Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle - Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Summary:  In this third installment of the series, 11-year-old whiz-kids Nick and Tesla discover that someone in the quiet town of Half Moon Bay has placed their beloved Uncle Newt under electronic surveillance—but who is spying on him, and why? To expose the secret agent, Nick and Tesla build all kinds of outrageous contraptions. Throughout the book, the narrative is interrupted by blueprints and instructions so that budding young inventors can follow along. Science and electronics have never been so much fun! (Image and summary from  I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)

My Review:  It hasn't been more than two days since we last saw Nick and Tesla, worried about their parents, and trying to decipher their mother's cryptic, interrupted message.  Nick is seeing spies everywhere.  Tesla is trying to keep him calm while working out what to do on her own.  Their uncle is no help, he has a new apprentice named Oli from, um, "Australia" who both Nick and Tesla are pretty sure is up to no good.  Add to that the mysterious maids and exterminator working for free, and Nick and Tesla are sure that something is up.

My son and I absolutely love this series, and it just seems to get better and better.  Pflugfelder and Hockensmith have found a perfect balance of mystery and humor,  they've created characters complex enough that I'm still surprised occasionally by their reactions (and simultaneously hitting myself in the head, going "Well, duh, of COURSE that's how they'd react!"), and the three stories are definitely painting a bigger picture that has both my son and me intrigued.  

I love that Nick and Tesla are real.  They're intelligent, close, witty, but they're believable as kids.  They're messy, sometimes naughty, and they don't always make the best decisions.  Even more, I love their curiosity.  I've mentioned in the past how much I appreciate it, since it sparks my son's, but this novel might just take the cake.  He's been pestering me since he finished to start building some of these gadgets -- and as soon as it calms down (is it just me, or is May busier than December?) we're going to have a Nick and Tesla Experiment Day!

My Rating:  Five stars


cleemckenzie said...

Nick and Tesla sound like kids I know. I'll have to investigate this one. Thanks.

I found your blog at Beth Hoffman's site.

Unknown said...

I hate this book. Its irrelevant and dosent have good feelings too it. The mystery case is bad and the humor is worse


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