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|Amazing Harry Kellar : great American magician|
Author: Jarrow, Gail
The first magician to receive international fame. The most well-known illusionist at the turn of the twentieth century. The model for the Wizard of Oz. The author follows Kellar from a magician's assistant traveling and performing across the United States during the Civil War to an international superstar with a show of his own, entertaining emperors, kings, and presidents.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.50
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 151710
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 6.30
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 57967
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/12)
School Library Journal (+) (00/06/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2012 Though Harry Houdini gobbles up most of the historical spotlight as the great American magician, at the turn of the twentieth century, Harry Kellar was the most famous magician in the country, if not the world. After first claiming that Kellar was a more talented magician than Houdini, who idolized Kellar and was a better escape artist and self-promoter, Jarrow traces Kellar’s life from modest beginnings in small-town Pennsylvania, through apprenticeships with notable magicians, and into his globetrotting career as a performer, where he dazzled audiences in five continents for decades. She describes his meticulous attention to craft, uncovers where he discovered new tricks and found inspiration for his eye-popping illusions, and provides plenty of sidebars that lay out historical context. Though the book is loaded with photographs, the real visual treats here are the dozens of reproduced posters used to advertise Kellar’s shows, typically featuring a dapper Kellar performing some feat while crowded by fiery red demons. These, more than anything, bring his showmanship, class, and mystery to life. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2012 Gr 5–8—Though many people today have never heard of him, Kellar was once America's favorite magician and a friend and mentor to Harry Houdini. Born to German immigrants as Heinrich Keller, he left home early and began work as a magician's assistant. After many years traveling the world, the hardworking yet congenial Kellar became so famous that he performed for President Teddy Roosevelt's children, and many readers of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (published in 1900 at the height of his popularity) felt that the wizard was modeled on him. Jarrow includes just the right mix of biographical information, anecdotes, and descriptions of the performer's illusions. Frequent sidebars provide context for historical events, people, and magic terminology mentioned in the text. Heavily illustrated with a mixture of archival photos; drawings; and stunning, full-color reproductions of the posters advertising Kellar's shows, this book draws readers in. Ample back matter, including a time line, notes, and a list of sources for further information shows the depth of the author's research. An excellent example of nonfiction that is readable, visually appealing, and well researched.—Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.