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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraged Reading in Reluctant Reader
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...
Published 10 months ago by Mandy Payne

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I've got a plan!"
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...
Published 9 months ago by Biblioholic Beth


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I've got a plan!", February 1, 2014
By 
Biblioholic Beth (Portland, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraged Reading in Reluctant Reader, January 5, 2014
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Every Kid Should Build a Robot, December 19, 2013
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Adventure that Teaches as Well!, November 29, 2013
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Review of "Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself," by Bob Pflugfelder, and Steven Hockensmith.

I received this book from Vine in exchange for an honest review.

In this book Nick and Tesla, two twins, help their friend Silas find his father's quite valuable stolen comic book in order to save his store Hero Worship, Inc. With the help of their Uncle Newt, a brilliant but quirky character, the twins build their own robots which are used to recover the comic book and then are used to defend against the thief and his own army of robots! This is the second book of the series. The neat thing about this story is that it contains instructions and blueprints for five different robot projects that actually work. My son and I are currently building the Explorer Bot and so far it has been a fun venture. My son stated that the back story flows from the first book which would have made this one easier to understand at first but clearly it can stand on its own as well. He really enjoyed the book and I think that your children will too! Five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!, January 11, 2014
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (Hardcover)
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At first from the title "Robot Army Rampage" you would think that it's about robots that become self aware and takes over the world. Well it's not. It's about a small town where things go missing. A super rare comic book, some jewels, and other things. The comic book was owned by two kids' friend's father and they were going to sell it. The kids make and use various robots to help solve the mystery of the missing items. The really cool thing about the book is that the robots are available to build. The book has a few blueprints to make the robots mentioned in the stories. The book is only the second book in the series and you don't really have to read the first book to understand the second book. Overall this is a fun book that you can read with your child and make robots. It's something different and I really like it. It may start the budding career of a whole new generation of robotists!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!, June 24, 2014
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I just love this book! I finished it in almost 4 hours! I also have the 1st and 3rd books in the series, and can't wait for the 4th!
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5.0 out of 5 stars love, June 12, 2014
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This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (Hardcover)
My son has been obsessed with Science Bob for a while now and these books are fun and a good story and we have been having a lot of fun doing the projects together. Great Mother Son bonding time!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pop Culture Breakdown, May 26, 2014
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (Hardcover)
The Good: This book had a really fun mystery and lots of great robots kids can make. The instructions and diagrams are easy to follow. Nick and Tesla's escapades in Half Moon Bay continue to entertain. And things are just starting to heat up in the overall mystery of Nick and Tesla's parents.

The Bad: The wording in this book is a lot like the last one. While the vocabulary is basic enough, the phrasing is off. If it is noticeable to me, it will be frustrating to beginner readers who are getting the words right, but not quite understanding the concepts being discussed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading for the Lego Lovers, May 22, 2014
By 
Jean Marrapodi "Jean Marrapodi" (Providence, RI United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My grandsons are tinkerers and spend hours on end with Legos. What better connection than robots? This book is a classic fast paced smart kid detective story that all kids enjoy. Also includes blueprints for the tinkerers to build robots.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A kooky book perfectly suited for middle-grade readers that encourages kids that creativity and science can happen together, May 15, 2014
By 
KidsReads (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself (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. As the four friends attempt to trap the prime suspect --- antique store owner Mr. Dobek, who turns out to have simply been hiding a signed photo of R2-D2 in an envelope --- Nick and Tesla witness someone breaking into the jewelry shop across the street. Nick, Tesla, DeMarco and Silas head to The Wonder Hut to confront their new suspect, and even more fast-paced adventure ensues.

This is a solid children’s story sure to honestly entertain readers of all ages and both genders. It’s a kooky book perfectly suited for middle-grade readers that encourages kids that creativity and science can blend together and lead to great adventures.Though the humor can get a little cheesy and tacky at points, the majority is well-suited for kids. And for any parents that may be reading along with their children, there are sprinkles of humor aimed at adults throughout, so Mom and Dad can have a good time reading this too.

Many of the topics and issues that arose in the novel were dealt with very well. Nick and Tesla’s reaction to being separated from their working parents is realistic and may sadly resonate with a good number of readers, but it is always handled with an undertone of hope. Tesla is also presented as a strong female character, but not to the point of being overdone. She shows that she’s on the same level as the boys, and both the boys and the girls have their moments of weakness and genius --- a great subtle way to show gender equality to younger readers. There’s hilarious commentary on nerd culture that will make a large number of people laugh, both young and old alike. The story has just enough suspense and adrenaline, and the twists are easy to follow (but not too easy!).

There were only a couple of things I didn’t like as much about the book (besides the aforementioned cheesy humor). First, there were times where Nick, Tesla and DeMarco were a little mean to Silas just because he was the slowest of the bunch, and that might not sit well with certain readers. It doesn’t go too far, but it’s something I could not help noting. Also, there’s a cliffhanger ending about Nick, Tesla and their parents being in danger, which might be a little too dark for readers closer to early end of the age range. However, it will suck in the middle grade readers without a doubt.

It’s hit or miss to insert any kind of how-to’s in the middle of books, especially in fiction aimed at younger readers. It can be out-of-place and abrupt, but not here. Each “how-to-build” section comes along exactly when the robot appears in the story --- a very clever strategy on the authors’ part --- so the reader will be excited to build the robot right alongside Nick and Tesla.

All in all, NICK AND TESLA’S ROBOT ARMY RAMPAGE is a delightful book for middle grade readers, sure to intrigue with the mystery storyline and excite with the presence of science, robots and the prospect of building some of one’s own. The fact that it never beats the reader over the head with the whole “kid-geniuses-building-robots” idea is fantastic, because it will make kids who don’t particularly like science feel welcome to the story and comfortable with the how-to-builds. It might get them excited about science, even if it’s just for the duration of the book. With a good dose of appeal to a wide audience, ROBOT ARMY RAPMAGE is a great mix of story and science that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.

Reviewed by Corinne Fox
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