Harry Houdini for Kids: His Life and Adventures with 21 Magic Tricks and Illusions [NOOK Book]

Overview

From his impoverished childhood to his feat of becoming one of the most successful entertainers of all time, this fascinating biography presents a memorable portrait of magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. Guidelines for 21 fun magic tricks are also provided, including how to stick a needle into a balloon without popping it, how to step through a note card, and how to make a coin vanish. Illustrating the science and logic behind many of Houdini's most notable acts, the magic-based activities also explain his...
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Harry Houdini for Kids: His Life and Adventures with 21 Magic Tricks and Illusions

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Overview

From his impoverished childhood to his feat of becoming one of the most successful entertainers of all time, this fascinating biography presents a memorable portrait of magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. Guidelines for 21 fun magic tricks are also provided, including how to stick a needle into a balloon without popping it, how to step through a note card, and how to make a coin vanish. Illustrating the science and logic behind many of Houdini's most notable acts, the magic-based activities also explain his famous Milk Can Escape through an accessible water displacement experiment and demonstrate simple mathematics with his Odd Number Trick. Touching on his time as an actor, an aviator, and possibly even a spy for the U.S. government, this thoroughly entertaining biography also features a time line, curriculum links for educators, and books and websites for further exploration.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This comprehensive biography-plus-activity book on the famed magician of the late 19th and early 20th centuries illuminates nearly as much about the era as about Harry Houdini. Supplying sidebars on such topics as vaudeville, Ouija boards and the Wright Brothers, Carlson (More than Moccasins) puts Houdini's career squarely in context. Her writing is detailed but conversational as she offers engrossing facts and tidbits: Houdini also worked as a spy, movie actor and stuntman, and ground-breaking aviator; his wife and performing partner once saved Buster Keaton from a fire. Readers will come away viewing Houdini as much a product of his time as of his own wits and making. The narrative seems dauntingly long, but is interspersed with explanations and diagrams of magic tricks, b&w photos and ephemera, and imaginatively chosen, decorative line art. The magic tricks are clearly explained and easy to do: make a Magic Box (it has a trick bottom) out of milk cartons, secretly pass messages to a partner, etc.; some activities reinforce the science behind many of Houdini's tricks. Ages 9-up. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Magic-books.blogspot.com
Thoroughly entertaining biography.
Curriculum Review
The perfect introduction to the life of a celebrated magician
Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
The amazing life of Harry Houdini, who rose from poverty to international celebrity through his skills as an illusionist and escape artist, is thoroughly traced in this fascinating biography that also provides a rich history of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America and Europe. As revealed here, Houdini believed that success was based not only on talent but on hard work and training. He kept himself in top physical form through a rigorous athletic regimen and constantly challenged himself throughout his life to learn new and increasingly difficult and death-defying acts. In the early days, traveling first with his brother and then with his wife, barely scraping by performing at Dime Museums and traveling medicine shows, Houdini also learned the importance of showmanship and promotion. While continuing to perform as a magician throughout his life, Houdini also worked as a stunt man and movie maker, wrote several books, started a magic magazine, collected books on the history of magic, and tried his hand at aviation. New evidence suggests that he also worked as a spy in the years leading up to WWI. Houdini wanted the world to understand that there was a science and logic behind magic, and he was disdainful of the popular spiritualists and mediums who allowed people to believe they had special powers; as time went on, he tried to prove these people as hoaxes and gained some powerful enemies. His death at the age of fifty-two remains shrouded in mystery, as does how he performed some of his acts. Through an engaging and well-researched narrative, historical sidebars, and vintage photographs, a wealth of information is provided in this treasure trove of a book. Additionally,twenty-one magic tricks and illusions similar to ones Houdini performed allow budding magicians to develop their craft. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

Carlson does an admirable job of capturing the character of the man who enthralled the world with his magical illusions and mystifying escapes. She carefully traces Houdini's roots and his laborious path to international fame, emphasizing the personal integrity that guided his decisions. Many people, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, longed to believe that Houdini possessed supernatural powers, but he was determined to resist this notion and elevate magic to an art form. The author discusses the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death as well as current efforts to exhume the body to determine if foul play was involved. Throughout the book, Carlson has inserted 21 of Houdini's magic tricks and illusions for children to practice as well as text boxes that explore important people or events of the time. The volume is liberally laced with photographs, illustrations, and posters advertising Houdini's act. This is a well-written book on a fascinating topic. Libraries, especially those in which Sid Fleischman's Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini (HarperCollins, 2006) is popular, will want to consider it for purchase.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
Harry Houdini may be the most famous magician ever. He began his career working as a sideshow act in carnivals but, by virtue of talent, study and very hard work, elevated his craft to an art, making his name a household word. A few of his more clever illusions have never been fully explained; when he died at age 52 in 1927, he took many of his secrets to the grave. This biography includes a wealth of detailed information on both Houdini and a wide variety of only marginally related subjects. Page-long text boxes include biographies of the Wright brothers, Jack London and Theodore Roosevelt, and a description of the rambling Winchester Mansion. Although period photographs and advertisements add interest, the narrative is, unfortunately, often repetitive, sometimes almost word for word. The cover promises "21 Magic Tricks and Illusions," but some of those are how to build a box kite, a recipe and an explanation of how to measure volume displacement of solids in water. An editor's magic would have benefited this average effort. (further reading, source list, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
From the Publisher
"A very comprehensive biography"  —Publishers Weekly

"A wealth of detailed information on . . . Houdini."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Reluctant readers (as well as budding troublemakers) will flock to this biography/handbook hybrid . . .[Carlson's)]snappy writing gives it new life . . . enlivened with period photographs . . . this is one book that will magically vanish from shelves."  —Booklist

"The perfect introduction to the life of a celebrated magician."  —Curriculum Review

"Thoroughly entertaining biography."  —magic-books.blogspot.com

"A very comprehensive biography."  —Virginian-Pilot

"When you get Harry Houdini for Kids and give it to your young prestidigitator, you know you'll be conjuring up a good time…(Carlson) gives kids a thorough overview …kids will enjoy this book, as will an adult fan of illusion or circus lore."  —parumphvalleytimes.com

"The man who never ceases to fascinate comes to life in the pages of this in-depth look at his amazing life and magicc"  —About.com Tweens

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613741955
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Series: For Kids Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,223,685
  • Age range: 9 years
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Laurie Carlson is the author of Classical Kids, Colonial Kids, Days of Knights and Damsels, Green Thumbs, Kids Camp!, More Than Moccasins, Thomas Edison for Kids, and Westward Ho! She is a professor at Western Oregon University.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Its awesome loved the book and the magic tricks

    Its awesome loved the book and the magic tricks

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