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Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle [Hardcover]

Bob Pflugfelder , Steve Hockensmith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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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

Review

“...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.”—Booklist
 
“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.”—School Library Journal

“Fast-paced, suspenseful and enlivened with grayscale illustrations, this is appealing middle-grade reading… [and] the continuing mystery will keep readers wanting more.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

“Science Bob” Pflugfelder is an elementary school teacher based in Newton, Massachusetts. He has made many television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Dr. Oz Show, Live 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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