Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

A wonderful children’s book will appeal to both older and younger readers. It manages to sneak in references to science and the some of the great scientists/inventors who have shaped the world as we know it.

What could be more mesmerizing to a child and their imagination than an attic full of objects that are capable of mysterious deeds? Normal items like toasters, vacuum cleaners and some unidentifiable inventions. The main character Nick finds out that there is a connection between the items and the famous scientist/inventor Nikola Tesla. Each of the objects seems to be able to do something other than what it is actually supposed to do. Some of them make situations quite uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Nick and his friends stumble upon a secret society that seems very eager to recover all of the inventions. Apparently it is for the good of the world, except Nick thinks there is a far bigger secret at stake, perhaps even one the society is trying to avoid or control.

It is actually quite funny.

It is full of witty quips and the kind of nonsensical thought processes that only kids can come up with and still sound completely sane, such as one of the children requesting not just a bible but an intimidating bible. The children understand this reference as something completely normal and one of them just happens to have something to fit the bill.

It is a great combination of science, history, mystery and a good old sense of humour.

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