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Alexander, Lloyd.
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2002.
IL 3-6, RL 5.2
ISBN 0525470204
(3 booktalks)
Booktalk #1
Imagine stepping onto a stage and performing illusions you have so cleverly mastered; then stepping down to collect the coins that had been dropped into your hat.  After one last trick you would leave and head for the next tavern or inn.  These are things only you and I can imagine, but for Lidi, this was real.  Lidi was a great magician.  She had mastered every trick and illusion in the world, except the greatest, the rope trick.  The only person ever known to perform this amazing trick was the legendary Ferramondo.  This is why Lidi is looking for the man known as the “Fantastic Ferramondo”, so he can teach the mesmerizing trick to her.  With the help of Jericho, the canvas master, Lidi sets out on a chase for the man, but more importantly, her dreams.  Along the way, they meet the orphaned Daniella, who has the ability to tell the future; Julian, a wanted outlaw in many provinces; and Pompadora, a circus owner, with his troupe of dancing pigs.  Then a greedy man, who wants to use her abilities to make his fortune, kidnaps Daniella.  Lidi and her friends abandon their search for Ferramondo and begin their search for the child.  When their searching leads them to the province in which Julian was born, they find that all their lives are in danger.

Prepared by: Hannah Jarrett and Amanda LeBlanc for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

Booktalk #2
                    “Lidi was not easy to ignore, especially when flame shot out of her fingertips.  Also, she had an attractive smile.”
                    Those are the first lines of The Rope Trick, and these words describe Lidi, also known as Princess Lidi, a young girl who makes her living by traveling and performing magical mystifications.  Lidi’s father had died six months earlier, but Lidi isn't alone.  Her father's trusted canvasmaster, Jericho, will never leave Lidi’s side.  While performing in one town, Lidi and Jericho find two more traveling companions.  Daniella, a young orphan girl who can foresee the future becomes the Added Attraction with the traveling troupe as she begins telling fortunes to people who come to watch the magic act.  The second companion is Julian, who agrees to be the show's roustabout.  Julian is at first very secretive about why he is on the run, but he eventually tells the others why and how he has become an outlaw.
                    Although Lidi is very good at magic and can astound her viewers, she is on a journey to find the famous magician Ferramondo who can supposedly teach her the legendary Rope Trick.  Along the way, Lidi will have to deal with doubts about her own ability to succeed, an evil man who wants to kidnap Daniella, and the love she feels for Julian.  Read The Rope Trick by Lloyd Alexander to discover whether Lidi learns the Rope Trick and finds everything she wants.
(Karen Williamson,, Pickens High School, Pickens, SC)

Booktalk #3
                        Princess Lidi is not a “real” princess, at least not a tiara wearing princess, like Cinderella or Mia Thermopolis.  Lidi is a princess in her own right, a stage princess...or a magical princess.

                        No, she doesn't wear glass slippers or answer to her Grandmere, in fact, she answers to no one.  Her father died a bitter death and left Lidi to carry on the family business.  The only person she trusts is Jericho, her substitute father and guardian.  You see, Princess Lidi is a magician.  Jericho and Lidi travel through the cities of Campania, or Italy in present-day, and perform magic tricks and ruses to make money.  Along their journeys, they pick up an orphan who has been beaten, Daniella, and they discover her knack for predicting the future.  Daniella becomes a member of their “family” and will be a key character in what happens down the road, literally.

                        Lidi is on a quest for the great magician, Ferramondo, who will teach her the ultimate ruse, the rope trick, where a magician throws a rope to the ceiling and it hangs stiff enough for the person to climb and seemingly disappear.  Lidi remembers her father died without accomplishing the rope trick and she feels she has to learn it in order to be an accomplished magician.  As this small troupe travels, they meet a fugitive, Julian, who becomes important in their lives in many different ways, a carnival master, Pompodorro, who herds a group of tiny pigs as his act, a greedy, ferret-like criminal, Scabbia, and several characters who help her on her adventure of finding the great magician.  Read on to discover why the rope trick is so important to Lidi, and how all characters come together to weave this magical tale.  (Michal Hope Brandon,,  Intern, Blythewood Middle School, Blythewood, SC)

SUBJECTS:     Magicians -- Fiction.
                        Magic tricks -- Fiction.
                        Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.
                        Theater -- Fiction.
                        Supernatural -- Fiction.
                        Italy -- History -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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