Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: "Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown" by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown is the the best in the series thus far. The sixth of the series, this book contains major developments from the overall story running through the entire series. That said, it also may be the last installment, as things were wrapped up nicely at the end. That would be a shame, because this series is fantastic for getting children interested in reading and in science.

Nick and Tesla are staying with their Uncle Newt while their parents are missing. Everyone in the family is particularly interested in inventions and science, and Nick and Tesla use their skills to try to find out what happened to their parents.

Filled with illustrations and instructions to build gadgets along with the kid sleuths in the book, this book is engaging for a child to read with an adult's help for some of the tools needed in the inventions. A solar-powered hot dog cooker, a ping-pong ball signal cannon, solar spy birdhouse, and a solar-powered long-range rover are among the projects that you can build along as you read this mystery. The components needed for these gadgets (including mini-solar panels) may be less readily available than the materials for previous books' projects.

New characters introduced in this book seem to be less developed and really don't have any specific traits, but they have minor roles as Nick, Tesla, their friends, and their uncle are the main characters.

The story refers back to things that happened in all of the other Nick and Tesla books (with footnotes from the authors reminding you which story it was in). Therefore, this book is best read after reading everything else to fully appreciate it.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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