Oh, what an enormous amount of fun this book is! Tricky Nick – A Completely True Not-At-All Made-Up Story by the Greatest Magician in the World (Pan MacMillan 2020) is a hilarious tale by author – and actual magician – Nicholas J. Johnson.

In this awesome middle-grade book, Nick tells the amazing story of his life and how he became a magician – all of it completely true (except for the bits he’s made up). This book is chock-full of magic tricks and how to do them, an outrageous adventure story with evil baddies, time travel, good guys trying to save the world, and Nick’s very ordinary family who remain completely unaware of the prodigious talents of their son. There’s the Brotherhood of United Magicians (BUM), Trixie the mystery girl and top-secret tricks. Everything about this book will appeal to the younger reader.

But the most outstanding feature of this book – even putting aside the fact that the author actually teaches you REAL magic tricks that you can practise yourself – is the incredible VOICE. Nick narrates this memoir-style story with imagination, humour, sarcasm, wit and irony. Kids will love the adventurous narrative, the writing style and the frequently funny asides. And there are numerous moments that will have adult readers laughing out loud too. This book is seriously fun but also encompasses serious messages about confidence, friendship, belief in yourself and risk-taking. With sharp, age-appropriate dialogue, a sense of wonder and a feeling like Tricky Nick could be your new best friend, this would be a great gift for kids who love magic, boys who need some encouragement to read, girls who need reminding that they can do anything … basically any kids who love a good story! Would recommend for anyone over the age of about seven (to seventy-seven!)