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Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself! (Nick and Tesla, #5)
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Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself! (Nick and Tesla #5)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
What do a pair of kid inventors with a knack for science and electronics do when Hollywood comes to town? Why save the day, of course!

InNick and Tesla’s Special Effects Spectacular, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt find themselves on the set of a big-budget superhero movie. But someone’s sabotaging the onscreen debut of their favorite comic book hero, so the brothe
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Quirk Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark Baker
May 03, 2015 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing
The latest Metalman superhero film is being filmed in Half Moon Bay, and DeMarco’s aunt is a producer. However, the set visit she arranges for Nick, Tesla, DeMarco, and Silas leads the four friends to believe someone is trying to sabotage the film. Can they figure out who?

This is a fun mystery with great clues and red herrings. The characters could be a tad better, but the middle grade audience certainly won’t care. I didn’t at that age. There are also instructions for projects to build later, i
Apr 19, 2015 Joan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery and science readers
I hadn't realized I hadn't written a review! Well, at least I caught that. First, my thanks to Quirk Publishers for sending me an ARC to read. That had no influence on my opinions here. I do enjoy this series. It is fun to see science used as the basis of dealing with their adventures, and it is also great to see a girl as scientifically knowledgeable, or more so, than her brother. This being an ARC, the illustrations were left out which would have been helpful to see. That might have moved my ...more
Apr 26, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it
I have read every book in this series. Originally I got the first book for my nephews thinking this might be a book they would like. Well it ends up that I have fallen in love with this series just as much as them. I have grown very close to Nick, Tesla, their Uncle Newt, and their friends. Each of the mysteries that they find themselves solving is crazy fun. Nick and Tesla have solved several mysteries now so they are really getting better at solving them quickly.

However for some reason I coul
Dec 02, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
I'm really not a fan of character ensemble stories, and prefer the author choose one character (or two at the most) through whose eyes the story unfolds. Flitting back and forth between characters hinders character development, and distances the reader from any emotional connection. It was difficult keeping the different characters straight, and their voices all sounded similar. It's obvious the author was more concerned with incorporating STEM into his narrative than producing a compelling ...more
Reading For Sanity
Jul 15, 2015 Reading For Sanity rated it really liked it
Please visit us for the full review:
Probably my least favorite in the series :(
Ian Wood
Mar 01, 2015 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Hunter Stickler
Oct 07, 2016 Hunter Stickler rated it it was amazing
It was a good book with a good plot and helpful tips
Sep 03, 2015 Venus rated it liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

Nick and Tesla are a brother sister duo who have a knack for science, electronics, and solving mysteries. When a Hollywood production rolls into town helmed by their friend DeMarco's aunt, the kids are giving a behind-the-stage pass to visit. However, someone appears to be sabotaging the film and it is up to Nick, Tesla, DeMarco, and movie-obsessed Silas to find out who.

Starting a series on book five has some serious pitfalls. For example, by this p
Feb 21, 2015 Suz rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit, netgalley
Nick and Tesla are still staying with their Uncle Newt while their parents are off on a trip. The twins worry that their parents are actually involved in something dangerous, but don't know what to do about it. Nick distracts himself by researching wireless power transmission. Tesla throws herself into solving any mysteries or problems that come along. She and Nick have been helping their new friends, Silas and DeMarco, with the superhero movie they are filming, "Bald Eagle: The Legend Takes ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Vicky rated it really liked it
My thoughts on the series:
This is a lot of fun. I am way out of the target age range, but I enjoyed the stories. Middle-grade detectives, crazy scientist uncle, and international intrigue all converge. The projects are the type that kids in the target group will enjoy—my (bright) third-grader can’t wait to try some out. The illustrations could be clearer for the technically inept such as myself. However, there are videos available, as well as other cool information, at
May 06, 2016 Karissa rated it really liked it
This was a great continuation of the Nick and Tesla series. I enjoy the humor and mystery in these books as well as how creative Nick and Tesla are.

Some of the projects/experiments in this book are more approachable than in previous books. While there are a couple more complicated experiments; there are others that would be quick and fun to do and require minimal parental assistance. However, keep in mind most of these projects do require a parent to help.

The main story in this book is wrapped
Mar 08, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
Another winner in Science Bob's mystery/adventure/science series for intermediate readers. It continues the educational, but exciting and funny adventures of Nick and Tesla. This book focuses a lot on movies and kids will be clamoring to make the projects in it. My 9-year-old son loved it and was excited to read the next in the series. When asked, he didn't say anything really about the parent portion of the plot moving along at all. I will have to finish reading it myself to see for sure, but I ...more
Maria Kiguthi
Apr 13, 2015 Maria Kiguthi rated it it was amazing
Nick and Tesla are staying with their Uncle Newt while their parents are off on a trip. The twins worry that they haven't heard from their parents and that maybe they are involved in something dangerous. They have been helping their new friends, Silas and DeMarco, with the superhero movie they are filming. The brother and sister created a robo-arm, a stunt dummy, and a grappling hook, and a homemade Steadicam rig. The book includes instructions for making each of these yourself. While they are ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Joyce rated it it was amazing
I won this book on Goodreads. This is a story about Nick & Telsa, siblings that have lots of imagination and a minimum of supervision. They get invited to watch their aunt working on a movie set where mysterious things are happening. They decide, along with some of their friends to sneak back onto the set and help crack the case. They have tons of homemade gadgets that they use to track down the truth. This is fast paced, and really a fun read. The book also includes instruction for projects ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular is a mystery for kids that is set primarily on the set for a superhero movie that is being filmed in the town where they live. Meanwhile, the kids are filming their own movie, complete with their own homemade special effects (directions included). With the help of these gadgets along with a couple of human friends, kid inventors Nick and Tesla investigate who is sabotaging the big screen production.

I found the book entertaining. I also liked that the
Peter Jones
May 12, 2015 Peter Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Our local bookstore owner got an ARC of this one (since she'd seen how we've been gobbling up the first four). We hadn't finished #4 when we got #5, so didn't get to read it as early as we had it... but we read it as soon as we could. We purchased the final edition when we had about 3 chapters left, and we actually spent our first nightly story-time after getting the final copy just going back and looking at the pictures and projects we had missed.

This also has the distinction of being the first
Kristina Aziz
Aug 30, 2015 Kristina Aziz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-print-copy
Science Bob takes a short break from robotics to appeal to young directors and producers in his latest book in the Nick and Tesla series. Things like homemade steady cams and extended arm grabbers are things that are not just valuable to middle grade producers, but would have also been a great help to me in my high school theater days.

In this book we're still wondering where Nick and Tesla's parents are, and if they're okay. What I love about this series is that the experiments make it educatio
Apr 04, 2015 Brenna rated it really liked it
Shelves: booklikes
This is the most recent of the series (currently 5) and the 2nd I have read. The Nick and Tesla's series is a really fun read so far. Even though I have read them out of publication date order, I don't feel as though I am lost as far as plots or characters. This 5th installment is all about movie magic such as alien makeup and animatronics. There are, again, some do it yourself activities in the book as well. I would definitely encourage kids 4th grade and up to read these, especially if they ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Charlie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-book
Won this interesting children's book from Thank you.

The publisher - QUIRK BOOKS - now that should give the reader a clue as to where this book is heading. Yep, a bit Quirky.To quote from the publisher " This time a Hollywood movie is being filmed in town, but the real drama happens when the cameras are turned off." Throw in some very young amateur movie, want to be, producing kids and be on the big-time production set - well, wild crazy things happen.

This book also contains a few
Oct 14, 2015 Liz rated it liked it
In this adventure of Nick and Tesla, they try and help out a friend making movie and end up on the sound set of a real movie. Only the actor is very bad and trying to get the movie that DeMarco's aunt is the producer of canned.

How do Nick, Tesla, and their friends prove what is going on behind the scenes? I love Science Bob Pflugfelder's experiments in each book. The zombie makeup was great. In fact all the experiments look fun as usual. However, this time I think the mystery fell short. The re
Darlene Cruz
May 14, 2015 Darlene Cruz rated it it was amazing
What a delightful and fun read. Incorporating movie magic, alien makeup and throw in a super hero add rumbustious siblings, what do you get? A splendid middle grade read. This story will motivate a child to the mystery of behind the scene movie magic from the simplicity to the complexity. Papparazzi, special effects, leaking information, wait a crime need to be solve? Yes this is where the fun begins. Totally enjoyed the author's writing skills, kept me focus. Thank you, Darlene Cruz I had won a ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Abby rated it it was amazing
Gosh, I absolutely love this book series! Nick, Tesla, and their friends are entertaining while managing to get involved in some pretty extraordinary adventures. I had thought that this was the last book in the series- so when I finished I was disappointed that the mystery of Nick and Tesla's parents wasn't solved- but then I realized that this would mean that there will be more books in the series and now I just can't wait to see what happens next.
Apr 23, 2015 Michaela rated it really liked it
I got this book free through Goodreads First Reads.

My kids liked the book very much. A good mixture of mystery and science. The instructions for the gadgets were detailed and easy to understand. And there was also a lot of humor in the book. After starting reading my kids were giggling and laughing out loud numerous times.

The only con they expressed: They wished that it would be more colorful.
Jun 07, 2015 Celeste rated it really liked it
Shelves: nick-tesla
Nick and Tesla books never disappoint. My 11-year old was excited when this new one came out and her read it first and really liked it. Then I read it and loved it too. Nick and Tesla and their friends always seem to find trouble but they are always the ones to solve the trouble. I hope the next book shows us a little more about their parents. The ending really makes me want to read the next one. I could use a little more Uncle Newt in the next one.
Jennifer Heise
Wow, it's a plot that begins in the beginning and goes on to the end! And there is home movie making, by one of the other kids! Ok, so the plot's a little thin, but at least it's not quite as random as some of the plots in this series.
Also, instructions for zombie makeup that foams and 'melts' if you spritz it with vinegar.. for the win.
The animatronic hand isn't bad either.
Mar 01, 2015 Gabs marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
I am excited to read this book! My whole family loves them--my sister even used a how-to from the previous book on how to make a homemade robot in her science fair last year. It turned out great! I am really happy that I won, especially since it is about animatronics, something that really interests me. Thanks to all who made this giveaway possible at Quirk Books and Goodreads!
Marilyn Stanley
Apr 25, 2015 Marilyn Stanley rated it it was amazing
I got this book free through Goodreads First Reads.

My grandsons really enjoyed this book and thought the instructions for projects were really "cool" but said that they wished that there had been pictures included so they could do the projects faster - what can I say, they're boys so doing first and then reading the instructions is second nature to them.

I highly recommend this book.
Jul 25, 2016 Pat rated it it was amazing
I received this as a review copy. Neat story of 2 imaginative kids who make science fun. This time they are involved with a superhero movie that is being sabotaged. Nick and Tesla come to the rescue. The book make science interesting for kids and adults. A plus is the inclusion of the instructions and drawings for their inventions
Feb 23, 2016 AnnMarie rated it it was amazing
Won this book on goodreads and was not disappointed! I haven't read the other books in the series but if they just as wacky and funny I will give them a try. This is a great book for your young mystery readers and would recommend starting from the first book so that you an know the charters a bit better!
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