Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic written by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

Published by Candlewick

Summary: Adele Scarsez never wanted to be ordinary. As a young woman she tried dancing and acrobatics, but they didn’t quite satisfy her desire to entertain and thrill audiences. Traveling to America, she met a young magician named Alexander Herrmann and asked him to marry her. He agreed, and Addie found her true calling as Adelaide Herrmann, magician. She performed as his assistant for many years. When he died, she knew she needed a way to keep the show going. Addie decided to learn the bullet-catching trick, a bit of magic so dangerous that magicians had been killed performing it. However, Addie succeeded, and her show continued for many years. An author’s note at the end tells a bit more about Addie, as well as how Mara Rockliff uncovered her story. 48 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros: The team that produced last year’s Mesmerized returns with another tour de force. The story is fascinating, and the illustrations and overall design of the book, with text in a variety of fonts woven in among the pictures, make this a visual feast.

Cons: I would have liked to have understood the bullet-catching trick while reading the story instead of having to go to the website given on the last page to get a description of what it was.

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