Harry Houdini: A Magical Life by Elizabeth MacLeod, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Harry Houdini: A Magical Life

Harry Houdini: A Magical Life

by Elizabeth MacLeod
     
 

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Harry Houdini is still the world's most famous magician —- thanks to his inventive tricks, death-defying stunts and incredible talent for publicity. He claimed he could escape from anything! The immigrant son of a rabbi, Harry overcame grueling poverty to become a one-man phenomenon, wowing audiences around the world.

Harry happily hung upside down

Overview

Harry Houdini is still the world's most famous magician —- thanks to his inventive tricks, death-defying stunts and incredible talent for publicity. He claimed he could escape from anything! The immigrant son of a rabbi, Harry overcame grueling poverty to become a one-man phenomenon, wowing audiences around the world.

Harry happily hung upside down from skyscrapers, leapt into rivers in chains and survived in an airless coffin —- but driving a car made him nervous. He also starred in six Hollywood movies, some still available on video. This biography in the Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History series introduces young readers to the multitalented, mysterious and contradictory man behind the tricks, escapes and dangerous feats.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[P]lenty of information to intrigue and even surprise readers.

[R]eaders interested in Houdini and magic will be entertained and enlightened.

Children's Literature
Hocus-pocus abounds in Harry Houdini: A Magical Life. From being the poverty-stricken immigrant son of a rabbi, Houdini rose to greatness, astounding audiences with his death-defying feats. Elizabeth MacLeod marshalls her considerable research and writing skills to illuminate the man behind the illusions. A savvy self-promoter, Houdini was constantly thinking of new angles for his magic and rarely slept more than five hours a night. He exposed fraudulent psychic mediums who tried to fleece the public and was known for his kindness to children. Filled with period photos, newspaper clippings and playbills amassed by a visuals team at the publishing company, this biography proves that fact can be as compelling as fiction. 2005, Kids Can, Ages 8 to 12.
—Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Biographies about Houdini are plentiful, but a plethora of photos, illustrations, and poster reproductions in black and white and in color gives this title extra life. Two-page chapters follow him from his childhood in Budapest through his difficult growing-up years and into his amazingly successful career as a magician. MacLeod does a nice job of pointing out that Houdini's stories of his life did not always mesh with reality as the proud man was prone to stretching the truth and making himself look grand. The writing is clear and well organized with plenty of information to intrigue and even surprise readers. For those looking for further information, try Vicki Cobb's Harry Houdini (DK, 2005). Younger readers may enjoy Kathleen Krull's picture-book Houdini (Walker, 2005).-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
MacLeod offers a biography for readers not yet up to Tom Lalicki's outstanding Spellbinder: The Life of Harry Houdini (2000). Alternating captioned collages of photos, posters and other images with pages of text, this latest entry in the Snapshots series aims to chronicle Houdini's life and career, as well as provide some insight into his not-exactly-humble character ("With due modesty, I recognize no one as my peer"). Though her account, particularly her brief descriptions of Houdini's fantastic escapes, doesn't match the drama of Kathleen Krull's Houdini: The World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King (p. 289), illustrated by Eric Velasquez, readers will come away with a good overview of the great performer's accomplishments and public persona. An engaging tour, albeit over well-traveled territory. (index, chronology) (Biography. 9-11)
Booklist
[Readers interested in Houdini and magic will be entertained and enlightened.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553377702
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Series:
Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Elizabeth MacLeod has written many children's books, including nine titles in the Snapshots Biography series, numerous titles in the Kids Can Read, Kids Books Of and Kids Can Do It series, Why Do Horses Have Manes?, What Did Dinosaurs Eat?, and Monster Fliers. She lives in Toronto.

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