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Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy Series #1)

Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy Series #1)

4.7 15
by Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman

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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
From the Publisher

"This is a wrenching but ultimately redemptive look at how pain defines us and how love, whether familial, romantic or friendly, demands sacrifice and brings gifts of its own. Once again, Shusterman spins a fantastic tale that sheds light on everyday life." —-Kirkus Reviews

* "...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)

"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

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


"The shocking premise is unveiled immediately, and a nail-biting pace is sustained throughout, with the teens flung headlong into a true life-or-death struggle...these haunting debates will likely linger in the reader's mind even after the riveting plot fades...an ideal blend of philosophy and action set in a compelling futuristic landscape."—-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


* "Shusterman ends his provocative trilogy with a rock-solid adventure that manages to examine deep questions of faith and morality....Rich in detail, with exceptional characterization and shot through with unexpected (and very necessary) humor, this is an engrossing and thoroughly satisfying ending to a unique saga of life after death."—-Kirkus Review, starred review


"Thought-provoking and scary, invoking elements from history and mythology, the novel ends with a shocking event that will leave its fans wanting the next volume immediately."—-Horn Book Magazine


"Shusterman's novel reveals its secrets and their implications slowly, allowing readers to connect the dots before the characters do and encouraging them to weigh the price of Bruiser's gift' against the freedom from pain that Tennyson and Bronte enjoy." —-School Library Journal

School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
In Book 1 of the Accelerati Trilogy, Nick Slate cleans out his attic, holds a garage sale and changes "the very course of human existence." The junk in the attic of Nick's new house seems to be a "boneyard of uselessness," but the old toasters, electric mixers, cameras and tape recorders turn out to be lost inventions of a mad scientist, and finding them makes Nick and his friends "part of some invisible clockwork…churning its gears toward some dark, mysterious end." The box camera foretells the future, the See 'n Say toy channels the universe, little brother Danny's baseball glove draws stars from the sky, and a depleted wet-cell battery brings the dead to life. A posse of sinister scientists is after these objects for their own questionable ends, and if Nick's garage sale has unleashed forces that might end the world, they also might reveal a way to head off the extinction of the human race. 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. (Science fiction. 8-14)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Accelerati Trilogy Series , #1
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Sales rank:
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman (www.nstoryman.com) is the author of dozens of books for young readers, including the National Book Award winner Challenger Deep, the best-selling Unwind and Skinjacker trilogies, and the critically acclaimed The Schwa Was Here and Downsiders. The other two books in the Accelerati Trilogy, which Neal co-wrote with Eric Elfman, are Edison's Alley and Hawking's Hallway. As a screen and TV writer, Neal created scripts for the "Goosebumps" and "Animorphs" TV series, and he wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie "Pixel Perfect". Neal has two grown sons and he lives with his two daughters in Southern California.
Eric Elfman (www.elfmanworld.com) is a screenwriter, a professional writing coach, and the author of several books for children and young adults, including The Very Scary Almanac and The Almanac of the Gross, Disgusting & Totally Repulsive; three X-Files novels; and two books of scary short stories, Three-Minute Thrillers and More Three-Minute Thrillers. He has sold screenplays to Interscope, Walden Media, Revolution, and Universal Studios. He lives in Brandywine Canyon, California with his wife and son.

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Tesla's Attic 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the spectacular range of character. Excellent pre-teen book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and if u get the free sanple prepare to get disappointed beacuse its not enough at my school we met neal shusterman is an amzing man but just by the full book it will save u all the complaining and the breathe i would give 5 stars but im not liking this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This bookwas amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book is for anyone who lovesto read or think about inventions! I was at barns and nobel and saw that Rick Riordan commented on this book. "Super-fun, hilarious adventure." He said. So i said that this book wouldnt be to bad. Then i saw that tesla was part of the tittle. I thougt tat now i had to read it. I started to readit right then and there. When my mom said it was time to go, i was so absorbed in my book,i ran into a wall! My sister laughed and laughed. "That must
T-Bones More than 1 year ago
This title was fantastic. It was full of memorable scenes, characters, and a really cool plot. This is book one in a series which I will definitely follow till the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone buy the second book. I read the first one in 3 days.it was amazing. Keeps readers on their toes. One of the best books i have ever read!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best bood ever!! Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. Resources you would never imagine. All you would think when you finish the book is, "Write a sequel now! I need a sequel!!!"
CelesteP More than 1 year ago
So, you know how sometimes you'll finish reading a book, and you'll close that book and think: "Man, that was a lot of fun?" I totally had that reaction when I finished reading Tesla's Attic. Because it is an incredible amount of fun, and definitely one of those books which you have to go buy ASAP.  After a tragic family fire that ends up taking the life of Nick's mother, Nick, his father and his younger brother relocate to Colorado Springs, to the derelict house of a deceased relative. Inside, Nick ends up finding a lot of odds and ends in the attic, which he assumes is just junk. However, he quickly learns that these items are anything but… Neal Schusterman and Eric Elfman have created a wonderful, inventive story with this novel. From the moment Nick first comes into contact with one of Tesla's inventions, to the cliffhanger that sets the stage nicely for book two, this book is the perfect combination of friendship, science, the bizarre and pure fun.  Schusterman and Elfman explore a number of issues in this book, from the practical question of what it's like for a young kid like Nick to start over in a new city, to the slightly impractical question of what one does when a secret organization isn't exactly seeing eye-to-eye with your actions.  (Answer: strategize a lot. Also, make some darned good friends like Caitlin, Mitch and Vincent, so they can do problem-solve with you too. And review dead goldfish - but that's a whole other story.)  Along the way, Schusterman and Elfman also add in some great educational and inspirational subplots, from exploring Nikola Tesla's scientific background, to having each of the characters intelligently and humorously explore their personal interests and personal natures - including romantic interests! - as they try to figure out what to do with Tesla's inventions. I developed a pretty big soft spot for Vincent, who has no problems with the fact that he's grumpy, and isn't afraid who knows it.  Of special note: Schusterman and Elfman write in third-person omniscient, with the narration occasionally almost taking on a separate personality on its own - verging on breaking the fourth wall. It's a hilarious, quirky writing technique that works really well with the tone and atmosphere of the story.  (Think Lemony Snicket's narration style, minus Lemony actually interjecting personal facts.)  I loved it, and I can easily see a lot of readers, particularly younger ones, finding a lot of charm with this technique.  Also, educators and parents should be aware that there is several instances of character death in this book, but it's introduced in a way that is not gruesome or depressing. If anything, I would say it has a very fact-of-life tone about it, which is also very Lemony Snicket of the book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Somthing everyone should read if they like caotic action syfy books. I couldnt putthe book downand need a sequel badly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SADSADSAD.but prety cool
GHott More than 1 year ago
Hott Synopsis: A Lamp that attracts people instead of bugs. A See-And-Say that’s better than a fortune-teller. A wet cell battery that reanimate the dead. A recorder that plays back what you meant instead of what you said. Nick had no idea what he’d done when he cleaned out the attic of their inherited home and sold everything on the front lawn. So when he starts to get a sense of the disaster he may have caused Nick, along with his new friends, begin to find and reacquire that which was sold – before it causes any more disasters. But can they retrieve all of the items before the people in the white Cadillac that’s been following them? Hott Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book & can’t wait to read the rest of the series. It was just right for most middle-graders, shows an accurate picture of middle-school life, and gives a great adventure as well!! This is a book to keep on the shelf! More… Author: Neal Shusterman Source: Disney-Hyperion via Netgalley Grade: A Ages: 13+ Setting: Colorado Springs, CO Series: The Accelerati Trilogy #1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book. Its great for vocabulary and the story is GREAT!!!!!!!!!! Get it now!!!!!!!!
gjo50 More than 1 year ago
Hot, New Early YA Readers Young teens and even older pre-teens will relate to this fast paced story involving various personalities that contribute to the story. Nick deals with the loss of his mother, a move across the country, and being the dreaded new kid at school. The previous tenant of the home, Nick’s uncle, left many odd inventions for Nick to analyze before they change his life forever. Nick has to understand the entire cast of characters, while attempting to evade the villains that he does not know or understand. Great fun read with rapid action and lots of twists and turns. I recommend this to YA readers who enjoy a laugh with their action/suspense. Late elementary science teachers could use this for an extra credit assignment, requiring the reader to analyze a few of the inventions. I received an ARC from NetGalley. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get a job or dnot bother to write a commen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The new RoseBook