Australian illusionist Cosentino has a series of intermediate-middle grade novels that have hit American bookshelves, likely powered by his success on America’s Got Talent. The first book, The Missing Ace, starts off with Cosentino performing at his rundown old theatre, when an Ace of Spades – no, seriously, the Ace of Spades – runs in and begs the magic man to save him from the evil, two-headed King. Trying to be a nice guy, Cosentino gets involved… and gets tossed into a dungeon. Guess who’s going to escape?
This is an illustrated intermediate-level middle grade novel that adventure and magic fans will get a kick out of. It’s got a fairly frenetic pace, and crazy, colorful characters, not the least of whom is Cosentino, himself. Kids don’t have to know who he is to enjoy the book – he’s a magician, and the book includes oodles of magic tricks that he performs throughout his adventure; there’s a bonus card trick and illusion explanations (don’t read ’em if you don’t want to know!) at the end, and the 2-color illustrations are wacky and larger than life, with big fonts and expressive characters.
Could be a fun add to fiction collections where kids enjoy magic tricks. Show them this clip from America’s Got Talent: Champions to introduce them to Cosentino and his escapes!