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A SPOTLIGHT FOR HARRY by Eric A. Kimmel

A SPOTLIGHT FOR HARRY

By Eric A. Kimmel (Author) , Jim Madsen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85869-7
Publisher: Random House

When the circus comes, Harry, son of the town’s rabbi, is transfixed by the tightrope walker, who tops the show by hanging from his teeth. The boy picks the lock on an old barn so he and his brother can rig a makeshift tightrope. With persistence, Harry eventually manages to walk the rope, but soon things go terribly wrong. Harry, now missing two teeth, marks the advice of the circus’s tightrope walker: “Being prepared will save your life when the unexpected happens.” The undaunted Harry’s burgeoning talent comes to light when he easily escapes from handcuffs that he finds. Writing in spare, direct prose, Kimmel waits until the author’s note to reveal that these events are based on the childhood of the famous Harry Houdini. Madsen’s soft, black-and-white illustrations glow on the page and enhance the sense of time and place. Harry, though an historical figure, has just the right amount of ingenuity and adventurousness to appeal to modern readers and forward the timeless notion of keeping your eye on your dream. (author’s note) (Fiction. 7-10)