. 2006. Escape: The Story of The Great Houdini.

I remember reading Sid Fleischman’s autobiography five or six years ago, The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer’s Life, and learning how much of an impact magic had on his childhood. Magic was this author’s first passion, and it clearly shows in this biography of his childhood hero, Harry Houdini. It must have been an act of love writing such a biography--an enjoyable and accessible biography at that--for young readers. How can I describe it? It is well-written. It is enjoyable. It is well-organized. It is full of black and white photographs. It is well-researched. It features a selected bibliography and index. If only I could share the same interest as the writer. But magic has never been all that ‘magical’ to me. So I do recommend the book for readers of all ages if they show some interest in magic in general, or in the legend of Houdini himself, or if they just enjoy reading interesting biographies of famous people. It really is quite well done.

Krull, Kathleen. 2005. Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King.

Written by Kathleen Krull (one of my favorite authors) and illustrated by Eric Velasquez (one of my favorite illustrators), HOUDINI is an enjoyable picture book biography. The deep, rich colors (black, red, and gold) add lushness and life to Krull’s text. The text presents a summary or overview of Houdini’s life and his most famous magic tricks. The author’s note brings Houdini’s life to a close and summarizes how Houdini’s life impacted the world. A bibliography is included.

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