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Harry Houdini: A Magical Life (Snapshots Images of People & Places in History) Hardcover – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: Snapshots Images of People & Places in History
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553377699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553377696
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,997,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. The world's best-known magician began performing as an acrobat in his neighborhood at the age of nine to make money desperately needed by his family. MacLeod provides a straightforward history of her colorful subject, recognizing that Houdini often created stories about his life, and she provides details that separate fact from the magician's fictions. Reproduced images of photos, handbills, and advertisements bring the text on each double-page spread to life, showing Harry's penchant for publicity and his most famous escapes. Middle-grade readers interested in Houdini and magic will be entertained and enlightened by this well-organized entry in the ongoing Snapshots: Images of People and Places in History series; a chronology and further resources are appended. For slightly younger readers, suggest Kathleen Krull's Houdini (2005). Karen Hutt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jewish Book World Magazine on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Born Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hugary 1874, Harry Houdini was the poor immigrant son of a rabbi.
Due to his "death defying stunts" which ranged from making an elephant disappear to his "Milk Can Escape"
and bigger than life theatrics, Houdini has gone down in history as the world's most famous magician. With
a legacy of amazing escapes and illusions and featured in six Hollywood films magicians today still ponder over his tricks. As a young boy of four Harry immigrated with his family to the United States. When the family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Harry's father took him to see the gruesome entertainer, Dr. Lynn, whose final act was to dismember a man and then put him back together again. At age six, young Harry was hooked for life and devoted the rest of his life finding ways to amaze an audience in the art of illusion. In his own words, Houdini comments, " Never try to fool children. They expect nothing and therefore see everything." Harry was full of adventure and fun and was always young at heart; with this rule of thumb; he kept the mind of a child close at hand and his magic always remained a mystery as well as delightful entertainment for the
whole family. This tile, the seventh of the "Snapshot Biography series" presents an up-close, personalized view of the life of a great man who has changed the face of magic. Large, oversized illustrations, many black and white photographs, a detailed timeline, a great index, and a list of actual places to find out more about Houdini will engage youngsters and make this a sure winner. For ages 8-13.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Barker on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is another great biography by Elizabeth MacLeod. For magic lovers, this book gives all the details and interesting facts of Houdini's life. MacLeod's writing is engaging and works wonderfully with the illustrations giving children a richly textured biography for their age-level.

A word of caution: The tricks depicted in this book are dangerous and parents need to discern whether or not their child will try to imitate Harry. Not for advanced younger readers without parental guidance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A chance discussion with my grandchildren (aged four and six) about Mr. Houdini's death sparked considerable interest. I gave them the highlights of Harry's life as I knew them but I could see that they were fascinated and wanted more. Thus, the purchase and my five star rating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach 6th grade reading. This book is perfect for the classroom library. Students need to read a variety of non-fiction. I have found that most students love reading biographies. This is a must buy for the classroom.
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