Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King
  • Alternative view 1 of Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King
  • Alternative view 2 of Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King

Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King

by Kathleen Krull, Eric Velasquez
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Introducing the astonishing, the unforgettable ... HOUDINI!

He made himself a living legend and became the most famous name in magic. But Harry Houdini, like his acts, was fascinating and mysterious. As a child, he was often on the edge of homelessness, so he would charge crowds to watch him perform tricks he knew no one else could do. After leaving home to seek

Overview

Introducing the astonishing, the unforgettable ... HOUDINI!

He made himself a living legend and became the most famous name in magic. But Harry Houdini, like his acts, was fascinating and mysterious. As a child, he was often on the edge of homelessness, so he would charge crowds to watch him perform tricks he knew no one else could do. After leaving home to seek his fortune, Houdini mastered every form of magic available-- card tricks, juggling, illusions-- and travelled the world over to make a name for himself.

But true stardom came to him only when he began to focus his act around daring, heart-stopping escapes. By sheer force of will, Houdini trained his body to withstand the torturous demands of the elaborate acts he created.

How did he do it? Magicians never tell. Yet acclaimed author Kathleen Krull and award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez combine their talents to reveal the remarkable story of the World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-An attractive, oversize picture-book biography. Framed descriptions of some of Houdini's most famous stunts are interspersed within the overview of his life. The author's crisp narrative style and careful choice of detail are evident here. Readers get a sense of Houdini's commitment, determination, and dedication to his family. His belief in hard work, self-education, and the value of books is emphasized. Velasquez's impressive framed, posed oil paintings portray the magician's intensity and sense of showmanship. Most of the illustrations feature Houdini and his performances, and the design and varied layout are very effective. This is, however, a somewhat sanitized portrayal of a complex and controversial figure. In an effort to portray a "real-life superhero," Krull avoids the negative aspects of his life such as the volatile combination of insecurity and arrogance, and alleged racism. Despite its narrow scope, this title will satisfy young Houdini fans. Older readers should try Clinton Cox's Houdini: Master of Illusion (Scholastic, 2001) or Tom Lalicki's Spellbinder (Holiday House, 2000) for more in-depth portraits of the master of magic.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Still a name with which to conjure, Houdini left swaths of his past and his techniques shrouded in mystery-but here veteran biographer Krull peeks behind the curtain for glimpses of his life, his feats and his character. It's that character that comes through most clearly; "fierce about his craft," Houdini dedicated himself to perfecting his escapes-several of which get blow-by-blow, present-tense recaps that invite readers to share the audience's amazement-while polishing his legend and, as he quipped, "making an honest million." In smoothly accomplished oils, Velasquez frames much of the tale as a stage performance narrated by an announcer in top hat and tails; adding posters and other evocative details to the settings, the artist accurately depicts the magician, his wife and many of the trunks, cases, shackles and other constraints from which he escaped with (seeming) ease. Budding magicians won't find more than hints here of how Houdini did it, but a tempting set of print and digital resources caps this perceptive and dramatic tribute. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802796462
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
06/12/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
901,364
Product dimensions:
8.44(w) x 11.33(h) x 0.14(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Kathleen Krull is a prominent biographer for young people. Her Wilma Unlimited was named an ALA Notable Book; her Lives of the Musicians was a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award winner; and her other nonfiction has won countless other awards.

Kathleen also wrote A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull for Walker & Company. She and her husband, illustrator Paul Brewer, live in San Diego, California.

Eric Velasquez won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for his illustrations in The Piano Man. Of his illustrations in Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali, School Library Journal wrote, "[they] capture the action in the ring like a series of photographic snapshots."

Eric grew up down the block from Houdini's Harlem brownstone and has had a lifelong fascination with him. Eric is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts. He lives in Hartsdale, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >