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Tesla's Attic

Review

Tesla's Attic

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-born scientist and engineer best known for his experiments with electricity; his genius discoveries and inventions; and such eccentric behavior as caring for injured pigeons.  But what if Tesla was also the creator of a device that could power the entire world that he hid from a secret society called the Accelerati? Imaginative inventions, a mysterious order of scientists and a handful of middle school students are at the center of TESLA’S ATTIC, the first book in The Accelerati Trilogy by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. 

Fourteen-year-old Nick Slate is not happy about having moved from Tampa, Florida to Colorado Springs, Colorado. But Nick, along with his father and his younger brother Danny, needed a fresh start after a house fire destroyed almost everything his family owned and killed his mother. Moving into the house they inherited from a great aunt, Nick selects the attic as his new bedroom and finds it filled all sorts of wacky items. Besides dusty furniture, the attic is brimming with electric mixers, old fashioned cameras, a reel-to-reel tape recorder and many other “objects of questionable technology,” including a toaster that cracks Nick on the head when he opens the attic door.

TESLA’S ATTIC is entertaining and interesting and will have broad appeal to young readers.

To clear out his new space, Nick decides to have a garage sale. The sale is a great success and only slightly marred by a sudden and unexpected rain storm, shoppers’ strange behavior and the arrival of four creepy suited men in an SUV. It is not until later that Nick realizes the objects he sold may be more interesting and important than they first appeared.  With the help of Caitlin, Vince and Mitch, --- schoolmates who bought objects at the sale --- Nick starts to understand who created the objects, how powerful they really are, and just how much the enigmatic Accelerati want them for themselves. 

TESLA’S ATTIC is an adventure and mystery filled with scientific and fantastical marvels. There is also a healthy dose of realism, as Nick is still mourning the loss of his mother, settling into life in Colorado, navigating a new school, making friends and even dealing with his romantic feelings for Caitlin, not to mention the unwanted attention of a girl name Petula who happens to be in possession of a camera that takes pictures of the future.  It is a page-turner indeed and after a bit of an awkward start, prose-wise, the story has a nice rhythm and pace, the characters are well-developed and the language smooths out.  This first installment of the trilogy is entertaining and interesting and will have broad appeal to young readers who enjoy a variety of genres and some fun plot twists and surprises.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on March 5, 2014

Tesla's Attic
by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2014
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction, Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1423148037
  • ISBN-13: 9781423148036