Hocus Pocus Hotel

Hocus Pocus Hotel

4.2 5
by Michael Dahl, Lisa K. Weber

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The Abracadabra Hotel, built by and for magicians, has long been know to locals as the Hocus Pocus Hotel. Charlie Hitchcock has never stepped inside until Tyler Yu tells him to meet him there ...or else. As if the hotel's storied past isn't enough, it turns out that the place is inhabited by magicians, and while Charlie and Ty solve magical mysteries, the bully and


The Abracadabra Hotel, built by and for magicians, has long been know to locals as the Hocus Pocus Hotel. Charlie Hitchcock has never stepped inside until Tyler Yu tells him to meet him there ...or else. As if the hotel's storied past isn't enough, it turns out that the place is inhabited by magicians, and while Charlie and Ty solve magical mysteries, the bully and the brain form an unlikely friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Thompson
Today, at Blackstone Middle School, Charlie Hitchcock (a.k.a. Hitch) experiences the same event as so many unfortunate souls before him. He receives the dreaded summons from the school bully, the biggest boy in seventh grade: Tyler Yu. But when Hitch meets Ty in a back alley, he finds the boy does not want to use him as a punching bag; rather, he to make use of Charlie's famous detecting skills. Ty lives with his parents in the Abracadabra Hotel, a refuge for retired magicians. Ty has been planning to use his wages to buy his dream motorbike, but his prospects for doing so drop when a magician disappears before Ty can collect his rent money. Other odd and spooky happenings prompt this unlikely pair to form an investigative team. Ty's knowledge of the hotel layout and Hitch's acute visual memory combine with cryptic messages from the elevator operator to ensure success. The boys turn the hotel upside down and discover lots of magician's tricks as they investigate. Brightly-colored illustrations combine with Hitch's Sherlockian notes drawn in black-and-white are sure to appeal to the budding detective, who can use the diagrams to solve the mystery along with them. This delightfully funny and entertaining first volume will surely become a fan favorite. Reviewer: Mary Thompson
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Strange things are happening at the Abracadabra Hotel, an establishment that caters to magicians. A guest has gone missing, along with a host of bizarre, seemingly unrelated objects like shower curtains, bowling pins, and serving spoons. Lights flicker on and off, eerie sounds are heard, and shadows seen. Could the Abracadabra have a ghost? Seventh-grade bully Tyler Yu's parents work at the hotel, and Ty wants to get to the bottom of the mysteries. He secretly insists on the help of Charlie Hitchcock, a smart but small and nerdy classmate with a photographic memory. Together, the boys investigate the hotel from top to bottom, learning magicians' tricks as they move from one clue to the next. Full-color illustrations, many full page, and black-and-white diagrams show how each trick is done. They and Charlie's lists of clues should help young detectives solve the mysteries of the Abracadabra right along with the sleuths. A good start to a new series.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Ty Yu, one of the biggest bullies in middle school, recruits Charlie Hitchcock and his "acute visual memory" for a little detective work. There have been some mysterious occurrences at Ty's home, the Hocus Pocus Hotel, a residence for retired magicians. His plans to purchase a dirt bike, a "Tezuki Slamhammer 750, Edition 6, in cherry-pop lightning red," must wait when tenant Mr. Madagascar disappears, along with his rent payment. Brack, an employee with some surprises of his own, mentors the students as they connect the clues. Charlie's interests (his skillz at Sherlock Holmes Maximum Z serve him well) allow him to quickly summarize the information and bring tidy resolutions. The children's second case involves the identity of a local ghost. The first in a series, these two mysteries connect to a larger storyline as the hotel's performers prepare for their revival show. At times, exposition causes pacing to drag. "It was just that Tyler never showed he had brains while he was in school. At school, Tyler pretty much only showed off his big arms and fists." Digital art depicts Ty as a lanky teenager with slicked-back black hair and almond eyes; Charlie, with glasses and freckles, is significantly shorter. Drawings dissect the duo's major discoveries. With a touch of The Twilight Zone, it's the building and its guests that provide the eeriest entertainment. (Mystery. 9-12)

Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Hocus Pocus Hotel
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
17 MB
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Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Dahl is the prolific author of the bestselling Goodnight Baseball picture book and more than 200 other books for children and young adults. He has won the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award three times for his nonfiction, a Teacher's Choice award from Learning magazine, and a Seal of Excellence from the Creative Child Awards. And he has won awards for his board books for the earliest learners, Duck Goes Potty and Bear Says "Thank You!" Dahl has written and edited numerous graphic novels for younger readers, authored the Library of Doom adventure series, the Dragonblood books, Trollhunters, and the Hocus Pocus Hotel mystery/comedy series. Dahl has spoken at schools, libraries, and conferences across the US and the UK, including ALA, AASL, IRA, and Renaissance Learning. He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a haunted house.
Lisa K. Weber has been making art for kid’s books, comics, and cartoons since graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2000.  Her whimsically twisted illustrations have appeared in several publications, including The Ogre of Oglefort, and The Sisters 8, both Junior Library Guild selections, as well as The Bremen Town Musicians and the Hocus Pocus Hotel series from Capstone.  She has contributed character designs and storyboards for Nickelodeon, Curious Pictures, and PBS Kids.  Lisa currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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Hocus Pocus Hotel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok the person 2 comments under me is a big GIVE AWAY. They tell you the whole story. What if someone reads the comments before they get the book? I know I do. Your suposed to give your opinion on did not want to let it the book npt give it away. You like rewrote the whole book in your comment. I bet you did.i do not know becuase I did not read the whole thing. I did not want it to spoil the book for me. I was really starting to like that book too. It was realy good so far the book gives lots of details you almost feel like your in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. Good for all ages. Looking foward to the sequel.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
Charlie (aka Hitch who's a huge geek) received a note from a school bully named Ty to meet him after school. Whoever gets a note from Ty to meet him ends up getting beaten. Sadly, Charlie had no choice but to go. Once he gets to the destination, it becomes apparent that Ty isn't going to beat him up. Instead, he needs Charlie’s help. There are mysteries to be solved at his parent’s hotel called The Abracadabra and he needs Charlie because of his amazing memory (he literally remembers what he sees!)... If I were to have a talent, that would be on my list. They set off on what promises to be a fun adventure. Along the way, a friendship forms between them and the character development to get to that point is very intriguing. Just because this book is aimed for younger children doesn't mean it's ONLY for that age group. I think any age would enjoy this story. It has magic, riddles, and illustrations done by the lovely Lisa K. Weber to show how some magic acts are actually completed. They're very complex tricks so it's not something children can perform at home. The secondary characters are fun to read and add to the creative plot. What's different is that there are two mysteries to be solved, not one. Thankfully, they don't overlap each other too much, so it's not confusing and the plot stays on course. I definitely recommend this book to middle graders and up. It's very cute and easy to read... a nice book for a gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this middle grade book by Michael Dahl, it's the first book I have read from him and I now can't wait to read Troll Hunter the next book I have from this author to read. Hocus Pocus Hotel is very easy to read and has a great flow to it that I think a lot of young readers will love. The illustrations in this book are great and really bring the story to life. The book starts out with Charlie thinking he is going has to fight the school bully Ty, because he has a note telling him to meet him after school. When he gets to the place he finds out that Ty just wants his help solving a mystery and because he knows that Charlie aka Hitch, as a photogenic mind and can remember everything he sees. Together they solve two different mysteries in the hotel and Charlie figures something out on his own, but together they sort of form a unlikely friendship. The book is about mysteries and magicians and filled with cool magic tricks and little diagrams that show you just how the tricks work so it's easy to picture in your mind. My favorite character is Mr. Brack the elevator operator he is mysterious and fun. It was fun, mysterious and I think boys and girls who love to read will both enjoy this book. I would definitely recommend this book. Stay tuned because in October I am giving away a copy of this book and Troll Hunter, from the publicist!