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.