Like a lot of young boys, I developed a great love of magic and would perform for family and friends. Living in rural Ontario before the development of the Internet, I was limited to the books and magazines that were available, often from the public library. There wasn't the same opportunity for community and mentoring for isolated youth that's now available with Web sites and forums.
I gradually became disillusioned by the packet tricks I would purchase and the lack of substance in the magic I was practicing. I felt no sense of development. My experience was the same as many teens; magic was a hobby that I abandoned when I went to University.
Two decades later, my interest in magic was renewed. While enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program, I discovered the University's access to the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature database and the books by Victorian magicians that I had admired. As I began to read more widely, it became apparent that there was an opportunity to create magic specifically for libraries to promote literacy and library resources.
Following a year that involved writing, designing, prop-building and photography, Library Legerdemain is complete. There are ten effects, five each for individuals and groups, and I am enormously proud of the result.
As I've stated many times, I love the sight and smell and feel and sound and taste of a real book. I suspect that Michael Manchester shares my passion because he has written a book devoted to magically turning children on to the joy of reading. To achieve that end, he has clothed ten familiar effects with presentations that encourage the young whippersnappers to read.
The author's target audience isn't magicians, but teachers and library staff. What a novel, niche notion.
Mr. Manchester writes well and does a good job of teaching the material. I was pleased that he includes a bibliography that cites the sources of some of the concepts that he discusses.
I applaud any endeavor that encourages kids to read books, and possibly fall in love with section 793.8 of the library. Mr. Manchester's book is a welcomed step in the right direction.
Full review: http://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=45501