|(Thank you to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown: A Mystery with Sun-Powered Gadgets You Can Build Yourself (Quirk Books; May 10, 2016; Ages 8–12; $12.95) tackles the all-too-timely topic of clean energy, as the twin sleuths set out to rescue their scientist parents, who were kidnapped while working on a top-secret solar power research project.
To outwit the kidnapper who wants to turn solar power into a weapon, Nick and Tesla need more than just the help of their eccentric Uncle Newt. They have to create their own gadgets by harnessing the most potent power of all—brain power. Young makers can become part of the story by creating their very own versions of Nick and Tesla’s inventions. Full building instructions for these solar-powered projects are peppered between chapters:
· Ping-Pong Ball Signal Cannon that Uncle Newt uses to signal to Nick and Tesla while sneaking around a suspicious office building
· Solar Spy Birdhouse that Nick and Tesla build to gather intel on their parents from the government agents who claim to be protecting them
· Solar-Powered Long-Range Rover, which Nick and Tesla send out with an SOS when the spies hold them hostage
· Guaranteed-Not-to-Explode Frankfurter Heater-Upper because, in the words of Uncle Newt, “You can’t bust an international spy ring on an empty stomach!”A spirited hands-on adventure, Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown will mesmerize readers by bridging science and literature.
Talk about perfect timing. Just as I was about to write this blog post, I found out that "Science Bob" was going to be on Live with Kelly - how cool is that?! I grabbed a cuppa and sat down to watch what he had to share with the audience. He talked about the Science Fairs that President Obama hosts at the White House. Apparently, one hundred kids are invited to showcase their latest experiments and inventions. Suffice it to say, these kids are SMART. Think underwater moving rovers and keeping medicine chilled without electricity. Pretty awesome, eh? "Science Bob" performed experiments with Kelly and her co-host Daniel Dae Kim (Jin from Lost). It was a pretty fun episode to watch. And at the end, she reminded everyone to go out and pick up a copy of "Science Bob's" latest collaboration with Steve Hockensmith - Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown. As a huge fan of the series, I was excited when she mentioned the book. Its the sixth in the series and my new favorite. Chock-full of danger, drama, intrigue, and inventions - how could it not be?
In Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown, Nick and Tesla have decided that its FINALLY time to find their parents. They've been kept in the dark long enough and now they want answers. Plus, they know that their parents are in danger, so time is of the essence. Their only resource happens to be the two agents sent to keep an eye on them. Except, these two agents are dead set against telling Nick and Tesla anything. Hmmm...what to do? How about invent an eavesdropping machine in the form of a birdhouse? Pretty nifty, eh? With the help of their Uncle Newt, Silas, and DeMarco the dynamic duo set out with their plan. The only problem being that they severely underestimated just how DANGEROUS the people involved with their parents' disappearance really are. YIKES! They all wind up kidnapped and taken to a deserted building out in the middle of nowhere. The kids get locked in a room and have no way to communicate for help. Ack! Of course, this being Nick and Tesla, you just know that a plan is a brewing. Think Solar-Powered Long Range Rover - how awesome is that?! I swear, MacGyver has nothing on Nick and Tesla - the King and Queen of Inventions! And that is all I will say about the actual plot of the story. Its just too good to give away all the details.
I will tell you that this book kept me on the edge of my seat! I couldn't stop reading Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown until I turned the very last page. I just had to know if these kids would escape from these crazy villains and whether or not they would finally be reunited with their mom and dad. Let me just say, I was not disappointed. This book was action-packed and I loved it! The story was fantastic - it was exciting, thrilling, and unputdownable. This book was truly a perfect addition to the series. In fact, this whole series is great for kids (middle school-aged) who love science, mystery, and intrigue - they will love these books! I can't wait to tell my friends to pick up a copy for their kids.