Harry has always admired the famous escape artist Houdini. And when Houdini asks for help in coming back to life, it seems like an amazing chance...or could it be Houdini's greatest trick of all?

Eleven-year-old Harry Mancini is NOT Harry Houdini--the famous escape artist who died in 1926. But Harry DOES live in Houdini's old New York City home, and he definitely knows everything there is to know about Houdini's life. What is he supposed to do, then, when someone starts texting him claiming that they're Houdini, communicating from beyond the grave? Respond, of course.

It's hard for Harry to believe that Houdini is really contacting him, but this Houdini texts the secrets to all of the escape tricks the dead Houdini used to do. What's more, Houdini's offering Harry a chance to go back in time and experience it for himself. Should Harry ignore what must be a hoax? Or should he give it a try and take Houdini up on this death-defying offer?

Dan Gutman is the award-winning author of series including My Weird School, The Genius Files, and the baseball card series, including Honus & Me. He uses his writing powers for good once again in this exciting new middle grade novel.

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published on March 2, 2021 by Holiday House
ISBN-10: 0823445151
ISBN-13: 9780823445158
17 Book Reviews
  • lahyhigo-160320328263
    lahyhigo-160320328263Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:53 am55 stars
    spokky scary skelliotions!!!
    • vscogirlxowWednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:48 am
      I love this book 5 stars
      • unicornbrain
        unicornbrainSunday, February 7, 2021 at 5:22 pm55 starsFeatured
        Abracadabra! Abraca-don’t? Do you believe in magic? Well, you just might after you read Dan Gutman’s “Houdini and Me”. Harry Mancini, an 11-year old amateur magician, has a unique connection to Harry Houdini, an infamous escape artist. And his story will have you wondering, “How did he do that?” Not only do the two share the same first name, but Harry Mancini was born and is living in the same house that magician Harry Houdini lived in the last years of his life. This New York City house has a sign posted outside that Harry boastfully shows off and Harry even becomes a Houdini historian by reading and learning as much about Houdini, as well as a few tricks of his own. What else do these two Harrys share? Communication. After waking up in the hospital, Harry’s adventure begins. Amongst his get-well cards, candies, and gifts, he finds an old flip cell phone. Was this a gift? Was it a prank? Either way you answer, the flip phone becomes a time machine between two worlds, Harry’s and Houdini’s. Houdini had found a way to communicate after death! Harry eagerly wants to learn the secrets to some of Houdini’s escapes; and he does- through their text messages. With some persistence, Harry agrees to be a part of a magic trick. For one-hour, Harry switches lives with Houdini. Harry finds himself in the 1920’s in one of Houdini’s famous straitjacket escape tricks and Houdini is excited that, in the 21st century, people still know who he is! Is this the beginning of a bigger magic trick? What happens next will leave you applauding for more! This is a page turner read with each chapter’s cliff hanger leaving you grappling for more. The story is filled with historical facts about New York City, Houdini’s life, and tricks. The illustrations are original photographs and posters of Houdini and New York City. This give a hint of realism, sprinkled with a little magic dust to the book.
        • fallen_bunii
          fallen_buniiThursday, March 4, 2021 at 7:07 am44 stars
          Wow your very good at details and describing! 🎉
        • kgbradshaw
          kgbradshawSunday, February 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm44 starsFeatured
          I will admit, I did have my own doubts when I began to read Houdini and Me. Our protagonist, 11 year old Harry Mancini, was born and raised in the home that Harry Houdini himself lived in for the last twenty something years of his extraordinary life. Like most 11 year olds, Harry copes with typical struggles of tweens: not being given a phone, too much homework, friend drama, and the looming fact that Harry Houdini wants to switch places with Harry Mancini for the rest of eternity. Harry Mancini and his best friend Zeke decide to one day test out whether placing a penny on a train rail would flatten the penny or derail the train (Spoiler alert: It flattens the penny). Harry, after placing the money on the train rail, gets his shoelace stuck in the train rail and barely avoids being crushed by the train. However, Harry also sustains a concussion on the way down and falls into a week long coma. When he wakes, Mancini discovers that someone has sent him a flip phone as a get well gift, and Harry is less than thrilled. But all of his feelings swap when he begins to receive texts from someone; they claim to be Harry Houdini communicating from the dead. Harry Mancini enjoys his nightly text exchanges with Houdini until the latter Harry suggests that both of them switch places for one hour. Harry Mancini complies, and afterwards Houdini suggests that they do the switch once again, but they will both never return to their original form. The story ends in an amazing plot twist with Mancini waking up from another week long coma, only to find a flip phone inside a get well present. I enjoyed reading this book, and would really love to learn about what being stuck in this time loop means for both Harrys. A true page turner, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrills and mysteries.
          • girlpower4ever
            girlpower4everThursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:32 pm55 stars
            This book is perfect for fans of thrills, chills, and a little bit of magic! Dan Gutman perfectly combines real historical events with a shimmering fictional world to tell the thrilling story of Houdini and Me. The book follows young Harry Mancini, who lives in the house once owned by Harry Houdini, the most famous magician and escape artist of all time. Harry Mancini is somewhat of a local celebrity for living where Houdini once did, but that's about it—that is, until someone tries to communicate with him through an old flip phone, claiming to be the spirit of Harry Houdini himself! Intrigued but not convinced, Harry Mancini decides to ask the person a series of questions only Houdini would know the answer to. And yet, to his surprise, the mysterious texter answers accurately and believably. Could Harry Mancini really be communicating with the spirit of one of the most famous entertainers of the 1900s? At first, he looks forward to his conversations with Houdini eagerly. But as time goes on, Harry Mancini realizes that there was only one thing Houdini could not escape from: death. Houdini has already proved that he can reincarnate into the 21st century by swapping places with Harry Mancini. So what if Houdini decides that he'd like to swap places...forever? Once again, Dan Gutman brings forth relatable characters, slapstick humor, and quick-wit storytelling to tell a fascinating story. As a person who grew up reading his My Weird School series, it was nostalgic and undeniably refreshing to read another work of his. You won't regret reading this up and coming masterpiece! (Book was sent to me by DOGO for purpose of review.)
            • eagle_fan555
              eagle_fan555Friday, March 12, 2021 at 3:32 am55 stars
              We jus learned about Protagonist and Antagonist
              • letho
                lethoTuesday, March 30, 2021 at 6:58 am55 stars
                I am also learning about that
            • quarantined
              quarantinedThursday, February 4, 2021 at 10:12 am55 stars
              Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini, the most famous magician and escape artist ever? 11-year-old boy Harry Mancini has always been fascinated with Houdini's life and tricks, especially because he lives in the same home that Houdini lived in New York City, and even his name sounds like Houdini's! But Harry Mancini never thought he would ever communicate with Houdini, especially because Houdini died in the 1920s... After Harry Mancini wakes up from a coma following an accident near the train tracks, he finds a mysterious box amidst the towers of flowers and candy, and it holds an old flip phone that doesn't even seem to work. But when Harry Mancini gets home that night, it begins to buzz and he gets a text from Harry Houdini himself! He doesn't believe it until Houdini offers to perform his most mind-boggling act, Metamorphisis-- but between Harry Mancini and Houdini! He wants to attempt his biggest trick ever-- to switch bodies from the dead! I loved this book and it was so interesting! So everyone should read it!
              • callie_b
                callie_bSunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:22 am44 starsFeatured
                Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini, the most famous magician and escape artist ever? 11-year-old boy Harry Mancini has always been fascinated with Houdini's life and tricks, especially because he lives in the same home that Houdini lived in New York City, and even his name sounds like Houdini's! But Harry Mancini never thought he would ever communicate with Houdini, especially because Houdini died in the 1920s... After Harry Mancini wakes up from a coma following an accident near the train tracks, he finds a mysterious box amidst the towers of flowers and candy, and it holds an old flip phone that doesn't even seem to work. But when Harry Mancini gets home that night, it begins to buzz and he gets a text from Harry Houdini himself! He doesn't believe it until Houdini offers to perform his most mind-boggling act, Metamorphisis-- but between Harry Mancini and Houdini! He wants to attempt his biggest trick ever-- to switch bodies from the dead! This book was so entertaining and I couldn't stop reading! If you're curious about how Houdini did some of his most puzzling tricks, you should definitely read this book! I personally have always been super interested in Houdini and have even read some other books about him, but I still learned new things about Houdini from this book! I had no idea what was going to happen next and it kept me turning the pages into suspense and a crazy plot twist! I would recommend this book to ages 10+!
                • thistle912
                  thistle912Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 8:24 am44 starsFeatured
                  I was thrilled to receive this book in the mail from DOGO, and as soon as the package arrived, I ripped it open and started reading. The premises sounded interesting—I love how Dan Gutman incorporated history into a fictional story. The characters were realistic and multi-layered, the plot enjoyable—Houdini and Me is a fantastic story that will keep you reading late into the night. Summary: If you got the chance to switch places with your idol...what would you do? This is the question eleven-year-old Harry Mancini must ask himself when a mysterious person starts texting him, claiming he’s the famous magician Harry Houdini, back from the dead. Houdini offers him a once-in-a-lifetime chance to switch places...so that Harry Mancini becomes Houdini and travels to his time period, while Houdini transforms into an eleven-year-old boy in the twenty-first century. But Houdini isn’t who he seems, and he may perform his biggest magic trick yet—coming back from the dead...forever. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and rate it 4/5 stars. I would recommend it to readers who like fantasy mixed with realistic fiction, magic, and adventure, creating the perfect combination!
                  • spacepenguin
                    spacepenguinFriday, January 29, 2021 at 5:13 pm44 starsFeatured
                    Houdini and Me is an interesting book. This book is about Harry, a boy who lives in the house Harry Houdini lived in. Harry, the kid, gets a flip phone and communicates with Harry Houdini. Houdini is interested to know what life is like in the present day. They even trade places with each other. They almost traded places forever; Harry Houdini wanted this, but Harry Mancini didn't. He came up with a plan with his best friend to destroy the phone so they wouldn't trade places again. Harry Mancini tries to destroy the phone on the railroad tracks. It was interesting for me to learn how Harry Houdini did his magic. Overall, I think a lot of kids will like the book. I'd recommend this book
                    • glitterclaws
                      glitterclawsFriday, January 29, 2021 at 4:59 pm33 stars
                      Houdini And Me by Dan Gutman is about eleven-year-old Harry Mancini who lives in the Great Harry Houdini's house but is not in any way related to him. When Harry finds a box with a flip phone in it he thinks it must be a prank from a kid at school. But when someone claiming to be Harry Houdini contacts him from the grave by texting him he wonders where the phone actually came from. What would you do? What will Harry do? In my opinion, it wasn't a very engaging book, and at the times it did catch my attention the author didn't really go anywhere with it. But if you like books with pieces of real information in them or are interested in magic I would recommend it to you!