Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Winter Reading 2016 Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown


Nick and Tesla are still trying to find their parents and find out who is after them. Agent McIntyre and Agent Doyle are still monitoring the kids and leading the investigation into the disappearance of their parents. Frustrated with the refusal of the agents to tell them what is going on, the kids come up with a way to eavesdrop and learn that the spy who had posed as a new neighbor escaped after the agents arrested her. Rather than being worried about what the agents are saying, the kids and Uncle Newt should have been worried about their own safety. Nick, Tesla, Uncle Newt, and their friends Silas and DeMarco are kidnapped by the bad guys and taken to a hideout in the middle of the desert. How in the world will they contact anyone who can come to the rescue? Lucky for them (and for us), they are good at making gadgets.

This series continues to entertain readers with a mix of friendship, adventure, danger, geeky gadgets, and humor. In the latest story they make a Guaranteed-not-to-Explode Frankfurter Heater-Upper, a Ping-Pong Ball Signal Cannon (I have got to make one of these), a Solar Spy Birdhouse, a Solar-Powered Long-Range Rover, and a Sun-Activated Alarm Clock/Villain Distractor. Of course, directions and a materials list for each project are included in the book. 

Highly recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy spy stories, geeky gadgets, or mysteries featuring kids. The books in the series are a comfortable reading length, and the cool projects make them perfect for young scientists or makers. This and the other stories featuring Nick and Tesla would make wonderful additions to a classroom collection, school library, or public library and makerspace. I can imagine a combination STEM club/book group reading the series together and making each gadget as they reach its description.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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