The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick

My wife and I took turns reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret to our son as a bedtime story. We all really liked it, and I wanted to read more by Brian Selznick. On a regular trip to the library I decided to see what they had in for Selznick. Honestly I was really hoping they had his newer one Wonderstruck, but I saw this and figured my son would love anything having to do with magic.

This is a lot shorter than it looks. Like Invention of Hugo Cabret there are words and pictures throughout the book, and I do enjoy his illustrations. The story takes up a little over half of the book. The other half of the book is a brief history of Houdini and how this book came to be published. Both were very interesting, and I enjoyed them, but my 4 year old couldn't care less.

The story is a good one. Victor is a young boy who hero worships Houdini. In a brief moment  in a train station he meets his idol and asks as many questions as he can. If I elaborate any more I will give away the whole story.  

This was a good book that my son and I enjoyed. I will give this three out of five stars for the simple fact that I wanted more. Be warned, I will not spoil anything, but the ending leaves you hanging. I turned the page expecting more and that was it. There could have been a good deal more to the story that would have made this a higher rated title in my mind.


  1. This sounds like a book that I would have loved as a child because I was fascinated by Houdini ever since seeing the film about him with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh (later more popularly known as the parents of Jamie Lee Curtis). If the interior illustrations are anything like the cover, I'd like them too. My guess is that it's a bit advanced for the little man.

    1. It was perfect for him. He didn't care for the biography at the end but he loved the story. I have been a fan of magic since I was little.

  2. I enjoyed it, though I too was surprised at how short it was. I *still* need to read The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

  3. The invention of Hugo Cabret was really good and we all really enjoyed it. The movie was also really good and it held to the book pretty well. Hope you enjoy the book when you get to it.


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