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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Based on a true World War II story, Isaiah Campbell tells a charming mystery about a mishap at a magic show at a POW camp—featuring magic how-to diagrams throughout.

Try as she might, cheeky middle schooler Maxine Larousse (you may call her Max “La Roo” or The Amazing Max, if you’d like) has yet to learn the one magic trick she needs the most: how to reappear in New York Ci
Published November 8th 2016 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  34 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Stephanie Molnar
I know it's a kids book and shouldn't be taken too seriously, but the plot in this book was pretty hard to believe. Yes, it's based on a true story, but all of the elaborations were too much. The scenes too complicated to elaborate on were commented on as past events in a paragraph at most, which was a shame. If the main conflicts are too complicated to explain, then don't make them the main conflicts. Some of this language was a little too hard for this age group to undetstand--there are adults ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What the book's about: Middle-schooler and budding magician Maxine Larousse (aka "The Amazing Max") moved from New York City to Texas when her father, Major Larousse was put in charge of a Nazi POW camp in Abilene. She wiles away her time in her desolate new town by practicing her illusions and putting on magic shows for her ferret, Houdini.

When Maxine puts on a magic show for the Nazi prisoners, the performance is a hit -- until 12 prisoners escape during the final act. Can Maxine track them do
Jessica Lawson
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy twists-and-turns, Batman! Isaiah Campbell has done it again~ taken a historic time period and setting full of tension and prejudice and conflict, and filled it with authentic characters who have adventures that will make you cheer, hold your breath, get uncomfortable, get angry, and more than anything else, keep you turning those pages to see what happens. And the magic! I love magic and am terrible at performing magic tricks, but Max's story gave me another urge to try out Ye Olde Card Tri ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it less the more I read. At first it was quirky, fun, and humorous. But then the characters acted far too grown-up for eleven-year-olds. And there were too many references to smoking, drinking, and relationships. Overall it wasn't an age-appropriate book. But it was a very interesting take on a WW2 story--different perspective, different location (Texas POW camp), different that what you'd expect.

Favorite quote:
"You can't be hurt by that which you do not see happen."

Linda George
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was quite surprised to learn that Nazis were brought to the US-Texas-and that they lived and even worked in the community. This book is about a young gal who is quite an accomplished magician and how a magic trick during her big show caused quite a situation for her father, the Major in charge of the prison camp.
Review copy provided by NetGalley

This was a surprising book, both funny and insightful, the sort of book that makes a person think and laugh and think and laugh some more. There aren't many books that can bring together Nazis and child magicians and POW camps still keep the experience light without making the whole thing seem insincere. Still, this book manages to accomplish the unlikely task, and leave this reader feeling satisfied. I think the greatest strength that the author exhibits is his
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Campbell, Isaiah AbrakaPOW, 391 pages. Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2016. $17. Language: G (0 swears 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13.

Max is a amateur magician who moves with her mother and father from Brooklyn to Texas. Her father works for the army during World War II and is put in charge of a P.O.W. camp. Max becomes enemies with a trio of girls and joins The Gremlins, a group of social misfits, and befriends a Nazi prisoner named Felix. When her father offers her a
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Abrakapow started a little slow but gathered speed until the end is racing. I loved the setting with the little-known fact of a POW camp in Abilene, TX. The magic tricks should prove fun for the kids to try, but the basis of the book empowers tweens to grow their friendships, step up to bullying, and stretch themselves to work through problems all while having lots of fun solving the mystery. It is a great read and I can't wait to took talk it to my students. ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What did I even just read? Constant racism, defending Nazis. and completely unbelievable action through the whole book.

To read the full review (with huge spoilers) check it out here.
Cindy Hudson
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What happens when you take a true story of German prisoners held at a camp in Texas in 1944 and add in an 11-year-old girl magician? The result is Abrakapow, a wholly entertaining novel for young readers by Isaiah Campbell.

The story centers around The Amazing Max, a girl who moves with her mom from New York City to Abilene, Texas, to be near Max’s dad, who is in charge of the prisoner of war camp. With World War II being fought against Hitler and the Nazis, anti-German sentiment is high. Still,
T.J. Burns
I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ...more
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Isaiah was born and bred in Texas, and he has the cowboy hat to prove it. Not that he’d actually WEAR the cowboy hat, but he keeps it in case anyone needs proof. He spent his childhood reading a blend of Dickens, Dumas, and Stan Lee, and he dreamed his whole life of becoming a writer. And also of being bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately, only one dream has panned out.

For the last 15 ye

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