The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) movement is in full swing; and science-focused fiction abounds–some good, some quite questionable. But, that’s not the trend. No, the trend is that the fiction focuses around Tesla, or Tesla vs Edison. And it’s making for some interesting reading.
The Accelerati Trilogy, Book One: Tesla’s Attic
By Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman
After a horrible fire, Nick, his younger brother, and his father move to Colorado Springs to start fresh. They move into an old, cluttered, Victorian house that was passed down to them from an aunt. Stuffed in the attic are an assortment of unusual…junk. Nick decides to hold a tag sale to get rid of it all in order to have the attic to himself. That’s when the weirdness starts to happen. As soon as he switches on the light, people start flocking to the sale and buying everything, and buying it for 3-4 times what it’s actually worth.
At the end of the sale, once all his neighbors have returned home, Nick is met by a group of Men in Pastel Suits who want to buy all of the things, in a bunch, for more than they are worth. When Nick tells these Suits that everything is gone, the Suits get aggressive, and Nick gets suspicious. That’s when objects start acting up: A toaster tries to electrocute someone; a rusty battery can reanimate the dead, a children’s toy gives accurate future predictions, a camera takes pictures of the future, a recoder records what’s actually meant, not what’s said….The Suits, a secret society called The Accelerati, want the objects, will stop at nothing to get them, and don’t care what they have to do (or who they have to hurt) to obtain them.
Along the way, Nick and his friends discover that the house holds many secrets; secrets which have the power to destroy the world.
What I liked
This was a great read. It was funny, it was serious, it was interesting. It delved into the characters and their emotions, and no one felt static. Each character had motives that went beyond purely good-guy/bad-guy. It is part of a planned trilogy, so I am anxiously awaiting the second book.
What I didn’t like
Nothing. Go read this book right now.
Recommended for grades 5-8.