Monday, June 06, 2016


Have you ever heard of any famous female magicians? Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic is a fascinating book about a currently little-known but certainly extraordinary woman. Mara Rockliff's fast-paced and engaging text and Iacopo Bruno's vibrant and larger-than-life illustrations pull young readers into Addie's exciting world of adventure, intrigue, and magic. 

Growing up, Addie was not content to fade into the background. She joined a dancing troupe and dazzled audiences at a time it was a bit shocking for women to appear onstage. When she met and fell in love with magician Alexander Hermann, it was Addie who proposed marriage to him. First, she became his assistant, helping him perform such illusions as setting her on fire and making her vanish. But when his resident acrobat goes missing, she volunteers to have him shoot her from the cannon, even though she has no training. The only trick she won't let her husband perform? The bullet-catching trick--definitely way too dangerous. 

But when the the unthinkable happens and Alexander unexpectedly passes away, the show must go on. And what better way to convince audiences to come see (gasp!) a woman perform magic than by performing the death-defying bullet-catching trick? 

This captivating picture book biography makes readers feel like a part of the action--as if they have front-row seats for the dazzling show that is Addie's life. It might even inspire some extra research to find out more about the Queen of Magic, who was famous in her own time but almost unheard of today. 

Recommended especially for readers in first through fourth grades. 

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