Nick and Tesla Books - STEM-Based Mystery Series for Kids

2 Book Covers from the Nickand Tesla series
Covers of Books One and Four in the Nick and Tesla Series. Quirk Books

All About the Nick and Tesla Series and the STEM Connection

Summary: What makes the Nick and Tesla series surprising is that combined with the entertaining mystery-adventure in each book is a STEM-based theme and related DIY science activities for young readers. (Note: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math) Each Nick and Tesla book has a different science focus, which is highlighted in the book’s subtitle.

This is a great way to both entertain and educate kids. The hands-on activities are designed to appeal to kids in grades 4-7, and they do.

The main characters in the series are Nick and Tesla, very bright 11-year-old twins. They are particularly interested in science and electronics. For one reason or another, including the disappearance of their parents and their own enthusiasm for inventing things and problem-solving, they frequently find themselves embroiled in a mystery. Nick and Tesla are often assisted by their friends Silas and Demarco.  In every case, the DIY activities are closely aligned with each book’s STEM theme and mystery-adventure. 

The hardcover Nick and Tesla books are about 5” X 7.” In addition to the story illustrations, the step-by-step directions for the DIY science activities also include illustrations.

Authors: “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, who is an award-winning elementary school science teacher, and author Steve Hockensmith, whose books include the Holmes on the Range mystery series.

Illustrator: Scott Garrett, a freelance illustrator and potter who lives in the UK.

Length: Varies, (See individual book listings below.)

Recommended for: Ages 8-12, grades 4-7

Categories: Mystery, STEM, adventure, science, middle grade fiction, DIY science activities

Publisher: Quirk Books

Available Formats:  Hardcover and e-book

Books in the Nick and Tesla Series

Title: Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab (Book 1)
Subtitle: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Summary: In Book 1, Nick and Tesla's parents mysteriously disappear. Nick and Tesla go to stay with their eccentric Uncle Newt, an absent-minded scientist and inventor, and must deal with the mystery of their parents’ absence and their own safety.
Length: 237
Copyright: 2013
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594746482

Title: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage (Book 2)
Subtitle: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristlebots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself
Summary: In Book 2, Nick and Tesla go after the criminals responsible for a rash of robberies and end up having to deal with an army of robots.
Length: 224
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594746499

Title: Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle (Book 3) 
Subtitle: A Mystery with Spy Cameras, Code Wheels, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Summary: In Book 3, Nick and Tesla have to deal with a spy in their midst.
Length: 256
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594746765

Title: Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove (Book 4)
Subtitle: A Mystery with a Blinking Beeping, Voice-Recording Gadget Glove You Can Build Yourself
Summary: In Book 4, Nick and Tesla have to save science itself by solving the mystery of robots gone wild.

Recognition: The book was nominated for a 2015 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
Length: 272
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594747298

Title: Nick and Tesla’s Special Effects Spectacular (Book 5)
Subtitle: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself
Summary: In Book 5, Nick and Tesla have to deal with a mystery threatening a movie being filmed nearby.
Length: 256
Copyright: 2015
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594747601

Title: Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown (Book 6)
Subtitle: A Mystery with Sun-Powered Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Summary: In Book 6, the emphasis is on clean energy as Nick and Tesla work to rescue their parents, both of them scientists who were working on a special hush-hush solar power research project when they were kidnapped.

Length: 264
Copyright: 2016 (Release date: May10)
ISBN: Hardcover, 9781594748660

Related Resources

Junk Drawer Physics – Book of Experiments

Scientists in the Field Series

The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea and Other Books of Science Experiments for Kids

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math

Is Your Child Getting a STEM Education? Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

STEM and STEAM Resources for Homeschoolers