Monday, September 14, 2015

Electrical Wizard

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. 2013/2015. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

It never failed, when I was in school, that one of the year's assignments would be to read a biography and either write a written report or give an oral report. It was a boring assignment, but, it wouldn't have had to be. What did I look for in a biography? First, that it was a SHORT book, meeting the minimum number of required pages certainly, but, not looking to go OVER either. Second, that it had PICTURES. The more illustrations, the better, in my opinion. And if they were COLOR illustrations, it was EVEN better. The subject matter didn't matter as much to me--at least then--as did these two essentials. Electrical Wizard would have been an absolute dream come true to me as a kid. I really don't remember ANY biography coming close in terms of being kid friendly and visually appealing. Children are lucky to have such lovely biographies available today. This one happens to be published by Candlewick.

So, the book is a biography of Nicola Tesla. And Rusch managed quite effortlessly to make electricity easy to understand. And Tesla was quite an interesting--fascinating--man. So this one makes for a delightfully compelling read.

Seven chapters focus on his life. Several more focus on his impact and relevance. For example, "Ahead of His Time," shows the brilliance of Tesla's inventions. And "Tesla Vs. Edison" provides context for understanding/appreciating both men. Also included scientific notes, a time line, source notes, and selected biography.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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