|Houdini and me|
Author: Gutman, Dan
Eleven-year-old Harry Mancini lives in the house where Houdini spent his final years, so he has always been interested in the famous magician, and has even learned a few simple magic tricks; he just never expected Houdini to contact him from beyond the grave--and what Houdini wants him to do could well cost Harry his own life.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 512288
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/21)
School Library Journal (00/02/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/02/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2021 Not only does Harry Mancini know an incredible amount about Harry Houdini, he actually lives in the magician’s former home in New York City. After a poorly executed prank lands Harry in the hospital with a concussion, he finds a weird, flip-top phone that allows him to exchange text messages with Houdini. Initially suspicious, he’s soon convinced that it really is happening. The two magically trade places in a time-travel swap, with the magician discovering the twenty-first century as an 11-year-old and Harry performing a hair-raising straitjacket escape as Houdini in 1921. But when Houdini insists on trading places permanently, Harry rebels and tries to figure out how to outsmart the brilliant but terrifying illusionist. Harry’s first-person narration includes facts about Houdini’s life and famous feats, illustrated with intriguing vintage photos. This chapter book delivers a fast-paced, amusing tale, followed by an informative and very readable author’s note. It’s hard to say whether Houdini’s or Gutman’s name will draw more readers, but with both on the cover, along with eye-catching jacket art, consider multiple copies. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2021 Gr 3–7—Harry Mancini, an 11-year-old living in the New York City apartment once inhabited by Harry Houdini, and his friend venture to the railroad tracks one night to see if they can flatten a quarter on the rails. When Harry gets to close to the tracks, he's knocked into a coma and wakes up to find himself the owner of a flip phone that can receive texts from the great Houdini. As Harry and Houdini text, Harry learns about how the magician pulled off his most famous tricks and a little about the nature of fame, fear, and hope. When Houdini suggests the two switch places, Harry must figure out exactly what has caused this contact from beyond the grave. With quick writing and dialogue and fun facts about Houdini, this is an enjoyable read, especially for those interested in Houdini's life or magic. VERDICT While it may not have the wider appeal of some of Gutman's other titles, this is a charming story that can serve as a jumping-off point for further research into the life of the famed escape artist.—Katie McBride Moench, New Glarus Middle and H.S. Lib., WI - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.