The Amazing Harry Kellar: Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow.
I'm covering all the books on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults list of vetted nominations. Here' the next one!
Harry Kellar was amazingly famous in his time, one of the world's first superstars, but outside of magic circles, he's almost entirely unknown today.
The large, heavily illustrated format of this book may want you to put it with the picture books, and younger kids will enjoy it, but I think teens will love it. It's heavily illustrated with Kellar's advertising posters. Kellar was a master at PR, and the posters don't have the same effect if they're reproduced on a smaller size.
In addition to telling Kellar's life and career, Jarrow excels at explaining why magic and spiritualism were so popular at the turn of the 19th century. She also breaks the magician's code and tells us how many of his illusions and tricks worked.
It's a fun and fascinating book, with a really cool design that will appeal to a really wide range of readers. I think it will be avoided because of its size, but take a second look, and you won't be disappointed.
Today's Nonfiction Monday Roundup is over at Abby the Librarian. Check it out!
Book Provided by... the publisher, for awards consideration.
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