Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Houdini Box

Selznick, Brian. 1991/2008. The Houdini Box.

The Houdini Box was Brian Selznick's first book, I believe, and it has recently been republished (and updated) following the incredible success of his illustrated-novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

It's a short book. More than a picture book. Not quite a novel. Definitely fiction. (Yet not really an easy reader either.) It's an illustrated book with substance. It tells the story of a ten year old boy, Victor, who idolizes Harry Houdini, the magician and escape artist. The boy briefly meets his idol one day, is given an invitation to visit him, in fact, but on the day of the visit, he arrives only to discover that Houdini has died. He's given a mysterious box by Houdini's wife, but it's true worth is not discovered for many decades.

The strength of this one is in the illustrations. If you loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and you haven't yet read Selznick's previous works, then this one is for you.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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