Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: "Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab" by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's first mystery, High-Voltage Danger Lab, had the most interesting, spooky (but not too scary) plot line of all of the Nick and Tesla books. From wild dogs, ghostly sightings, warning messages, and kidnappings, Nick and Tesla are in for a wild summer at their Uncle Newt's after their parents suddenly left them to go do work in Uzbekistan.

Though most 11-year-old kids would be out of place living with a "mad scientist" type uncle, Nick and Tesla are (nearly) right at home. They use his lab to create their own inventions, and there are instructions so that the reader can build the projects right along with them in the story! High-Voltage Danger Lab includes step by step directions for making bottle rockets, intruder alarms, and even an inventive way to follow a vehicle using highlighters!

My only complaint for this book is actually about the illustrations by Scott Garrett, not about the story itself. I was not too happy with the way he chose to depict one of the characters.  Though she is described as having "pale skin and long black hair and circles under dark, sunken eyes," I thought the illustration took it a too far and she actually looks deathly ill, an image I wouldn't want to get stuck in children's minds (82).  The other illustrations in the book are just as well done as previous books, and I really enjoyed them, especially especially in displaying Nick and Tesla's inventions.


This book is a great way to get kids excited about science experiments and mystery books. It's an adventurous, exciting book for elementary aged children and parents to read together and invent along with the protagonists. Due to the experiments along the way, it's a good thing to read when there's time to build along with the story. It would also help to stock up on supplies before you get to that part in the story, so you may have to peek ahead!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Quirk Books for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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