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Harry Houdini for Kids: His Life and Adventures with 21 Magic Tricks and Illusions (For Kids series) Paperback – February 1, 2009
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Reluctant readers (as well as budding troublemakers) will flock to this biography/handbook hybrid about one of the most famous magicians who ever lived. Even for those familiar with Houdini’s fascinating story, Carlson’s snappy writing gives it new life. Raised in poverty, the immigrant born Ehrich Weisz began as an $18-a-week circus act but in 20 years would pull in $1,800 a week as the world’s premiere death-defying escape artist. According to Carlson, Houdini—aka Cardo the King of Cards or the King of Handcuffs—took advantage of the public’s distrust of authority figures by mastering everything from straitjackets to underwater manacles, along the way acting as a movie-stunt pioneer, ghost buster, and U.S. spy. Nearly every page is enlivenedwith period photographs, boxed sections containing biographies and definitions, and, most important, 21 magic tricks that will have readers breaking out their deck of cards and practicing their sleight of hand. The text is light on criticism, but most readers won’t care—this is one book that will magically vanish from shelves. Grades 4-8. --Daniel Kraus
"A very comprehensive biography" Publishers Weekly
"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
"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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While he's still too young to appreciate the biographical information that comes with each individual trick, he worked through the majority of the tricks on his own (he's now eight). However, should this book intrigue you, please be aware that adult supervision will most definitely be needed as some of the tricks require chemicals/items that could hurt a child. The book comes filled with pages of Houdini performing the magic tricks that are given and even provides images of fliers/newspapers that were used to introduce the next stunt Houdini would try.
Children will love this book for the tricks while adults will appreciate the history behind the tricks. I was definitely amazed with this book but would like to note that some tricks can be complex-so the age range listed above (9-12) is pretty exact as to which audience this book will entertain. It makes the perfect gift and easily entertains young magicians!