Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nick and Tesla #6: Solar-Powered Showdown by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown: A Mystery with Sun-Powered Gadgets You Can Build YourselfMy name is Tesla. My twin brother, Nick, and I are spending the summer with our uncle, and it's been "interesting", to say the least. Our parents have been kidnapped, and we think it has something to do with their work using solar power, not their lie about growing soybeans! Could their ideas for solar power be used to create Star Wars weapons? We aren't sure who to trust, since the secret agents who show up to save us never share any information. I'm the risk- taker in the family, and it looks we'll need to become spies ourselves. We can check out the neighbor's house, and my uncle's hacked laptop may provide clues. However, we may not be ready for the secrets we find, and we sure aren't ready for another kidnapping.

This book is the last one in the Nick and Tesla series, and you should read the other books first. The plot is fun and entertaining, as the authors blend mystery, adventure, humor, and science. Science is big! The book includes simple inventions that can be built by young readers. This book includes directions for a Solar Spy Birdhouse, Guaranteed-Not-To-Explode Frankfurter Heater-Upper, and a Ping-Pong Ball Signal Cannon. I often judge books based on their characters, and the Nick and Tesla books are full of winners. Uncle Newt is the eccentric scientist with all kinds of weird ideas and inventions, Silas and DeMarco add humor to the story, and two little old ladies provide muscle for the evil Control. Nick and Tesla are the stars of the show, as they use their science knowledge and creativity to thwart the crazy man in Hawaiian shirts.

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