Book Review: The Magician's Fire by Simon Nicholson

The Magician's Fire is the first book in the Young Houdini series by Simon Nicholson. Manhattan was a tough place for kids in 1886, especially when you are alone or feel that you are. Young Houdini spends his days practicing magic tricks with his two best friends, Arthur and Billie. At least when he is not making enough money to pay for his room and to eat. But when Harry's magical mentor, Herbie, disappears after a performance at the theater, the three friends band together, determined to rescue the beloved magician. With nothing more than a mysterious puff of purple smoke, an ominous threat, and a menacing Bulgarian for evidence, Harry, Arthur, and Billie embark on a dangerously thrilling investigation that pushes their skill, and friendship, to the limits. Can Harry find Herbie and learn what it means to be a true friend before it's too late? 

The Magician’s Fire is an action packed mystery for the middle grade set. Harry is a shoeshine boy with a keen eye for magic and fine details. Billie works in a glue factory, and is very street smart and practical. Arthur has a father that pretty much ignores him, and has emerged himself in books, making him very smart and a great researcher. Together they make a fabulous team for creating and pulling of new magic stunts and for solving mysteries. However, astray search for Herbie and face the dangers of that mystery, they also face issues of trust and friendship. The combination makes for a great read, full of action and puzzling out who the culprit is and how the friends will come together to save the day. 

I would highly recommend The Magician’s Fire to all middle grade readers because there is a little something for everyone. It is historical fiction, mystery, action adventure, coming of age and magical read.  

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