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A Life Electric: The Story of Nikola Tesla



by
Azadeh Westergaard
illustrated by
Julia Sarda

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Viking
Imprint
Print
ISBN
9780593114605
$17.55
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A lyrical biography of the eccentric engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla.

Born at the stroke of midnight during a lightning storm, Nikola Tesla grew up to become one of the most important electrical inventors in the world. But before working with electricity, he was a child who loved playing with the animals on his family’s farm in Serbia.

An inventor since childhood, Tesla’s patents encompassed everything from radar and remote-control technology to wireless communications. But his greatest invention was the AC induction motor, which used alternating currents ( AC) to distribute electricity and which remains the standard for electric distribution today. Tesla’s love of animals also remained constant throughout his life and led to his anointment as the Pigeon Charmer of New York for his devotion to nature’s original wireless messengers.

Exploring his groundbreaking inventions against the backdrop of his private life, A Life Electric introduces Nikola Tesla to young readers unlike ever before. Azadeh Westergaard’s lyrical debut brings compassion and humanity to the legacy of the brilliant inventor, while the esteemed illustrator Júlia Sardà deftly brings him to life.

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

10" x 8"

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2021

Book Genres

Nonfic

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Young Nikola Tesla was first fascinated by electricity when he stroked his cat and produced sparks. This led to a lifelong quest to solve mysteries of the natural world. Tesla was well educated, and the seed for his greatest scientific discovery—alternating current (AC)—evolved from a line of poetry dealing with forward and backward motion. This poetic image made him realize that current could also travel back and forth and thus provide electricity over long distances. After his method of illumination was used to light up the sky at the Chicago World’s Fair, Tesla became known as the Wizard of Electricity. But his prominence was short-lived. His naivete resulted in financial downfall when his partner, George Westinghouse, experienced difficulties. And he suffered the consequences of a smear campaign led by his rival Thomas Edison. With spare language, Westergaard sensitively portrays the life of a gentle man whose moment of brilliance was bookended by his early love of nature and his later reclusive years in New York when he became a peculiar figure, devoted almost exclusively to feeding pigeons. Sardà’s dark palette appropriately echoes the somber tone. Extensive back matter and excellent sourcing are included. VERDICT For both pleasure reading and report writing, this is a worthy introduction to a brilliant scientist whose contributions have often been overshadowed by the better-known Thomas ­Edison.–Gloria Koster, formerly at West Sch., New Canaan, CT

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Young Nikola Tesla was first fascinated by electricity when he stroked his cat and produced sparks. This led to a lifelong quest to solve mysteries of the natural world. Tesla was well educated, and the seed for his greatest scientific discovery—alternating current (AC)—evolved from a line of poetry dealing with forward and backward motion. This poetic image made him realize that current could also travel back and forth and thus provide electricity over long distances. After his method of illumination was used to light up the sky at the Chicago World’s Fair, Tesla became known as the Wizard of Electricity. But his prominence was short-lived. His naivete resulted in financial downfall when his partner, George Westinghouse, experienced difficulties. And he suffered the consequences of a smear campaign led by his rival Thomas Edison. With spare language, Westergaard sensitively portrays the life of a gentle man whose moment of brilliance was bookended by his early love of nature and his later reclusive years in New York when he became a peculiar figure, devoted almost exclusively to feeding pigeons. Sardà’s dark palette appropriately echoes the somber tone. Extensive back matter and excellent sourcing are included. VERDICT For both pleasure reading and report writing, this is a worthy introduction to a brilliant scientist whose contributions have often been overshadowed by the better-known Thomas ­Edison.–Gloria Koster, formerly at West Sch., New Canaan, CT

Grades 2-6
Biography Elementary Plus
For Grades 2-6

Fascinating biographies and autobiographies will allow your elementary readers to look into the lives, thoughts, and accomplishments of the individuals who have shaped our world. And with 12 books per year, they'll discover a remarkable person each month.

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Interests
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Biography Elementary Plus
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