The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster: NY, 1991.

Wow! An excellent book for young readers-especially boys. Undoubtedly, the pictures are an important part of the story-the realism, awe, and humor. Selznick totally captures the emotion and enthusiasm of a boy amazed by the Great Houdini and wanting to be just like him. The determination and humor of that boy trying to figure out the tricks himself. Plus, two of the pictures are LOL funny. Can you tell which ones I mean?

I did not know until after reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret that Selznick had written other stories-only that he had illustrated. The Houdini Box was published well before I started looking for books for my first son. It is a great story. It ought to recommended more often for young readers since this is a particularly hard level to find exciting books.

related-Harry Houdini, magicians, curiosity, high interest, experimentation, mentors, transitional books, short chapter books, historical books
RL=2nd-4th, younger for early readers

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