The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr., A.K.A. Houdini

Written by by Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson has perfectly captured the soul of a 13 year-old in his book, The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr. aka Houdini. When an author comes to his school with writing advice, Houdini decides to write a novel about his daily life. He uses the tips from the author, but what transpires is his awakening to his world around him as he concentrates on characters and plot. I was transported to Houdini’s Rhode Island lower middle class neighborhood and felt that I knew his close-knit family, friends, enemies, and strange neighbor, Old Man Jackson. The revelations that come to Houdini (and me as well) totally change his life for the better. Although younger readers may focus on the little bit of language and a few subplots, older readers will see how these are not gratuitious, but used to flesh out an honest story and have a purpose. This is one magical, amazing story!

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elem. School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-8


peterjohnsonya.com

The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr., A.K.A. Houdini
Written by by Peter Johnson
Harper
168 pages
Release Date: January 24, 2012
ISBN: 9780061988905 (hardcover)

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