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Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle [Kindle Edition]

Bob Pflugfelder , Steve Hockensmith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After foiling a gang of kidnappers and fending off an army of robots, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt could use a little rest! But as their third mystery opens, they discover there’s a spy in their midst, searching for secrets in the home of their beloved (and slightly crazy) Uncle Newt. Is it the new laboratory assistant? The exterminator? The housekeepers? Or someone completely unexpected? To expose the mystery agent, Nick and Tesla must engineer all kinds of outrageous contraptions, from code wheels and fingerprint powder to spy cameras and burglar detectors. Best of all, instructions are included throughout the story, so you can build the projects, too!

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    From School Library Journal

    Gr 4–6—With a penchant for inventing and sleuthing, 11-year-old twins Nick and Tesla return for a third mystery. The siblings have been visiting their Uncle Newt, an eccentric scientist, for the summer, while their parents work on a mysterious government project in Uzbekistan. After receiving a cryptic message from their mother warning them of a potential spy, Nick begins to suspect everyone of espionage, while Tesla is not so sure—until the pendant her parents gave her is stolen. The list of possible culprits is lengthy, including Uncle Newt's burly new apprentice, a pair of geriatric maids, a spider-fearing exterminator, and a disgruntled neighbor with an affinity for garden gnomes. Using their ingenuity and science know-how—and a multitude of homemade gadgets—the twins catch the thief and uncover a few more clues about the true nature of their parents' work. Although the third in a series, this entertaining and humorous whodunit is straightforward enough that it can be read as a stand-alone. Cautious Nick and confident Tesla are both well defined, as is the quirky cast of comical characters that surrounds them. As with the previous books, instructions for each of Nick and Tesla's inventions are included, giving resourceful children the opportunity to make their own gadgets. With the promise of more mystery, science, and humor to come, children will be anxiously waiting for more adventures—and more inventions—from Nick and Tesla.—Laura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY

    From Booklist

    After foiling a kidnapping ring in Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab (2013), 11-year-old twins Nick and Tesla Holt solidified their status as certified gadget-handy crime solvers, and this third installment features a new mystery and a whole new set of devices. The last time Nick and Tesla heard from their parents, who are ostensibly working on a soybean-irrigation project in Uzbekistan (yeah, right), their mother warned them to keep an eye out for spies. That, and the convenient timing of several odd guests, including an “Australian” with a heavy Russian accent and passion for borscht, spurs Nick and Tesla on to build a series of nifty traps to catch the spy red-handed. As usual, charts and instructions for building a few of the projects, some of which involve batteries and wire stripping, with an adult’s help, are included. Though the directions would be greatly improved by clearer illustrations, this high-speed caper with comical characters, clever kid detectives, and an ever-deepening mystery (with a cliff-hanger, of course) will keep the pages turning. Grades 4-7. --Sarah Hunter

    Product Details

    • File Size: 25819 KB
    • Print Length: 258 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594746761
    • Publisher: Quirk Books (May 6, 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00GL3HM8I
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,513 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fun mystery coupled with DIY projects May 9, 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This is the third book in the Nick and Tesla series. If you enjoyed the previous books I think you will enjoy this one as well. It was an excellent addition to the Nick and Tesla series. They are fewer gadgets to build in this book than in previous ones, but I thought the story was better here.

    The last book in this series ended with a message from Nick and Tesla’s mom, she basically told them they are being spied on. Now Nick is seeing spies everywhere. He thinks the new apprentice that shows up at his Uncle’s house is a spy, he thinks that the cleaning ladies are spies… When Tesla’s special necklace disappears, her and Nick, along with their friends come up with a plan to find out who the spy is once and for all.

    The book is humorous and funny, but deals with some serious things too. We learn a bit more about what is going on with Nick and Tesla's parents and why they got that cryptic message from their mother in the 2nd book.

    The plot twists and turns as our characters follow one lead only to be derailed and led down a different path. There isn’t really any character development here. Nick and Tesla have interacted in much the same way throughout all of these books so far. These books are all about the mystery and the neat gadgets.

    The book is well written and easy to read and their are some excellent pictures throughout. It seemed like there were fewer gadgets to build than in the previous books. However, I did appreciate that the gadgets seemed to cover a broader breadth of difficulty. The spy cams were a bit more difficult to build and required some special materials, while the code wheel is something pretty much anyone could build. Most of the activities will still require parental involvement.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Third book in youth mystery / DIY series April 8, 2014
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    This is the third book in the Nick and Tesla series, which combines a youth mystery with DIY projects . I find that the books work well and that the stories can stand on their own merits. Wisely, the books pair an experienced children's literature author with a high school science teacher.

    I did not find this third volume to be as strong as the first (Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab). By the third volume, the novelty of Nick and Tesla's living arrangement has worn off and I was hoping for a major plot development. Instead, the authors have opted for a more formulaic approach. Secret Agent Gadget Battle revolves around the search for a spy who has infiltrated the house. The volume's strongest suit are a number of new and amusing characters, all of whom Nick and Tesla suspect as spies. In the end, after having identified and caught the miscreants, Nick and Tesla aren't much further along than when they began.

    The projects interspersed in this latest book include fingerprint powder, an alarm, a hidden camera, code wheels, and a hydraulic balloon drop. The story and projects work best, in my opinion, for kids in the 8 to 10 year old range. Parents will likely want or need to get involved in the projects if for no other reason than helping procure some of the materials. I found the fingerprint powder to be the most interesting and appropriately utilized in the story. The code wheels are great, but their placement in the story feels contrived. Incidentally, a great introduction to cryptography for kids (and their parents) is Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing.

    Cheers
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    Nick and Tesla are an intrepid pair of siblings who are spending some time with their Uncle Newt during their summer vacation. The plan was for them to have a nice, normal summer with the usual activities but it is turning out to be a weird summer.

    The kids encounter a spy who is trying to find secrets in the home of their uncle. Their uncle is an inventor and the spy is up to no good. Nick and Tesla take it upon themselves to unmask the evil doer.

    In their efforts to find the spy, the pair build several devices to assist them in their endeavor. They design and build a "Fingerprint-Finder Powder and Evildoer Identification System" as well as a "Ring-A-Ding-Ding Spy Exposure System." But the kids were not through in their equipment building efforts. They also build a "Spy-Busting Invisi-Cam" and some "EGBQO OAAX Code Wheels." They finished up with a "Booby Trap Balloon Drop." With this equipment, they were well on their way to discovering and stopping the spy.

    The story is a lively recounting of Nick's and Tesla's activities and it held the interest of my granddaughter who is both a mystery buff and a builder. It was right up her alley.

    This is the third book of a series written by a teacher who goes by the name of "Scientist Bob" and his co-author, Steve. They have created a nice series of books that hold the interest of kids with both a mystery and directions on how to build some fun items. The building of the devices needs to be supervised by the parents, however, as some of the them involve some potentially dangerous elements.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Spy Hunting April 14, 2014
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    This book picks up not too long after the previous book in the series. Nick and Tesla have just gotten a message from their mother leaving them with the warning that someone is spying on them. While Nick is suspicious of everyone they have met while staying with their uncle, Tesla is more willing to take a wait and see approach.

    All that changes when one of the pendants their parents gave them is stole while the house is filled with strangers. Is the spy among the group? Can Nick and Tesla create some new gadgets to catch the spy in the act?

    Once again, Science Bob and Steve have created a wonderful story that will satisfy their target middle grade audience. The story takes a chapter or two to get going, but then it takes off and never slows down. I kept second guessing myself as to who the killer was as I read. The characters could be a tad better developed, but I didn't care about that when I was a kid, and I doubt today's kids will care either. There are some very funny scenes and lines along the way as well.

    Like the previous entries, there are also some fun gadgets to build along the way like a code wheel, finger print powder, and a spy camera. Some require more work than others, but these are a great way to keep kids occupied during summer vacation (with a little help from mom and dad).

    The series is fun overall, and this is another great entry in the series. I can't wait to see what Nick and Tesla are up to next.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars My 7-year-old grandson LOVED this! So did the somewhat older boys in...
    My 7-year-old grandson LOVED this! So did the somewhat older boys in my class. I couldn't get them out of the book!
    Published 24 days ago by A. Fazio
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for kids who love adventure & science
    A fun third book in the series. My kids loved the fun pace of the story and the cool science projects they could try themselves.
    Published 1 month ago by A. Stickley
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read...
    This book was well written. I would recommend it for children ages 8 to 12. Also, the experiments would be good to try for elementary school children.
    Published 2 months ago by K. Frank
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Awesome read
    Published 4 months ago by aisha bartley
    5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable
    Funtimes in kid-world. I just love the anything-is-plausible vibe of this book. It's a kids book with secret agent and a nice neat little ending (and lots of humor on the way... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by L. Perry
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Grandkids love this series. ...
    Published 7 months ago by Denise Williams
    4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
    He is encouraged to read the story and then perform the experiments - really having fun!
    Published 8 months ago by lj
    4.0 out of 5 stars Ages 10 to 11: #3 of 4 in a series
    A bit too young for my 12 year old (he finished it but thought it a bit immature for him although he did get a kick out of Skip from Verminator Pest Control), but will give to my 9... Read more
    Published 9 months ago by E. B. MULLIGAN
    4.0 out of 5 stars Pop Culture Breakdown
    The Good: This is definitely the best book in the series so far. The kids are being spied on and they have to find out who it is that they can't trust. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Jennifer Sicurella
    4.0 out of 5 stars A must have series
    We have loved the Nick and Tesla books. They are wildly engaging. The stories are great and the science and engineering are just as interesting. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Half Fast Farmer
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