Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Nick and Tesla series
Source: Copy from Publisher
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the first Nick and Tesla book and was excited to read this one. I liked this book even better than the first one, it was a fun and quick read with some neat gadgets to build throughout.
When Nick and Tesla’s friend has a valuable comic book stolen from their parents’ comic book shop he is desperate to get it back. Nick and Tesla promise to look into the mystery. When they do they find out that a rash of other thefts have occurred throughout the neighborhood. Not only that but mysterious robots are showing up around town as well.
This was a fun read. Nick and Tesla constantly get themselves in over their head trying to help out their friends. Then they have to make nifty gadgets to help them out. There is a lot of sleuthing and sneaking in this book that was fun to read about.
As with the previous book, whenever Nick and Tesla build something it is following by detailed instructions on how to build that object. Most of the things built in this book were simple robots. This is awesome because my son has recently been asking about ideas for building a simple robot.
The projects aren’t difficult but they unfortunately require a number of things we don’t have laying around the house. Most likely you will have to make a trip to Radio Shack to buy some simple motors and battery connectors. Additionally many of the projects use a hot glue gun, so younger kids will definitely need parental help and supervision. I think these projects are great if kids are in families that are willing to work on something like this. Unfortunately if kids don’t have a parent willing to run to Radio Shack and help them with these projects, I am afraid many kids won’t have the stuff needed to get them done. I had the same complaint with the last book.
I do plan on trying to build some of these robot models once we have a chance to get some parts. I will try to update on how easy they were to build and on how well they worked.
The illustrations throughout are really well done and fun. I enjoyed the quirky characters and the fast-paced plot. The mystery is set up nicely and wrapped up well. Nick and Tesla’s Uncle Newt is a blast to read about, he is just sooo funny. There was an addition of a love interest for Newt in this book, she was awesome and I hope we see her in future books.
Overall a fun read. I think middle grade readers (and even adults) will enjoy the quirky characters, the entertaining mystery, and the crazy gadgets throughout. I love that there are some simple robot ideas in here. I am a bit concerned that the inventions and robots will never get built by kids though, they do need some special supplies and in many cases will need a parent’s help to make them. This whole series is recommended to middle grade and older readers, it’s a fun one.