Young Houdini: The Magician’s Fire

‘Fiendishly fast paced’ says the press release, and this new book from Simon Nicholson does not disappoint. His television writing credentials (from ‘Tracy Beaker’ to ‘Timmy Time’, ‘Bob the Builder’ to ‘Tickety Toc’) stand to him as the action explodes from the very first chapter, where an imagined young Harry Houdini lies tied to a track in front of an oncoming train. In this fictional adventure of young Harry’s life, we see the Hungarian immigrant having adjusted to life in a new country, practising his magic tricks whilst making ends meet as a shoe shine boy. There’s action and adventure as Harry and pals Billie and Arthur join together to rescue a well-known magician from villainous kidnappers. The friendship between Harry, Billie and Arthur is well-depicted, as is the relationship between Harry and his mentor, Herbie. The characters are well drawn and likeable, and readers will be sucked into the narrative from the very first sentence. Using a famous personality from history is sure to arouse interest in the legend surrounding Houdini and the fantastic adventures depicted in this series will keep readers enthralled, and waiting for the next instalment.