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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Sim Sala Bim!


Do you recognize those famous words?  They are all phrases magicians say right before the magic happens.  "National Magic Week" is celebrated during the week of October 25 to October 31.  For more than forty years the Society of American Magicians has been honoring the life of their most famous member, Harry Houdini, with a special "MAGIC WEEK" throughout the United States and Canada.  Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926, which is why the society chose this particular week to celebrate magic.  Many magicians throughout the United States perform for free during this time at schools, hospitals, nursing homes and libraries so people who may not normally get to attend a show can enjoy magic!

Harry Houdini is an interesting fellow to learn about.  He was born in Hungary but grew up in Magic Tree House series went on an adventure with Harry in "Hurry Up, Houdini!"
Appleton, Wisconsin.  He became a master of illusion and a famous escape artist.  His most legendary
act was the Chinese Water Torture Cell.  Houdini would be lowered upside-down in a locked glass cabinet filled with water.  He had to hold his breath for more than three minutes to escape.  Do NOT try that at home!  Even Jack and Annie from the

One of this year's Bluestem nominee books is about a boy who practices magic.  It's entitled Dorko the Magnificent and I think that it is a magnificent piece of writing.  It's the story of Robbie Dorko who tries to do magic like an old-school magician, you know the ones who pull rabbits out of hats or turn their magic wands into a bouquet of flowers.  Except that he is not always good at magic.  Robbie later learns that his cranky Grandma Melyvn was an internationally renowned magician.  Slowly she starts to teach him how to be really good at magic and they develop an interesting relationship (oh, and the magic is good too!).

The library has some great books to help you learn how to do magic.  There's a first-timer's guide to help you with coin and card tricks.  So next time you are at the library, come in and disappear into the 793.8 section of nonfiction.  I can't wait to see what magic tricks you learn to perform.  Maybe one day you'll become the next Harry Houdini!

Harry Houdini Biographics
Magic Tricks Books
DVDs about magicHarry Houdini, magic tricks, National Magic Week


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