Questions people never ask:
“Officer, I do a little law enforcement myself. Any book recommendations to learn more stuff?”
“Hey, you up there on the pole! I’ve always been interested in electricity. Any books you can recommend on putting up my own power lines?”
Questions I hear frequently:
“I’d like to learn some magic. How can I do that?”
“I do a few card tricks. Where can I learn more?”
For these questions I have answers.
Please keep in mind, my age guides are arbitrary and uninformed, meaning while I’m informed about the book, I don’t know you or your child. Take advantage of the Amazon “Look Inside” feature and judge for yourself.
Also, this list is far from exhaustive. Even though I have seven kids, including six sons ages four to thirteen, my collection of beginner magic books isn’t huge. Why? Well, when my kids want to learn magic, they have the Book of Their Dad (includes a Fool Us trophy), and my personal magic library that’s about a thousand books strong.
For parents of the younger than twelve year old child:
Big Magic for Little Hands: 25 Astounding Illusions for Young Magicians by Joshua Jay
Spend some time with your kid. Get a little artsy and crafty. A great book, well-produced and targeted for the younger set.
For parents of the twelve year old & older child:
A Book of Magic for Young Magicians: The Secrets of Alkazar by Allan Zola Kronzek
An underrated classic! It not only teaches several great tricks, but it shares the psychology behind the tricks. Highest recommendation.
Magic: The Complete Course by Joshua Jay
Good stuff! Even comes with a DVD. This would be great for any kid to find gift wrapped under the tree or by the birthday cake. Josh is an old friend and he does good work.
Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson
Decades old, it was the first primer for thousands of magicians. At 472 pages, it’s downright encyclopedic. Highest recommendation.
Magic For Dummies by David Pogue
Forget the “for dummies” tag. This book has some great stuff in it delivered in the now well- known “Dummies” humorous style.
So you want to learn some sleight of hand, do you? For teens and older:
The Magic Book: The Complete Beginners Guide to Anytime, Anywhere Close-Up Magic by Harry Lorayne
Harry Lorayne is a living legend amongst sleight of hand magicians for his dozens of books on card sleight of hand. This is his book for the non-magician public to bring them onboard. Highest recommendation.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t!: Lessons in Sleight of Hand by Bill Tarr
Great magic primer with a wide variety of material. Keep in mind, this book was written over 40 years ago and like many magic books of its vintage (like the next one), teaches sleight of hand with cigarettes.
And finally …
The Amateur Magicians Handbook by Henry Hay
I received this book for my 12th birthday and it’s the book that started not only myself, but generations of magicians on this path. Not as slickly produced as the other books mentioned (it was written in 1950!) its power to inspire is unmatched.
Hope these suggestions help. If you have questions, you can reach me via the contact form on this site.