Book Review: The Return of Abracadabra by Michael Dahl

imageThe Return of Abracadabra is the second book in the “Hocus Pocus Hotel” series. Once again, we join Charlie and Ty as they set off to solve mysteries in the Abracadabra Hotel. Our first mystery involves figuring out the whereabouts of a boy who stepped into a magic cabinet and disappeared during a performance by the Great Theopolis. Our heroes know the way these tricks normally work, but they are stymied when they learn that the floor underneath has been sealed. Charlie and Ty set off to question the guests, all accomplished magicians, and figure out how the secret behind the illusion.

The second part of the book involves Brack, the famous retired magician Abracadabra, challenged by the Great Theopolis to figure out how a trick was done or forfeit his hotel. The world now learns what Charlie figured out in our last book – that Brack owns the hotel and disguises himself as an elevator operator to avoid pointless challenges. Instead of being able to put on his show as he’d originally intended, Brack enlists Charlie and Ty to help him figure out how the trick was done. Charlie and Ty race around the hotel, questioning magicians and performers to attempt to save the hotel from Theopolis.

Once again, the book is gorgeously illustrated by Lisa Weber in vivid colors. The stories are well-targeted at the Elementary age reader. Several explanations are given for the illusions of magicians with nice sketches to explain all of the components involved. Posters aren’t just described, but are illustrated in full detail.

My thoughts: This is a worthy successor to the Hocus Pocus Hotel and sure to captivate young readers who have an interest in magic and mystery. My child was looking forward to this since finishing the first book and quickly devoured it when given a chance. I’d highly recommend it for younger readers.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book with no expectations on the part of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.

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