Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini

Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini
Today’s Non-fiction is Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman. It is 210 including notes and an index and is published by Greenwillow Books. The cover has a picture of Houdini is in his Chinese Water Trap. The intended reader is about seven and up. It is written from third person with notes, letters, photos, and the odd comment from the author. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Who was this man who could walk through brick walls and, with a snap of his fingers, vanish elephants? In these pages you will meet the astonishing Houdini- a magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him! He shucked off handcuffs as easily as gloves.
In this fresh, witty biography of the most famous bamboozler since Merlin, Sid Fleischman, a former professional magician, enriches his warm homage with insider information and unmaskings. Did Houdini really pick the jailhouse lock to let a fellow circus performer escape? Were his secrets really buried with him? Was he a bum magician, as some rivals claimed? How did he manage to be born in two cities, in two countries, on two continents at the same instant?
Here are the stories of how a knockabout kid named Ehrick Weiss, the son of an impoverished rabbi, presto-changoed himself into the legendary Harry Houdini. Here, too, are rare photographs never before seen by the general reader!

Review- This is a biography written by a children’s book author and kids will love it. Fleischman is an award winning author who knows how to write for kids. This biography was easy to read, interesting, and fun. I had a fun time with it. I am not much of a biography reader but when I saw the cover of this book I had to read the blurb. When I read the blurb I had to read the book and I am glad that I did. Fleischman loves Houdini and magic and it shows in this book. The notes in the back are intensive and could be used as a good base for more research into Houdini and his life. Fleischman knows how to write in way that kids will understand, enjoy and want to read. With details from Fleischman about magicians, as a former one himself, he makes the answers about Houdini did his tricks come alive. Houdini wanted to be legendary and this biography helps explain how he did it.

I give this book Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for this review and I borrowed this book from my local library.