Read Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman Free Online
Book Title: Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini|
The author of the book: Sid Fleischman
ISBN 13: 9780060850968
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 324 KB
Edition: Greenwillow Books
Date of issue: April 22nd 2008
Reader ratings: 8.1
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Read full description of the books Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini:
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 youthful tomes, often enhanced by illustrations and/or photographs. And it is delightful.
“Not long ago the breast pocket snipped from a man’s pajamas (initials HH monogrammed in gray) came up for auction in New York City . . . So eager was the crowd for this fragment of sleepwear that a lofty price of $3,910 was reached before the auctioneer banged his hammer and shouted. ‘Sold!’"
“ Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini” written by Newbery Medalist Sid Fleischman is case-in-point: A delightful entertaining/informative book on Ehrich Weiss (a.k.a. Harry Houdini) enhanced with rare photographs and advertisements, captivating readers of all ages.
Fleischman was fascinated by “Houdini, The World’s Handcuff King & Prison Breaker.” In his teen years, as his fascination for magic grew, he became acquainted with Houdini’s widow, Bess – a friendship that would last until her death in nineteen-forty-three. Eventually then, Fleischman went on to become a practicing prestidigitator as well as an award winning children’s author. So rather than just another book touting facts (facts that can be a bit elusive when it comes to Houdini) – “Escape!” is more like an intimate look into the Houdini family photo album and diary. And to think, Fleischman wrote this in his eighties. Amazing!
“While a few contemporary magicians scoff at Houdini’s abilities as a magician, all concede that he had genius as a showman. When the escapist dangled upside down in a straitjacket from the top of an office building, a stampede to the box office followed. That was showmanship.”
Born Jewish, Hungarian and poor, Houdini set his sights on applauding greatness, becoming a self-made showman. And like all showmen, he insisted on being the king of his forte hill. Whatever the illusion: disappearing elephants, walking through walls, escaping from chains, needle threading/swallowing, the Miser’s Dream, movie stunts or airplane gimmicks, Houdini insisted on out-besting his contenders. Mudslinging challengers kept the eccentric Houdini on his ego-driven toes to create ever more mystic acts of danger and intrigue that couldn't be easily duplicated.
And being paid handsomely, up to $5,000 per week, the great escape artist could afford to be quite the collector of books and oddities: “. . . he emptied his pockets to buy expensive books, historic documents, Lincoln autographs, and treasures that interested him, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s writing desk. His 5,000 book collection had become so large that he was obliged to put a full-time librarian in New York on his payroll.”
Yes – a fun, eccentric good read – four inescapable stars.
Read information about the authorAs 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 make a special impact.
Sid Fleischman wrote his books at a huge table cluttered with projects: story ideas, library books, research, letters, notes, pens, pencils, and a computer. He lived in an old-fashioned, two-story house full of creaks and character, and enjoys hearing the sound of the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Fleischman passed away after a battle with cancer on March 17, 2010, the day after his ninetieth birthday.
He was the father of Newbery Medal winning writer and poet Paul Fleischman, author of Joyful Noise; they are the only father and son to receive Newbery awards.
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