Tesla’s Attic [Accelerati Trilogy]
by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman
Intermediate, Middle School Disney-Hyperion 246 pp.
2/14 978-1-4231-4803-6 $16.99 g
After his mother dies in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother Danny, and their father move into Great-aunt Greta’s old house. Finding the attic full of junk, Nick spearheads a garage sale where, much to his surprise, patrons seem compelled to make purchases. Along with new friends Caitlin, Mitch, and Vince, Nick eventually finds that the items — which all seem to have mysterious powers — were made by Nicola Tesla himself. One of those items, a baseball glove, appears to contain its own magnetic pull, but when it begins yanking small meteorites out of orbit, a shady collection of self-proclaimed scientists called the Accelerati starts snooping around. What no one realizes is that one of the meteorites attracted by the magical mitt is big enough to destroy the Earth. Now Nick and his friends are in a race to save humanity while avoiding the (nefarious) Accelerati. The strong narrative voice propels the well-paced story, and while the plotting is shaky at times, future installments may very well clear up the problem spots. Although they rely heavily on action and adventure, the authors don’t skimp on character development: Nick is a likable protagonist; his friends are a varied and humorous bunch. With a dynamic mix of secret-society intrigue, quirky gadgetry, appealing teen characters, and humor, this series has the makings of a hit.