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Praise for Harry Houdini
"…a beautifully illustrated biography of this most fascinating man…With entertaining sidebars on metamorphosis tricks and dime bars, Harry Houdini is sure to enchant aspiring magicians, offbeat history buffs and anyone who, in our own straitened times, appreciates a good rag-to-riches tale"
—New York Times
"Period photographs from newspapers, personal collections, advertising flyers, and other sources alternate with full-page color artwork to create a rich, engaging tableau. While there are several excellent biographies of Houdini available...this one is a solid addition."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"A well-rounded addition to the children’s bookshelf about the multifaceted man."
2012 Orbis Pictus Recommended book
2012 Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award – Honor book
Ehrich Weiss was born in Budapest and died Harry Houdini in Detroit, having lived a rags-to-riches story that was inescapably magical.
Though Harry's father had a law degree, was a rabbi and spoke several languages, he never seemed to find success, and Harry left home at 12 to find his way in the world. Like many children of the late 19th century, he had little education but many jobs. He was a newspaper boy, an assistant cutter in a tie factory, a shoe shiner and a messenger boy, but he escaped these dead-end jobs to find a future in magic, where there were better things to escape from: handcuffs, jails, milk cans and a Chinese Water Torture Cell. Though the cover bills this volume as "The Legend of the World's Greatest Escape Artist," Weaver's narrative is straightforward and factual, never quite conveying the excitement and magic of her subject. The unusual mix of original art and archival material—photographs, promotional posters and playbills—is bolstered by effective sidebars that offer historical context for the narrative. A section of references and resources will lead young readers to good books and websites that will help bring Houdini's magic to life more effectively than the text does by itself.
Overall, a solid-enough introduction to Houdini; good escapist reading that should lead to more. (source notes, index)(Biography. 8-12)
Posted May 29, 2012
This book bring you into the fascinating life of Harry Houdini. This book bring together beautiful illustrations but also actual artifacts, such as pictures,letters, and posters from Harry's prime days. We learned about Houdini's childhood and how his love of magic came about. Houdini was born in 1874 in Hungary, at the age of four he moved to the states with his mother and brothers, joining their father. At a very young age he fell in love with magic. After years of struggling to make ends meet, Houdini and his brother booked a job at Coney Island. This is where he met the love of his life Bess, they were married three weeks later and formed a husband-wife duo. Once Harry honed in on his escaping act he was unstoppable. He went to San Francisco and then eventually started touring Europe. He was able to escape and death defying trap, his trick only became more and more dangerous until finally he made up the most dangerous trick ever seen. It was called the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in this act Harry had to escape a large glass box filled with water, in which he was placed in upside down and chained by his ankles. Houdini died in 1926 at the age of 52. He may be dead but his remarkable death defying tricks will forever live on.This book will keep any reader interested in the history and magic of Harry Houdini.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2012
Janice Weaver created a very interesting illustrated biography about Harry Houdini. This book contains archival artifacts as well as pictures of Houdini throughout his life. Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874, as Ehrich Weiss, in Budapest. As a young boy he loved swinging from ropes and doing very unusual things to impress people. When Houdini moved to the United States he was trying to find out what he wanted to become. He decided that he wanted to become a magician. He actual became a great one. Becasue of one of his tricks, he became known as the "escape artists". This would be a great book for any one who is interested in magic or anyone who is just interested in learning about Houdini.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.