Gr 4-6-This well-researched book is full of interesting facts, but there is nothing in the format or in the writing that brings Houdini to life for young readers. Rau wisely introduces her subject in the midst of one of his most famous tricks, performed before a crowd of 20,000 people. Wearing a straightjacket, Houdini dangled five stories above the street and disentangled himself from his bonds. The author traces his life from his birth in Budapest to his early years as a breadwinner. Readers will discover that money was an issue for the performer throughout his career and that life on the road was not easy. The careful records that Houdini kept are part of the basis for this book and many of his tricks are explained, but not well enough to be replicated. Rau clearly points out that Houdini was not just a master magician but also a master of illusion. A useful resource for reports.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.