Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Mara Rockliff
Illustrator: Iacopo Bruno
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780763668419
Pages: 48

Addie never wanted to be ordinary. Even though it shocks her family (and several other people), she went on the stage and performed as a dancer and bicyclist. On her way to America, she met a man named Alexander, but he was known as the famous magician Herrmann the Great. They decide to get married and she joins him in his performances onstage doing magic and even getting shot out of a cannon. When her husband dies, she decides to take the show into her own hands and become the first woman magician. To get people to come, she does the very dangerous, potentially fatal bullet-catching trick. 

Known as the Queen of Magic, Adelaide Herrmann shocked audiences as one of the first female magicians. Her story disappeared for many years, but recently her memoir has reappeared and this picture book was created to help tell her story. While it’s not a great introduction to magic and magicians, it does talk about the famous bullet-catching trick and a link at the back gives readers a place to go if they want to know how it is done. The book emphasizes a woman who does what she’s passionate about even when society tells her that she shouldn’t. The gorgeous illustrations reflect the styles of the time and pull in readers. More information about Addie and her life can be found in the back of the book. This beautiful book is a fun way to learn about a woman who took her own path to becoming one of the world’s first female magicians.