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Danger in the Dark: A Houdini & Nate Mystery…

Danger in the Dark: A Houdini & Nate Mystery (Houdini and Nate Mysteries) (2006)

by Tom Lalicki

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I think this book has a great plot, involving some interesting characters such as Harry Houdini. I believe the characters are well chosen, because Harry Houdini grabs my attention on this book, because I know about him. This book is based on real story, but not character. This book is about Harry Houdini and Nathaniel solving the mystery of an evil Trane. ( )
  Brackenfur | Oct 4, 2010 |
Lalicki, Tom. Danger in the Dark: A Houdini & Nate Mystery. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

In this first of a series, twelve year old Nathaniel G. Makeworthy Fuller lives in New York City in the early 1900s. He resides with his widowed mother and his also widowed, wealthy great-aunt. By chance, Nate meets the famous Houdini and soon the pair is busy attempting to expose a fraud who is trying to steal from the Great-aunt by acting as a medium. Nate escapes from several close calls, and he and Houdini are successful in spoiling the plot against his great-aunt.

Age recommendation:
This book is best suited to children between the ages of 8 to 12. It is somewhat lengthy, and has several plot twists that would likely confuse younger children. After the age of 8, many children can follow more challenging plot lines. Children in this age group also like to read about peers, especially when the characters have some independence and are involved in adventures. These children would also be more interested in the historical details about New York City and especially about Houdini.

I would do a book talk of this book to 3rd and 4th graders. I would begin by giving a brief introduction to Houdini, because some students may have never heard of him. For an extension activity, students could further research some of the “technology” used in the book (telegrams, early telephones, handsome cabs…). Students could also do more detailed research about Houdini.
  cdl | Aug 8, 2007 |
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Thirteen-year-old Nathaniel, aided by the famous magician Harry Houdini, plots to unmask a phony spirit advisor attempting to relieve the boy's great-aunt of her fortune.

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