cover image Tesla’s Attic

Tesla’s Attic

Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4803-6

This entertaining and often surprising first book in Shusterman and Elfman’s Accelerati trilogy is well-timed to take advantage of the resurgent interest in Nicola Tesla (and an omnipresent interest in secret societies and conspiracies). Fourteen-year-old Nick’s family has just moved from Florida to Colorado after a fire that claimed the life of his mother. He discovers that the attic of his new house is filled with odd contraptions, and he hosts a yard sale in which dozens of people buy nearly everything, just before a mysterious government group shows up and attempts to claim it. Nick and his new friends Mitch, Vince, and Caitlin figure out that their devices can do much more than expected, like record people’s thoughts and display the future, as well as that the items were built by Tesla and part of a war between two secret societies. The authors have fun with a large cast of characters (and the historical record), making for an exciting and imaginative thriller with some skillful twists. Ages 8–12. Agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)