Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

Keating, Jess. Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
July 9th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Nikki loves to experiment, but often does so with unfortunate consequences. After her latest "death ray" ("It's just a laser, Mom!) blasts a hole in her floor and makes the neighbors pay attention again, her mother gives up. Since the incarceration of her father for similar activities, Nikki and her mom have had to move several times, and her mother finally feels that going to a special school will challenge Nikki more and make her less destructive. Once Nikki realizes that if she doesn't go to the Academy, her mother will be imprisoned, she reluctantly goes, and is glad she can take her ferret with her. Once there, she learns that the curriculum is science based and interesting, but also very spy skill oriented. The other students are all related to other geniuses, like Einstein. Before Nikki can get really settled, however, a mission takes the group off to Italy to catch a thief.
Strengths: I love Keating's writing (How to Outswim a Shark without a Snorkel), and I love that she includes strong female characters with a love of science. Books set in secret schools are fairly popular in my library: this would be perfect for a reader I have who always wants an "academy" book. Science, international travel, and espionage, combined with ferrets, make this an appealing title.
Weaknesses: I didn't like Nikki as much as I had wanted. Maybe it was the ferret!
What I really think: I will probably purchase this, but it seemed like something I had read before.
Ms. Yingling

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