The Abracadabra Kid by Sid Fleischman
A Writer's Life

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The man with the spats rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to pluck a polished red billiard ball out of thin air. Presto! It vanished. Abracadabra! It reappeared. It turned white. it blushed red again. VoiIá! Suddenly there were four billiard balls between this amazing man's fingers.

I was stunned. All of this was happening right under my nose. And there was more. He flipped the deck into falling waterfalls of cards, spun them into fans, and thrust a sword through a shower of cards to impale the seven of diamonds -- selected a moment before.

I was dazzled. The moment he finished his act and ushered us gawkers back onto the sidewalk, I knew what I wanted to be. Someone else could be president of the United States.

I wanted to be a magician.


About Sid Fleischman

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Sid Fleischman wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his wasted youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid. His other titles include The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, a novel, and three biographies, Sir Charlie: Chaplin, The Funniest Man in the World; The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West; and Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.
Published September 16, 1996 by Greenwillow Books. 208 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Subtitled "A Writer's Life," this is a lively self-portrait of the writer as a young magician turned conjurer of "literary magic tricks."

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Publishers Weekly

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""In this funny, poignant, insightful and thoroughly entertaining autobiography, [Fleischman] proves himself an effortless raconteur, possessed of a rapid-fire wit,"" said PW, in a starred review of the Newbery Medalist's memoirs.

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Publishers Weekly

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Born in 1920, Fleischman's life in fact has been remarkable, touched by such major events as the Depression (during which he got his first job, fresh out of high school, as a magician) and WWII, where he served in the Navy (""I liked the idea even in war of sleeping between clean white sheets,"" ...

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