Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. AKA Houdini: Book Review

After a school visit from an author, John Smith, Jr. (nickname Houdini), decides to write his own book. At first, he wants to write to make money and because Houdini thinks his life is more interesting than the kid in the author's book. He develops a list of rules to guide him in his writing endeavor which include: Rule #9. Put in a few comic scenes. (Yes, kids to like to laugh and there are some hilarious moments in this book.) Rule #7: Include a moral dilemma for your characters (Houdini definitely creates some poignant moments with this rule.)

While Houdini writes about his life with his friends starting a leaf raking business, befriending a war vet and trying to get even with the school bully, Angel, he realizes some things are hard write about, much less think about. How do you write about the pain of your brother, Franklin, missing in Iraq or the possibility of your father losing his job?

When Houdini has to think about his friends and family, he gets to know them in deep and touching ways. Author, Peter Johnson, effectively captures the authentic male middle school voice in a stirring story mixed with just the right amount of humor.

If you don't believe in magic, you will after reading The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. AKA Houdini. Highly Recommended ages 8 and up, but will especially appeal to the upper middle grade ages of 10-14.

Publishing information
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (January 24, 2012)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0061988901, ISBN-13: 978-0061988905
To purchase this book, visit the following retailers.

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**Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher at no charge for review purposes only. This in no way influenced my opinion about the book.


rj7777 said...

My nephew would like that he can relate to this age group. It seems to have some drama to keep him interested in it. I think he would like it. Rita Spratlen rjspratlen@gmail.com

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