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Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

Last updated Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Author: Elizabeth Rusch
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0763658553
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2017

Synopsis: When a Serbian boy named Nikola Tesla was three, he stroked his cat and was enchanted by the electrical sparks. By the time he was a teenager, he had made a vow: Someday I will turn the power of Niagara Falls into electricity. Here is the story of the ambitious young man who brought life-changing ideas to America, despite the obstructive efforts of his hero-turned-rival, Thomas Edison. From using alternating current to light up the Chicago World’s Fair to harnessing Niagara to electrify New York City and beyond, Nikola Tesla was a revolutionary ahead of his time. Remote controls, fluorescent lights, X-rays, speedometers, cell phones, even the radio — all resulted from Nikola Tesla’s inventions. Established biographer Elizabeth Rusch sheds light on this extraordinary figure, while fine artist Oliver Dominguez brings his life and inventions to vivid color. Back matter includes additional information about Tesla, scientific notes and explanations, source notes, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading.

Note to readers:
•  There are scientific notes and additional information about Nikola Tesla at the end of the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do we use electricity for?
•  Have you ever heard the name Tesla before?


•  Conjured: To make happen as if by magic.
•  Ricocheted: To bounce off a surface and continue moving in a different direction.
•  Marveled: To feel great surprise/ wonder.
•  Pummeled: To repeatedly hit or punch something very hard.
•  Prophecy: A statement that something will happen in the future.
•  Illuminate: To supply something with light.
•  Unfathomable: Impossible to understand.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How did Tesla first get his idea?
•  Did Tesla give up when people told him his idea wouldn't work?
•  Have you ever heard of the World's Fair?
•  Do you think you would like to invent something one day?

Craft ideas:
•  Design your own invention! Draw it and describe what it does.
•  Make an atom with a paper plate and add puff balls, or draw an atom on paper. (See Pinterest board)
•  Draw a light bulb.
•  Check our craft ideas for on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!