Tag Archives: Brian Selznick

Houdini: World’s Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King


This is a wonderfully written and illustrated book about the greatest magician ever. Harry Houdini, born Ehrich Weiss, used books, his imagination, and pure grit to lift himself (and his entire family) out of anonymity and poverty into lasting, world-wide renown and wealth.

We came upon this book because I read The Houdini Box to my oldest and he wanted to know the real story behind the story. The boys love this real rags-to-riches tale and are fascinated by Houdini’s tricks, especially his escapes. Their favorite escape may be how Houdini would jump (handcuffed!) off bridges in front of huge (nonpaying) crowds, free himself underwater, and swim to safety (and sell out all his remaining performances in the area). As the book puts it, if you saw this, “You remembered it for the rest of your life.”

Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator: Eric Velasquez