In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I love Nikola Tesla. In fact, Evie’s middle name is Tesla. I really want her to know more about the remarkable man who we named her after, and “Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World” is a great way to start teaching her and I was thrilled to get a chance to review it. This book was written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Oliver Dominguez.
The book begins by describing Tesla’s childhood and different ways in which he experimented and explored electricity from and early age. One of the big things stressed in the book is Tesla’s persistence, constantly showing how his hard work and determination paid off.
The story covers many of the highlights of Tesla’s life – A/C power, his feud with Edison, Niagara Falls, the Chicago World’s Fair.
The book covers some negatives, I was surprised to see mention of Topsy the elephant. It does end on a high note, though, and doesn’t mention the tragic circumstances under which Tesla lived his final years.
The illustrations are beautiful and really capture the feeling of the era. It’s obvious that Oliver Dominguez did a lot of research into the clothing and style of the era. And I was pleased to see Mark Twain make an appearance.
Amazon lists the reading level as 4-8 years old. Evie is 3 and it was a little long for her. She sat with me for about 75% of the book, pointing at things and asking questions. After that she got a little restless. I know she will really enjoy it more as she gets a little older though.
At the end of the book there is more information about Tesla, his rivalry with Edison, and a section of scientific notes.
It is a great addition for older kids to learn more about electricity and how some of Tesla’s inventions work. There is also a bibliography and further reading list that I found very interesting. Some of the books I already own, but there were a few that I am definitely interested in checking out.