Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman


When their home burns down, Nick Slate and his family move to a deteriorating Victorian home they inherited. In an attempt to earn some much needed money, Nick organizes a garage sale and sells the strange junk he finds in the attic. However, Nick soon learns that the antiques are inventions of Nikola Tesla, the eccentric, early twentieth century inventor. The inventions have extraordinary and dangerous properties and are also being sought after by a mysterious organization with malevolent intentions. Nick and his new friends must reclaim the inventions before they harm anyone or fall into the wrong hands.

This entertaining, middle-grade novel combines a little history, some science, and a lot of supernatural adventure to create a captivating story. Tween readers will connect well with Nick and his friends as they grapple with both typical and atypical teenage struggles. The cast of characters is full of variety with a wide range of personalities, character traits, and interests. Tesla's Attic reaches a broad audience because it presents a little of everything-mystery, suspense, history, and fantasy. It also speaks to a large age group. It is exciting enough for young adult readers, but the subject matter is not too intense for younger readers as well. The writing is descriptive with strong characters and an engaging mystery. Tesla's Attic is a well-crafted beginning to a unique new trilogy.

Recommended ages--10 and up

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