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Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—Nick and Tesla, 11-year-old twin super sleuths, narrowly escaped danger in their first mysterious adventure. The next installment in the series picks up where the first left off-with the twins spending the summer in Half Moon Bay with their eccentric, mad scientist Uncle Newt, while their parents are out of the country (supposedly) working with soybeans. The sleepy little town's only police officer is quickly out of his element when a criminal mastermind strikes. When a valuable comic disappears and other thefts occur, the twins take it upon themselves to uncover the culprit. Authors "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Hockensmith have further developed their characters, while incorporating real science, this time in the form of robots. Step-by-step directions are included using mostly everyday objects, so readers can construct their own hoverbots and robo-roaches, while trying to decipher the clues to the mystery. With a love interest for Uncle Newt, a strong science-loving young girl, and perfectly executed red herrings, this mystery stands alone. A cryptic phone message from the twins' mom suggesting they are in mortal danger will leave fans fervently awaiting book three.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA

Review

“How do you connect students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) with fiction reading? Look for science adventures. Get started with the NICK AND TESLA series. Each book contains an engaging adventure revolving around a “build-it-yourself” science project.”—Teacher Librarian

“Another fast-paced mystery and treat for technophiles.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Nick and Tesla (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594746494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594746499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Biblioholic Beth TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My 12-year-old son is very into science (probably helped by the fact that he attends an environmental science charter school), so I got this book hoping that he would like it (especially the robots, as he's currently doing LEGO robotics). Unfortunately, that was not the case. He said the book was "OK" but it didn't really seem to hold his attention very well. When he was finished, I took my turn, and it was...OK. I liked the blueprints and instructions for kids to build their own robots out of mostly common materials, the story was decent...but I found myself not really getting into it. I think this would be a book for younger age range, say around 4th or 5th grade. They would probably find themselves more interested in the robotics storyline and in the instructions to build their own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mandy Payne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A sometimes reluctant reader, my boyfriend's son launched into this book when he found out there are robot blueprints inside that he can (still hasn't yet) build himself. He really enjoyed the story but was definitely motivated to read based on the fun he plans to have building his own robots.

He read the entire book and liked it. I was afraid he would just jump to the blueprints and be done with it. However, he enjoyed the story enough to get engaged and stay engaged. That's awesome in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert on March 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I got a copy of this book to review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the first Nick and Tesla book and was excited to read this one. I liked this book even better than the first one, it was a fun and quick read with some neat gadgets to build throughout.

When Nick and Tesla’s friend has a valuable comic book stolen from their parents’ comic book shop he is desperate to get it back. Nick and Tesla promise to look into the mystery. When they do they find out that a rash of other thefts have occurred throughout the neighborhood. Not only that but mysterious robots are showing up around town as well.

This was a fun read. Nick and Tesla constantly get themselves in over their head trying to help out their friends. Then they have to make nifty gadgets to help them out. There is a lot of sleuthing and sneaking in this book that was fun to read about.

As with the previous book, whenever Nick and Tesla build something it is following by detailed instructions on how to build that object. Most of the things built in this book were simple robots. This is awesome because my son has recently been asking about ideas for building a simple robot.

The projects aren’t difficult but they unfortunately require a number of things we don’t have laying around the house. Most likely you will have to make a trip to Radio Shack to buy some simple motors and battery connectors. Additionally many of the projects use a hot glue gun, so younger kids will definitely need parental help and supervision. I think these projects are great if kids are in families that are willing to work on something like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Stewart VINE VOICE on December 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nick and Tesla are just ordinary inquisitive kids, who happen to have an eccentric uncle. Uncle Nick also has a basement lab, which Nick and Tesla get to use for their own experiments. Nick and Tesla, whose parents are also scientists, come to California from Virginia to spend time with Uncle Nick while their parents were sent overseas for scientific study. Thus begins an adventure many children would love to have.

While staying at Uncle Nick's, a rash of robberies hits the little town where the children are staying. Following their scientific bent, Nick and Tesla build four different droids using household items to help combat the crime spree.

This is the second of the Nick and Tesla series by authors "Science Bob" Pflugfelder, a science teacher, and Steve Hockensmith. A third is due out in May 2014. Pflugfelder and Hockensmith have crafted stories that will not only encourage children who already have an adventurous bent, but also those who may not think they like science.

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage encourages children to explore outside a classroom or even a science lab. In addition to the fun story, this book includes simple projects that can be done at home under adult supervision. As a homeschool mom, I appreciate this, so children can learn to explore on their own to understand scientific principles. The projects are written such that older children can easily do them on their own. Just provide the supplies (the most dangerous of which is a battery) and be nearby to answer questions.

I do think some older children will find Uncle Nick a little too eccentric, as I did. In fact, in the beginning I found too much focus on Uncle Nick. Even I wanted to quickly get to the part where the experiments are done. That doesn't, however, ruin the story.

Parents may want to gather the project supplies before handing the book to their children. They will want to dive right in and build a robot.
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Format: Hardcover
Nothing gets a kid’s attention quite like a title that includes robot army rampages. Such is the exact case with NICK AND TESLA’S ROBOT ARMY RAMPAGE: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristlebots, and other Robots You Can Build Yourself, the second installment in a children’s science fiction series by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith. The story follows the adventures of 11-year-old twin siblings Nick and Tesla (a clever nod to the famous scientist Nikola Telsa) who have been sent to live with their kooky scientist uncle, Newton (or Newt, as they call him) after their own scientist parents have been sent away on a mysterious mission to Uzbekistan. Though their uncle is fun-loving and lax on rules, the siblings still miss their parents terribly and listen to their voicemail every morning and evening for any message from their parents.

When Nick, Tesla and Uncle Newt visit their favorite shop in town, The Wonder Hut, the kids discover that a new owner has taken over --- the bright and kind Dr. Sakurai. Dr. Sakurai worked at the same lab as Uncle Newt, and Uncle Newt becomes immediately enamored. There are also some other notable new faces --- replicas of the Mars rover, Curiosity and some robots ---, and a familiar one: Duncan, a man who has worked in the Wonder Hut for many years and is an expert on building everything from model trains to machines.
Nick and Tesla meet up with their two friends, DeMarco --- who was involved with the adventures in the previous book NICK AND TESLA’S HIGH VOLTAGE DANGER LAB --- and Silas, the sweet but slow-at-times friend who pulls them into his family’s comic book shop crisis. It turns out that a priceless comic intended to save Silas and family’s business (and their house) has gone missing.
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Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself
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