The Amazing Harry Kellar, Great American Magician

Magic enthusiasts: a new release on “The Amazing Harry Kellar, Great American Magician” by Gail Jarrow. Structured as a children’s book, it features a flowing narrative and  a collection of posters that make for a rich visual presentation of Kellar’s life. Look for David Ben’s review of the book in a future issue of Magicol.

Here’s a synopsis from the author, Gail Jarrow’s website:
Presenting the amazing Harry Kellar! The most well-known American magician at the turn of the twentieth century! The model for the Wizard of Oz!

Kellar performed on six continents and was the first American-born magician to achieve international fame. He could make a man disappear, levitate a woman, and decapitate himself. Audiences loved him.

This biography of Kellar (1849-1922) follows the great illusionist from his days as a magician’s assistant during the Civil War to his travels as an international superstar. Kellar entertained emperors, kings, presidents, and thousands of children and their parents.

What Reviewers Say:

  • “Jarrow includes just the right mix of biographical information, anecdotes, and descriptions of the performer’s illusions…An excellent example of nonfiction that is readable, visually appealing, and well researched.” ~ School Library Journal
  • “Though it’s loaded with photographs, the real visual treats here are the dozens of reproduced posters used to advertise Kellar’s shows.” ~ Booklist
  • “Jarrow’s book is fun and engaging–reading it is kind of like going to a magic show. Each section begins with a full page color promotional poster from Kellar’s performances.” ~
  • “The Amazing Harry Kellar, Great American Magician is a fantastic book for young readers, adults, and especially magicians. It would certainly make a great gift for anyone interested in magic or interested in the history of the theatre or entertainment.” ~ Dean Carnegie,
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