Review: Nick and Tesla's High-voltage Danger Lab

Title: Nick and Tesla’s High-voltage Danger Lab
Author: “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Publisher: Quirk Books
Published: November 5, 2013
Hardcover, 240 Pages
ISBN: 9781594746482
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction,
Source: Publisher


Nick and Tesla are bright 11-year-old siblings with a knack for science, electronics, and getting into trouble. When their parents mysteriously vanish, they’re sent to live with their Uncle Newt, a brilliant inventor who engineers top-secret gadgets for a classified government agency. It’s not long before Nick and Tesla are embarking on adventures of their own—engineering all kinds of outrageous MacGyverish contraptions to save their skin: 9-volt burglar alarms, electromagnets, mobile tracking devices, and more. Readers are invited to join in the fun as each story contains instructions and blueprints for five different projects.

In Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, we meet the characters and learn how to make everything from rocket launchers to soda-powered vehicles. Learning about science has never been so dangerous—or so much fun!

My Thoughts:

Nick and Tesla are kids that the adult me wishes the kid me could have been more like. They are “science kids.” They are always looking for explanations for how and why things are. They see unbelievable things in everyday items. I love science now but kid me was like meh about anything remotely educational. 

Nick and Tesla are sent to live with their kooky uncle while their scientist parents are on “assignment.” Uncle Newt is a brilliant, although eccentric, scientist who has a full lab in his basement. The kids are told that they are free to use the lab except “for that and that. And don’t touch that” and so on. As they begin to settle in to their new arrangements they realize that there are things going on. They put their heads together to solve the mysteries they encounter by creating gadgets using everyday materials. These gadgets are detailed in experiments that you can do at home while reading the book. I absolutely love this part of the book.

The writing is quick and clever, fast-paced and a lot of fun to read.  I really liked the characters, especially Uncle Newt. He is pretty much the comic relief and is just quirky enough to be fun without getting too annoying. Even though they are twins, Nick and Tesla couldn’t be more different. It was great to see them grow and mature in the short time span of this book. This is a great series for the science kid (young and old) in your family.

My Rating: