Why hello there!
Fancy seeing you here on a beautiful day like today. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The turkeys are running for their lives. What? Well it IS almost Thanksgiving you know. Mom’s already got our turkey bird purchased and waiting in the wings (Ha! Wings…get it? ^_^)…and I can’t wait! How are you and yours planning on celebrating? *curious* Might I suggest for the family time portion of your day after the eating and merriment, a little reading time? What? Of course I would suggest that…hehe.
Today’s featured title is a great read for all ages and guess what? It’s MORE than what it seems. Curious? Indeed you should be. Let’s see, it’s the first book in a new Middle Grade series…it’s a FUN read with mystery to boot..oh and it’s interactive! Ha, betcha didn’t see THAT one coming. ^_^ That’s right, an interactive tale where readers can get involved in the action during or after the read with gadgets and gizmos galore. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s meet the today’s electrifying book of choice…
A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
“Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
About the book…
WARNING: CONTAINS MYSTERY, ADVENTURE, AND EXPLOSIVE PROJECTS YOU CAN BUILD YOURSELF!
An abandoned house at the end of the block. A mysterious girl in an upstairs window. A strange black SUV lurking around every corner. When Nick and Tesla Holt are sent to live with their eccentric Uncle Newt, they find their new neighborhood is full of secrets. What the heck is going on?
To unravel the mysteries (and save their skins), Nick and Tesla must use everyday household objects to build electromagnets, rocket launchers, and other crazy contraptions – and instructions are included throughout the story so you can build them, too!
As I may have already said, this is an adventure and a half! First off, the brother and sister duo are great. They get along…most of the time…and are there for each other through thick and thin. There’s been a lot more thin as of late, especially with their parents off studying soybean growth in Uzbekistan. *blink blink* Yep, that’s what they’re doing (well, maybe a little more complicated than that) and that’s where they be. The siblings are shipped off to Uncle Newt’s house and thus their adventure begins. What’s that? How does a summer time shift constitute and adventure in the making? Aww…but you have yet to meet Uncle Newt.
You see, Uncle Newt is not your traditional guardian, parent figure, or adult for that matter. He’s an inventor. From self mowing lawnmowers to clothes in a can (no, really!), dancing on the ceiling…no wait, that’s a song…I meant DINING on the ceiling, Newt is the man with a plan…whether or not it actually becomes something 100% useful. *ahem* Well, you know, inventors and hair brained ideas kinda go hand in hand…anyway...he is their parental type unit for the summer and while he’s getting into the swing of things, they get free reign of his, well most of his, okay SOME of his workshop…a dream come true for these two and something that comes in handy. How so? Aww, patience my friend…patience.
One day, while out exploring the lay of the land…and perhaps launching a bottle rocket to the great blue beyond…a precious item is inadvertently lost. During it’s retrieval, a curious young girl is spied in an upper window of a supposedly abandoned yet currently being renovated home. Hmm. Can someone say M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y? Well, I sure can…and it deepens when she seems to be telling them to GO AWAY for no apparent reason. Anyway, back to my explanation. The workshop comes in handy when the kids need to devise a way to distract a few teethy foes as well as a few semi-bumbling shady characters…and what they come up with will surprise, delight, amaze, and make YOU want to try them out for yourself! No worries…the instructions are right there to satisfy your curiosity (just be sure to have adult supervision for the tricky parts). Now back to that story…
A few inventions and mis-inventions later, and the Holt children are up to their eyeballs in trouble with a capital “T”. It’ll take all their wit, all their know-how, and the help of their new found friends (and a few they didn’t even know that had until now) to get outta this one…which hopefully they will. *ahem* Hey, I’m NOT spoiling it for you! It gets pretty hairy towards book’s end….but hold on tight and you’ll delight at the actual outcome along with a few clues that are revealed affecting the youngsters.
In conclusion, a book with a little something for everyone from those simply seeking a good read to those that like a little more tech in their Children’s Fiction. Personally, I’d recommend it for girls and boys, friends and foes, and Middle Grade readers of all ages! There’s fun to be had between these pages and after the story, you get the hands on real life adventure utilizing the new skills and know-how you’ve obtained. How cool is that! Well, I’d say PRETTY DARN cool indeed but what’s even COOLER is that the NEXT installment in this series comes out in February 2014, Nick and Tesla’s Robot Rampage. Guess what’s on MY wish list? Oh wait…I bet it’s on YOURS too. Final side note…I love how the Quirk Books (publisher) logo is presented on the back cover! It shows up on the battery connecting the positive and negative forces that run the show (so to speak). Well put indeed…and quirky, just like them. ^_^
Review copy received courtesy of Eric at Quirk Books. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their ever growing quirky catalog of bookish fun, feel free to stop by their site, friend them on Facebook…oh go on, they are TOTALLY friendly…or follow along on Twitter.
Until next time…happy reading!