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Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini
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Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Who was this man who could walk through brick walls and, with a snap of his fingers, vanish elephants? In these pages you will meet the astonishing Houdini—magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him! He shucked off handcuffs as easily as gloves.

In this fresh, witty biography of the most famous
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Greenwillow Books (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  1,075 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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There is treasure galore in libraries and bookstores, much of which is overlooked by adults because it’s tucked away in Young-Adult or Children’s sections. A few years back, I used to be one of those ‘mature’ readers who steered clear of ‘Juvenile’ literature thinking it no longer had anything exciting or relevant or exceptional to offer me. Boy, was I wrong. Since getting over my delusional book snobbery, I've enjoyed many wonderful books penned in the straight-forward simplistic language of yo ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: celebrity, biography
My father always spoke of Houdini with reverence- as if he had known the man or witnessed one of his death-defying escapes. The man is a legend, to be sure. One can hardly breathe the word 'magician' without referencing the escape artist. I knew Harry Houdini's basic story- that the name that gave him such recognition wasn't his birth name, most of his stage tricks, and his death. There were several things I didn't realize going into this biography- one, that he was such a narcissistic, egotisti ...more
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
**Short Review**

I guess there is pictures in the book but seeing as i listen to the audio i missed out on those :(

I will admit i knew almost nothing about Houdini before reading this, i knew about his magic tricks but that's it. So i learned a lot, i really thought he was American, but he's not, thou he lied on his passport to say he is, which is kinda ingenious. I didn't know he was married either, and he was a very good husband to her, and she was a great support system. i didn't know he kept
Christophe Ang
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The biography was an interesting take from an aspiring magician/author. As per the magician's code, the author did not reveal any of Houdini's magic tricks, but rather (the whole purpose of the book itself), Houdini's life. It starts from the day Houdini came to Appleton, Wisconsin to his journey to Europe and back to America. From when he was dirt poor to a high-class magician.

I thought the biography was interesting in that I learned many new things about Houdini I had never known. People know
Nathan Whitmore
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you are interested in many haphazardly arranged biographical notes about Houdini’s life — and bad writing — then read this book. Sid Fleischman, a well-regarded children’s author, is out of his element as the biographer of his childhood hero.

His frequent and awkward employment of simile nearly caused me to quit reading only four chapters in. Imagine that “as voluptuous as a Valkyrie on a diet” was your best illustrative comparison, then imagine that similar unwieldy similes were found in nea
Pretty basic biography. It felt more so like reading a Wikipedia summary or a quick article on him, instead of a book. Here's his whirlwind background, here are all of his tricks and poof! Here's the demise.
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini
Sid Fleischman
Harper Collins, 2006, 215 pages, $8.99
ISBN 9780060850968

This biography gives an in depth look at Harry Houdini's magical life. The author actually met Houdini's widow and has included many pictures that she personally shared with the the author so the book has a unique feel to it. At first, I thought the book would be too elementary to keep my attention since it has large font and many pictures. However, the author's extreme enthusias
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini" by Sid Fleischman tells the story of Harry Houdini, the greatest escape artist ever known. He was born in Budapest, Hungary before his family traveled to Appleton, Wisconsin in search of more wealth. Later, inspired by the magician Jean Eugene
Robert-Houdin, he ran away from home to ease his family's financial strain and begin his career in magic. During his reign as the "King" of just about everything he could think of, Houdini married his wife Bess and
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-graphic
Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini. by Sid Fleischman, Genre: Biography, nonfiction, Pg.206

This book about Houdini's life. Harry Houdini, was surprisingly a name he created after the Great French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. [Houdini means like Houdin] To my surprise, Houdini was not born in America, but in Hungary.

Other parts that I liked in this book was the part where Houdini was lecturing to his wife about not to believe in superstitions and later, Bess - the wide, said "Houdini

Featured in "Historical Nonfiction for Young Readers" on Intellectual Recreation.

Who isn't fascinated by Harry Houdini? He's become an American legend. In this delightful biography for young readers, Sid Fleischman takes us through the life of the great magician, from its humble beginnings to its sudden end.

Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini was one of the great children's author Sid Fleischman's last books, and I loved the personal touches he included in his biography of Harry Houdini.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel tells the story of the author/magician, the Great Houdini. It starts with his back story, and how he came to great fame and getting into the magician business. Houdini is still recognized as one of historys greatest magicians. This man was one who could walk through brick walls and, with a snap of his fingers, vanish elephants.He was a magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him! He shucked off handcuffs a ...more
Bonnie McEwan
May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading about Harry. He was one of those men driven to accomplish his goals. I was surprised (and somewhat disappointed) that they were able to write such detail about his life without exposing the secrets of any of his magic tricks. I had been hoping to learn how to disappear. I had read about the circumstances of his death in the past, and in reading this account, I was reminded of how unnecessary and premature it was. I wonder what other magic tricks we would be enjoying today if he ...more
Abdulla Almana
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Harry Houdini's grand illusions and daring, spectacular escape acts made him one of the most famous magicians of all time. Houdini wanted to be the most spectacular escaper ever in history and he was successful, but his wealth of money kept him being pushed down. So one day he started practicing his skills. Then he got much better by practicing everyday and he was is now known as the best escaper ever.
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really interesting non-fiction from a writer whose fiction I like. The topic is interesting anyway, but Fleischman knows how to spin a biography into an adventurous story. Good especially for kids who have to read a biography and don't know what to choose.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
pretty good........... kind boring after a hwile
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I am a lover of Houdini, especially his spiritualist-busting. This is a good and lively primer.
Nick Boudreau
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
It was good but I would rather read it on my own time. It explains Houdini's life very well.
Brandon Egress
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini" is a book that kept me intrigued all the way from the beginning to end. For me, I didn't find myself getting lost at anytime. The book, overall, was a very pleasing and informing novel that I could not get enough of. I would recommend this book to anyone who's interested in the history of magic, the life of Houdini, or anyone looking for quick and simple read. I would also recommend this book to younger children as well as people who love the history of ...more
3.5 / 5

The premise is that this book is a biography of Harry Houdini, as penned by (fiction) author and fellow magician Sid Fleischman.

- The book provides insight into both the legend and the reality of Houdini, demystifying some secrets (like his place of birth), but leaving others alone (like how Houdini actually accomplished his tricks)
- The author is up-front about when he is putting words in Houdini's mouth
- The book is an easy listen, breezing by at about three and a half hours
- The
Brett Carrier
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
In this book, you will hear about the many life challenges and success Harry Houdini dealt with. Houdini left from home and began to do magic with a friend and they were called the Brothers Houdini. As they performed it became clear that they were not successful and Hary’s partner left, so it was all him. He did trick such as taking of handcuffs with no key, while the audience was impressed, Harry had to think of new and more dangerous tricks to keep the audience interested in his magic. One of ...more
Richie Partington
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
17 April 2006 ESCAPE: THE STORY OF THE GREAT HOUDINI by Sid Fleischman, Greenwillow, July 2006, ISBN: 0-06-085094-9; Libr. ISBN: 0-06-085095-7

The first time I recall coming in contact with magic of any sort, I was a young child who had just walked across the street to a little girl's birthday party. Upon my arrival, a smiling clown greeted me in the driveway by holding up a flower that proceeded to squirt a stream of blue ink all over my brand new white dress shirt. Before anyone in attendance
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sid Fleischman (1920-2010) was mainly a childrens' book author and this book published in 2006 is for Young Adults. But I learned a lot of things in this book about Ehrich Weiss, the man who became known as Houdini. Fleischman was a professional magician who actually befriended Houdini's widow, Bess, when he was a teenager. Needless to say, Fleischman gained some insights into the man Houdini. This book serves as an homage to his hero, but the author also seeks to debunk myths that surround the ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
The hero-worship of the author is evident on every page. Not having known anything about Houdini before reading, this book was informative enough if not entertaining. The author seems to take for granted that his audience will naturally be excited by Houdini's escapes without enticing any drama or fear int he narrative. I would recommend this book to someone already interested in magic. The rest of us would benefit from a more narrative retelling.
Krista Fitzpatrick
Reading Olympics 2018. A little too much flair for a biography for me. I felt the author's writing style got in the way of the story. However, Fleischman is the perfect author for this story. Houdini's life is very interesting, and he was a fascinating performer. There are some terrific pictures throughout the book.
James Biser
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a great read about one of the best showmen and "escape artists" who ever lived. Although none of the clever man's true secrets of the act are revealed, readers of this are able to come to know the great Houdini better than the showman would allow any spectator of his own day to be so privileged. This is a great biography of one of the most secretive celebrities who has ever been.
Luke Johnson
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Though it rightfully classifies as a "Junior" piece of work, Sid Fleischman recounts a brief and yet highly interesting survey of the life of the man known as Houdini. Though I would in no way claim to be a Houdini expert I learned a lot from this brief work, some of which I found quite surprising. If you're looking for a brief overview of the life of the magician, I'd highly recommend this.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Seth read this one for Reading Olympics and he shared so many cool facts and crazy stories with me, I had to read it! Houdini was an amazing showman, an extremely hard-working person, and a man with vision. It is a shame he let something as stupid as appendicitis kill him young, when he had defied death in quite seriously thousands of ways!
Cool non-fiction read
Nov 06, 2016 added it
Shelves: history, biography
3.5 Stars. I've always been fascinated by the man, 'The Great Houdini' and this biography was well written filled with direct quotes from the great man himself. I would highly recommend it for anyone who has ever been interested in magic or Houdini.
I am normally not a very big fan of biographies, but I did enjoy this one. It was easy to read and was enjoyable to read. The author has a nice way of telling interesting facts and stories about Houdini that are personable as opposed to dry and dull like a lot of biographies bog down into.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: floab-challenge
Detailed story of Harry Houdini. I learned things I didn't know before and enjoyed the writing style.
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As a children's book author Sid Fleischman felt a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With almost 60 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will m ...more