Moving into a ramshackle Victorian house after his home burns down, Nick discovers a cache of odd antiques in the attic, where his new friends and he become unwitting subjects in a perilous scientific plan by a devious inventor. - (Baker & Taylor)
After their home burns down, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a ramshackle Victorian house they've inherited. When Nick opens the door to his attic room, he's hit in the head by a toaster. That's just the beginning of his weird experiences with the old junk stored up there. After getting rid of the odd antiques in a garage sale, Nick befriends some local kids-Mitch, Caitlin, and Vincent-and they discover that all of the objects have extraordinary properties. What's more, Nick figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, which attracts all sorts of trouble. It's as if the attic itself has an intelligence . . . and a purpose.
Ultimately Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed the items-his last inventions-in the attic as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. Nick and his new friends must retrieve everything that was sold at the garage sale and keep it safe. But the task is fraught with peril-in addition to the dangers inherent in Tesla's mysterious and powerful creations, a secret society of physicists, the Accelerati, is determined to stop Nick and alter destiny to achieve its own devious ends. It's a lot for a guy to handle, especially when he'd much rather fly under the radar as the new kid in town.
Fans of intrigue, action, humor, and nonstop surprises are guaranteed a read unlike any other in Tesla's Attic, Book One of the Accelerati Trilogy.
Praise for Tesla's Attic
"Lively, intelligent prose elevates this story of teenagers versus mad scientists, the third-person point of view offering a stage to various players in their play of galactic consequence. A wild tale in the spirit of Back to the Future, with a hint of Malamud's The Natural tossed in."--Kirkus Reviews
"This collaboration between Shusterman and Elfman tempers the scarier elements of Nick's quest with deft, humorous writing and plenty of the ordinary adventures of a new kid in school finding his niche. Hand this one to fans of Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles or Kenneth Oppel's Airborne."--Booklist
* "...Shusterman and Elfman have crafted a plot more devious, characters far quirkier, climaxes (yes, there are two) more breathless, and a narration much, much funnier than recent mad-science offerings. Sticking with a third-person narration frees the authors to be as wryly and sophisticatedly witty as they please without compromising the veracity of their middle-school cast, resulting in storytelling as delightful as the story being told."
-Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
- (Grand Central Pub
Everything changed after the toaster hit Nick on the head. It fell from an attic full of junk in the ramshackle Victorian house in Colorado Springs that 14-year-old Nick, his father, and younger brother have moved into from Tampa. Nick disposes of most of the things in the attic at a garage sale. What begins as a story about an adolescent boy coming to terms with his mother's death—and his guilt about the house fire that took her—quickly takes a turn for the supernatural and sinister as Nick discovers that the items he sold are the magical inventions of Nikola Tesla. And he must recover them before they fall into the hands of a murderous secret society, the Accelerati. The first entry in a planned trilogy, this collaboration between Shusterman and Elfman tempers the scarier elements of Nick's quest with deft, humorous writing and plenty of the ordinary adventures of a new kid in school finding his niche. Hand this one to fans of Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles or Kenneth Oppel's Airborn (2004). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 4–8—People flocked to Nick Slate's garage sale to buy up the junk found in the old Victorian house in Colorado Springs that his father inherited. In fact, an oversized stage light shone out into the rain, compelling neighbors to pay top dollar for gadgets, toys, and appliances. The 14-year-old is dumbfounded to learn that some of the items his classmates bought have peculiar features, such as Caitlin's reel-to-reel tape machine that records what she says, but plays back what she thinks-even embarrassing truths. Mitch's See 'n Say gadget predicts the future, and Vince's wet-cell electrodes can reanimate dead insects. Even Nick's brother, Danny, finds an old baseball glove that can change the arc of trajectory to catch any ball or flying sphere, making quite a spectacle at his baseball game. When sinister-looking men in pastel suits show up looking for the items, Nick and his new friends believe they are part of a group of scientists called the Accelerati and the teens must figure out the connection to Nikola Tesla, a contemporary of Thomas Edison's who once lived in Nick's house. Scientific details explain the basis for the far-fetched happenings, allowing readers to suspend their disbelief. The peril faced by this likable group of teens trying to keep Tesla's gadgets safe will keep mystery fans waiting anxiously for the next installment.—Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland
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