The Accelerati Trilogy Book One Tesla's Attic

( 8 )

Overview

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, ...

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The Accelerati Trilogy, Book One: Tesla's Attic

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
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 first book in The Accelerati Trilogy is a good sci-fi/mystery story. Nick Slate has moved to Colorado Springs with his father and brother after a fire destroyed their home and killed his mom. Their new home turns out to be the home of Nikola Tesla, a quirky inventor. The attic is filled with Tesla's inventions, which Nick sells. All these items have some sort of strange power. He and his new friends try to figure out what is going on and get everything back. They discover the Accelerati, a secret group, and life becomes even more dangerous. The writing is fun and exciting and the plot is unpredictable. The action keeps going until the climactic ending. This is an action-filled book with humor sprinkled throughout; science fiction and mystery lovers will enjoy it. Melinda W. Miller, K-12 Library Media Specialist, Colton-Pierrepont Central School, Colton, New York Recommended—Library Media Connection

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 Airborne (2004). - Magan Szwarek—Booklist

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—SLJ

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 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)—Kirkus

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.—PW

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. sam bloom—Horn Book

Following the death of his mother in a house fire, Nick Slate moves with his father and brother to Colorado Springs, taking up residence in the down-at-the-heels house of a deceased relative. Nick has two immediate goals: to stay under the radar at his new middle school, and to make some quick cash by selling attic junk at a garage sale. Goal one is a non-starter when garrulous classmate Mitch takes Nick loudly under his wing, but goal two is unbelievably successful, especially once Nick turns on an antique lamp that seems to draw customers who bid up the prices on the castoffs. When the appliances begin acting strangely all over Colorado Springs and shady adults clad in pearlized suits take sinister interest in Nick, he discovers that his distant auntie had been Nikola Tesla's fancy lady, and he deduces that the bits and bobs now scattered over the city fit together into a mysterious but potent machine. This surely sounds like the storyline to any number of novels already on the shelf, and even Tesla has become a bit too ubiquitous of late, but 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. At the end of the first book in a planned trilogy, Tesla's invention has wrought some serious damage, and Nick and friends are off to reanimate a dearly departed pal. If that won't bring back readers for Volume Two, what will? EB—BCCB

School Library Journal
03/01/2014
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
2013-12-07
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423148036
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/11/2014
  • Series: Accelerati Trilogy Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 108,032
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman (www.nstoryman.com) is the author of thirty books for young readers, including the best-selling Unwind and Skinjacker trilogies, and the critically acclaimed The Schwa Was Here and Downsiders. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    I agree

    Loved the spectacular range of character. Excellent pre-teen book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 11, 2014

    Hot, New Early YA Readers Young teens and even older pre-tee

    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. 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    YESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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!!!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    So, you know how sometimes you'll finish reading a book, and you

    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. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Awesome

    Somthing everyone should read if they like caotic action syfy books. I couldnt putthe book downand need a sequel badly

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Cobrablizzerd220

    SADSADSAD.but prety cool

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hott Synopsis: A Lamp that attracts people instead of bugs.

    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    I love the book. Its great for vocabulary and the story is GREAT

    I love the book. Its great for vocabulary and the story is GREAT!!!!!!!!!! Get it now!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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