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The Accelerati Trilogy Book One Tesla's Attic Hardcover – February 11, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The Accelerati Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423148037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423148036
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–8—People flocked to Nick Slate's garage sale to buy up the junk found in the old Victorian house in Colorado Springs that his father inherited. In fact, an oversized stage light shone out into the rain, compelling neighbors to pay top dollar for gadgets, toys, and appliances. The 14-year-old is dumbfounded to learn that some of the items his classmates bought have peculiar features, such as Caitlin's reel-to-reel tape machine that records what she says, but plays back what she thinks-even embarrassing truths. Mitch's See 'n Say gadget predicts the future, and Vince's wet-cell electrodes can reanimate dead insects. Even Nick's brother, Danny, finds an old baseball glove that can change the arc of trajectory to catch any ball or flying sphere, making quite a spectacle at his baseball game. When sinister-looking men in pastel suits show up looking for the items, Nick and his new friends believe they are part of a group of scientists called the Accelerati and the teens must figure out the connection to Nikola Tesla, a contemporary of Thomas Edison's who once lived in Nick's house. Scientific details explain the basis for the far-fetched happenings, allowing readers to suspend their disbelief. The peril faced by this likable group of teens trying to keep Tesla's gadgets safe will keep mystery fans waiting anxiously for the next installment.—Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland

From Booklist

Everything changed after the toaster hit Nick on the head. It fell from an attic full of junk in the ramshackle Victorian house in Colorado Springs that 14-year-old Nick, his father, and younger brother have moved into from Tampa. Nick disposes of most of the things in the attic at a garage sale. What begins as a story about an adolescent boy coming to terms with his mother’s death—and his guilt about the house fire that took her—quickly takes a turn for the supernatural and sinister as Nick discovers that the items he sold are the magical inventions of Nikola Tesla. And he must recover them before they fall into the hands of a murderous secret society, the Accelerati. The first entry in a planned trilogy, this collaboration between Shusterman and Elfman tempers the scarier elements of Nick’s quest with deft, humorous writing and plenty of the ordinary adventures of a new kid in school finding his niche. Hand this one to fans of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles or Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn (2004). Grades 5-7. --Magan Szwarek

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Can't wait until the next two books of the trilogy come out.
Charlie F
Expect a small cliffhanger at the end which will make you want to read the next one right away.
I recommend this to YA readers who enjoy a laugh with their action/suspense.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Tesla's Attic is a smart, well written, and enjoyable adventure novel for tweens/young teens. The characters are unique, interesting, and well fleshed out. The plot moves well, with many bon mots and quips and an overall mystery to keep readers hooked.

Plot: Nick and his family move to Colorado Springs, Colorado after the death of his mother in a house fire. They've inherited a quirky relative's old house and in the attic are some very unusual deco-era electrical devices. After a garage sale selling them to make money, mysterious things begin to happen, all centered around the objects from the attic. Strange men show up and Nick, along with new friends, are suddenly faced with a very big mystery and a big adventure.

Though the characters are middle school aged, they seem much more grounded and older. I also appreciated that we don't have insta love among the two main characters, Nick and his neighbor Caitlin. All of the characters are very relatable and there are some surprising and interesting events in and out of the school. I enjoyed the mystery and how the author let it unfold slowly and in its own pace.

My quandary with this review is that I read the first 6 chapters to my 11 year old and she didn't get into the book at all and asked for a different one. I read it cover to cover myself, however, and thought it was excellent. So I am going to rate this a solid four stars since I'm going to assume it just wasn't her type of book/she was a bit too young to relate to 14 year olds yet. I had read her recently a book with similarly aged characters, "Turn Left At The Cow," and she had enjoyed that so I was very surprised she couldn't get into this. She said it was just too weird and too violent. I will come back to this again with her in 2-3 years.

Received as an ARC
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenajo on February 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Young teens and even older pre-teens will relate to this fast paced story involving various personalities that contribute to the story. Nick deals with the loss of his mother, a move across the country, and being the dreaded new kid at school. The previous tenant of the home, Nick’s uncle, left many odd inventions for Nick to analyze before they change his life forever. Nick has to understand the entire cast of characters, while attempting to evade the villains that he does not know or understand.

Great fun read with rapid action and lots of twists and turns. I recommend this to YA readers who enjoy a laugh with their action/suspense.

Late elementary science teachers could use this for an extra credit assignment, requiring the reader to analyze a few of the inventions.

I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Write Edge on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A teenager moves to a new town after leaving behind a devastating tragedy. When he starts to settle into his new home, however, he realizes that the house holds a bevy of secrets. The problem? He sold most of them in a garage sale, and if he wants his life to go back to normal he’ll have to get those items back. Authors Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman offer middle grade readers this smart, funny, innovative plot in Tesla’s Attic, Book 1 of The Accelerati Trilogy.

Nick Slate, his younger brother, and his father, a former baseball player, move to Colorado Springs after a terrible fire destroys their home in Florida. The fire also claimed the life of Nick’s mother, and the family of three spends its days trying to cope with the loss as they also try to adjust to Colorado. On the day they move into their new house—a home bequeathed to them by the mysterious Great-aunt Greta—Nick pulls down the spring-loaded ladder to the attic and gets smacked in the head by a toaster. He realizes the toaster belongs to a collection of odd items stored in the attic, and because he knows every penny can help his father (who doesn’t have a job in Colorado yet) Nick suggests a garage sale.

The sale goes well—so well, in fact, that Nick begins to wonder whether something is wrong. He meets some new friends and they share their weird experiences with the items they bought from him, and Nick’s hunch becomes stronger. When some mysterious men show up repeatedly asking for the items, Nick knows for sure that the items from the attic don’t just represent a compilation of life’s odds and ends.

Nick and his new friends find out that the items belonged to famed scientist Nikola Tesla.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PeaTee TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
TESLA'S ATTIC is a smart, entertaining read from Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman, and Disney-Hyperion. (Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an advanced copy)

It's a book that could have been written by Dan Brown, if he had Douglas Adam's brilliant sense of humor and ability to create engaging characters who have a wickedly sharp understanding of how the middle-school world churns.

As he looked around at this boneyard
of uselessness, Nick Slate had a simple idea.
An idea that would not only change the direction
of his life, but the very course of human existence.

He would hold a garage sale.

After loosing his mother in a horrible house fire, Nick and his brother and father move from Florida to Colorado Springs where they take up residence in a weird old house. In the attic there are a bunch of devices which they believe are junk. Shortly after they sell them at a garage sale, it becomes apparent that they are anything but junk. They are, in fact, brilliant devices created by none other than Nikola Tesla, the famous physicist/inventor.

In some ways this story is familiar. It's like other middle-grade books were there is a group of young teens that find themselves facing off against an ancient organization of bad guys.

But there's also a significant difference. And that is that Shusterman and Elfman do it right. TESLA'S ATTIC is intelligent and carefully plotted. They create imperfect characters and give them time to explain and express themselves.

The authors also just have fun with the whole concept, so that I think I laughed more at the jokes in this book than any other book I've read this year.
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