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Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini

by Sid Fleischman

Published by Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2006
210 pages
ISBN: 0-06-085095-7

Ages 10-14

Sid Fleischmanís energetic, enthusiastic narrative style in this biography of Harry Houdini cleverly makes use of hyperbole to suggest the showmanship that had a large part to do with making Houdini famous. Fleischman describes the illusions that Houdini created both on and off the stage as he packaged his life for public consumption while carefully guarding truths he felt wouldnít sell, or were nobodyís business. Fleischman, a fellow magician, approaches his subject with great appreciation and understanding. Occasionally inserting himself into a narrative, he makes it a point to never reveal the secrets behind Houdiniís on-stage magic while illuminating his subjectís life with relish. The result is an engaging, informative biography with a smoke-and-mirrors feel that some readers will find irresistible. Black-and-white photographs and playbill reproductions illustrate the volume.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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