Thursday, May 7, 2020

Choosing Houdini

Last week saw the release of Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Harry Houdini by Katherine Factor. This is a spy-themed spinoff of the popular Choose Your Own Adventure series of books, and the first to feature the Handcuff King.

I have mixed feelings about this one as I'm generally put off by anything that furthers the notion that Houdini was a spy (check out my FAQs for my take on this). However, the cover art by Mia Marie Overgaard is fantastic, as are the interior illustrations by Eoin Coveney, and the author is a nice person who has crafted a fun and unique reading experience. So I'm happy to add this to the shelf.

Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Harry Houdini by Katherine Factor puts YOU in the shoes of America’s first famous magician, Harry Houdini, also known as “The King of Cuffs.” 9-12 year old readers will enchant audiences across the United States with death-defying stunts, live escapes, and thrilling face-offs with local police. 
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Harry Houdini is an interactive adventure book in which YOU decide what happens next. 
You are a famous magician. You are known to challenge local police to defy your skills by locking you up. Reporters follow this story, and so do jealous rivals. But one follower of your magic act has a serious request: with all of your sleight of hand and intelligence, will you, Harry Houdini, the famous magician, become a spy to learn information abroad and help the United States? 

You can purchase Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Harry Houdini at and



  1. I love this illustration - a fine interpretation of the unique Houdini photo on which it's clearly based.

    1. If you click the Amazon preview you can see some of the interior illustrations as well. It's one thing I've always loved about HH books aimed at kids -- the illustrations.

    2. Thanks for the heads-up, John. I just took a look and that too was a pleasant surprise. I love plain line drawings, and these remind me of an illustration style you'd often see in old publications. So I need to get this book!