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
18 Book Reviews
  • 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!
        • spacepenguin
          spacepenguinTuesday, January 26, 2021 at 4:25 pm44 stars
          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 traded 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 for kids ages 7-12.
          • kruzingwithk9s
            kruzingwithk9sTuesday, January 26, 2021 at 11:58 am55 starsFeatured
            If you have a phone, more than likely you or your parents have gotten a text that turned out to be spam. Yeah, so have we. But have you ever gotten a text from a dead person? No! That can’t happen! Can it? After an accident involving a train, Harry Mancini wakes up from a week long coma to find that among the gifts and candies and flowers, there is a strange flip-phone in one of the gift boxes. Trying it, Harry finds that sadly, it doesn’t call people. However, that night, it buzzes with a text! From… someone who claims to be Harry Houdini? Harry (Mancini) is suspicious that this is one of his friends playing a prank on him. However after many questions, he finds out that it really is Houdini texting him. But things can always go wrong… A book that, from the moment you pick it up, demands to be read fully before putting it back down. Amazing book, would recommend.
            • lawalex
              lawalexTuesday, January 26, 2021 at 7:25 am44 stars
              Houdini and Me is a very enjoyable, fast paced book. It features Harry Mancini, who is not at all related to Harry Houdini, but lives in his house. When Harry Mancini makes a bad decision and ends up in a coma, he wakes up to a mysterious phone. I loved how there were pictures that helped me understand the story, and the plot was very intriguing! I learned a lot about Houdini from reading it. I rate this a 4/5 because once or twice I found myself confused about what was happening in the story. Overall, I'm happy I got an advanced reader copy of this book, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in magic and/or Harry Houdini.
              • nac
                nacSaturday, January 23, 2021 at 3:48 pm55 stars
                First there's Harry Houdini, the all famous escape artist and magician who is famous for escaping death, until he tragically died in 1926. And then there's Harry Mancini, a twentieth century kid who wasn't named after Houdini. Harry Mancini was born in the house that Houdini lived in though, which probably explains why Harry knows everything there is to know about the former occupant of his house. But after an accident that involved a tunnel, a train, a quarter, a nickel, four pennies, and a really bad decision, Harry Mancini gets a mysterious gift from a stranger, an old flip phone that, to Harry's disappointment doesn't work. But soon Harry starts receiving text messages from someone who claims to be Houdini! Harry doesn't believe it at first, but when the evidence starts piling up, and Houdini wants Harry to switch places with him, he wonders.... could Harry Houdini being trying out his most famous escape of all, escaping from death itself? This book is a fantastic read and is filled with all sorts of true facts about Harry Houdini and his life, and its a great message about how friends stick up for each other, and how easy it is to face your fears.