Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Harry Houdini: A Magical Life

Harry Houdini: A Magical Life

Elizabeth MacLeod
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Kids Can Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-1553377696

When he was just four years old little Ehrich Weiss moved to America with his large family. His father was already in the country trying to build a new life. Unfortunately Rabbi Weiss had great difficulty providing for his family and from an early age little Ehrich tried to make some money to help out. It wasn't long before Ehrich was performing on the streets trying to make a few pennies. When he was older, fed up with working in a necktie factory, Ehrich and a friend formed a magic act and Ehrich gave himself a stage name - Harry Houdini.

Harry started working as a magician on a small scale. When he was twenty he got married and soon he and his wife were "The Houdinis" with a rapidly growing repertoire of extraordinary feats of magic. To drum up interest in his acts Harry would come up with all kinds of stunts which got more remarkable and more dangerous as time went on.

Harry Houdini was one of the most colorful characters of his time and descriptions of his incredible escapes and stunts still impress those who read about them. In the text author of this superbly produced book has captured the energy and creativity of a man who used to lie in bed at night trying to think up new acts which would dazzle his audience. Full of annotated photographs, pictures of memorabilia, quotes, and a graphic image of Harry himself who 'talks' to the reader, this is one of the highly engaging titles in the Snapshots series.