The Magician and the Spirits

By: Deborah Noyes

Almost everyone has a mental picture of Harry Houdini, the most renowned magician and escape artist of all time.But what fewer people know is that for thirty years, the master illusionist was preoccupied with things the eye can't see. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

ISBN: 9780803740181

JLG Release: Nov 2017


Sensitive Areas: Murder, Suicide
Topics: Harry Houdini (1874–1926) , Magicians , Escape artists , Spiritualism , Biography and autobiography , Games and activities , Magic , Social issues , Death and dying

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Awards & Honors

Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2017, Middle Grade
The Washington Post Best Books Children’s Books of 2017, Nonfiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine

Horn Book

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Spiritualist movement swept the nation. Noyes (Ten Days a Madwoman, rev. 1/16) uses Harry Houdini’s attempts to discredit the movement as her entry point into this intriguing phenomenon. Starting with a population reeling from loss of life during a period of high mortality and l In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Spiritualist movement swept the nation. Noyes (Ten Days a Madwoman, rev. 1/16) uses Harry Houdini’s attempts to discredit the movement as her entry point into this intriguing phenomenon. Starting with a population reeling from loss of life during a period of high mortality and large-scale events such as the Civil War, WWI, and the flu epidemic, Noyes sets the context for a vast group of people eager to contact deceased loved ones. She provides brief background on Houdini’s life and work (briefly diverting readers’ attention with Houdini’s escapist feats) before exploring her main topics. These include his friendship with Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, a staunch believer, and his attempts to unmask “flimflammers” who used a myriad of methods to trick their customers, including séances, spirit writing, knocking sounds, and visual illusions. Noyes ends on a chilling note, showing that the glamorization of the afterlife may well have led to a spate of suicides. Most chilling of all is Noyes’s (and Houdini’s) conclusion that humans, no matter how smart or educated, will, despite scientific evidence, believe in those fictions they wish to. Appended with chapter notes, a bibliography and webliography, and an index. betty carter

Book Details

ISBN

9780803740181

First Release

November 2017

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

793.8092

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Page Count

160

Accelerated Reader

Level 8.9; Points: 5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 12.9; Points: 9;

Lexile

Level 1250L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Murder, Suicide

Topics

Harry Houdini (1874–1926), Magicians, Escape artists, Spiritualism, Biography and autobiography, Games and activities, Magic, Social issues, Death and dying,

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