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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself [Hardcover]

Bob Pflugfelder , Steve Hockensmith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—Twins Nick and Tesla are sent to stay with their uncle while their parents travel abroad. Uncle Newt is a mad scientist, which suits the kids, who are both science enthusiasts. When they make a rocket that lands in the yard of a creepy house, they discover that not only are the grounds protected by Rottweilers, but there's a girl on the second floor who urges them to leave. Meeting up with neighborhood kids DeMarco and Silas, they investigate and find a suspicious SUV following them and a nefarious plot they help to foil. Narrator MacLeod Andrews does a terrific job fully voicing this adventure, making the twins distinguishable and giving every other character a unique voice. Andrews is able to show Nick's cautious nature and Silas's fear. Because the text contains science projects the readers can build, Andrews does his best with the list of items needed and the instructions, though there are references to a booklet that is not included. The experiments sound difficult and most need adult assistance, but kids will likely be fascinated if they can get them to work. The characters are clever and empathetic, while the plot is fast-paced though ridiculous. Recommended for larger collections, especially those with budding scientists.—C.A. Fehmel, St. Louis County Library, MO --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old twins Nick and Tesla are a little gloomy about spending the summer with their eccentric inventor uncle, Newt, while their parents are overseas. But once Newt gives them free rein of his very messy, probably very dangerous lab, they’re a little more optimistic. Their inventions—the illustrated directions for which are included in each chapter—lead them to a creepy mansion guarded by rottweilers and thugs, where a ghostly girl lurks in the upper windows. Brave, no-nonsense Tesla and slightly skittish Nick are well-rounded, bright kids who use deductive reasoning to build gadgets and outsmart the thugs. Though some inventions are potentially hazardous—an electromagnet made out of a battery and a nail, for instance, could burn little fingers—Pflugfelder, an elementary-school science teacher, carefully warns readers of the potential dangers. Apart from the tantalizing experiments, the authors have crafted an engaging, entertaining mystery peppered with intrepid kids, perilous action, and a cartoonishly silly absentminded inventor. Though Nick and Tesla successfully solve this STEM-themed mystery, a planned sequel means there are plenty more gadget-fueled investigations in their future. Grades 4-7. --Sarah Hunter


“...the combination of exciting elements and innovative DIY projects in action yields a guaranteed pager turner.”—

“Real project blueprints are included along with this tale of 11-year-old siblings who create outrageous contraptions and top-secret gadgets.”—Los Angeles Times

[Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab is] a great way to show kids that problems can often be solved by applying a bit of creative energy with some tech know-how. And Nick and Tesla (and Uncle Newt) are the perfect companions for your young reader looking for some (safe) adventures.”—Geek Dad

“A mystery, adventure, and activity book all rolled into one entertaining story....Plenty of excitement, with science.”—Common Sense Media

“Part mystery, part mad science...the story will leave readers wondering what mayhem will be forthcoming.”—School Library Journal

“...a strong start...”—Publishers Weekly
“Engaging characters and brisk plotting make this a fun and educational read.”—Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries and The Physics of the Buffyverse

“A promising first offer in a series that offers plenty of appeal for middle-grade and middle school readers.­”—Kirkus
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab has the perfect formula:  Mega-watts of funny writing plus giga-hertz of hands-on science equals fun to the billionth power!”—Chris Grabenstein, New York Times best selling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
“Suspenseful, funny, and loaded with do-it-yourself robots, rockets, and burglar alarms. Nick and Tesla are an unforgettable new detective team, sure to inspire an entirely new generation of scientists and readers. Can’t wait for the next book!”—Amy Herrick, author of The Time Fetch
“A book with action, adventure, mystery, humor -- and instructions on how to build rockets and robots.  What more could young readers possibly want?  'Nick & Tesla' is a great book that will keep your kids enthralled with its intriguing story -- and inspire them with its clever science experiments.  I can't wait for the further adventures of these fascinating characters.”—Stuart Gibbs, Edgar-nominated author of Spy School and Belly Up
“I love the book! It combines science, intrigue and great fiction together in a wild ride for the reader. Nothing tickles me more than seeing a story really charged up with science. And the projects are so much fun! More please!”—Lynn Brunelle, four-time Emmy Award–winning writer for “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and the author of Pop Bottle Science
“What kid wouldn't want to join Nick and Tesla and their wacky family? This is a great way for budding scientists to have fun while exploring the intricacies of physics, chemistry, and more--up close, personal, and hands-on!”—Jane Hammerslough, author of Owl Puke: The Book and Dino Poop: And Other Remarkable Remains of the Past
“Pflugfelder and Hockensmith debut a captivating series about crime-solving kid inventors in the spirit of Tom Swift and Alvin Fernald. But Nick and Tesla give us what their literary predecessors always omitted: blueprints for whiz-bang inventions that kids can actually build themselves (with some adult assistance). Electromagnets, tracking devices, rockets and the like. Hands-on science has never been so cool.”—Joseph D'Agnese, author of Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

About the Author

“Science Bob” Pflugfelder is an elementary school teacher based in Newton, Massachusetts. He has made many television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel LiveThe Dr. Oz ShowLive with Kelly & Michael, and other media outlets. These are his first books. Steve Hockensmith is the author of a New York Times best seller and an Edgar Award nominee. He lives in Alameda, California.
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