Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World
Written by Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez
In this biography, re-published as part of the “Candlewick Biographies,” fourth graders learn about one of the dynamic personalities of the turn of the twentieth century. They also learn a little physics.
From the age of three, Nikola Tesla noticed things about electricity that no one else did. As a teen, he dreamed of harnessing the power of Niagara Falls. In college, he was unable to convince his professor that alternating current was a viable alternative to direct current. He had the same problem when seeking funding for projects, so he took many odd jobs before immigrating to the US. Thomas Edison refused to see his vision and even tried to sabotage his efforts. But he managed to convince Westinghouse of the practicability of AC and ended up lighting up the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. After that, he partnered with Westinghouse to build turbines at Niagara Falls and power Buffalo, NY.
A brief explanation of the difference between direct and alternating current and a more complete explanation of the workings of AC should help spark a student’s interest in this field. The wonderful illustrations help make that happen. Of course, a discussion of the dangers of electricity is also included.
- Title: Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World
- Author: Elizabeth Rusch
- Illustrator: Oliver Dominguez
- Published: Candlewick, 2015
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 56 pages
- Grade Level: 3 to 7
- Genre: Biography, History, Science
- ISBN: 978-0-7636-7978-1
- Extras: Scientific Notes, Timeline, Source Notes, Bibliography, Index, and more