Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrator: Oliver Dominguez
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Nikola Tesla has a dream: to turn the power of Niagara Falls into electricity. Nikola works hard to achieve his dream, first by attending college. Afterwards, he travels Europe seeking the funds to develop a way to use alternating current. He has little success, and so he sails to America to pitch his idea to Thomas Edison. Unfortunately, Edison also rejects his idea, and Nikola becomes his greatest rival. Nikola’s fame grows when he is chosen to wire the Chicago World’s Fair, which will be the first fair ever lit with electricity. For the next several years, Nikola works on creating a generator that will use the power from Niagara Falls to create electricity, which helps to extend electricity to far-away cities. Thus, he is able to finally fulfill his boyhood dream.
Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World details how Nikola Tesla was able to fulfill a dream he had possessed since his early childhood. The book describes the hard work and dedication that Tesla had to use in order to fulfill his dream. These details cumulatively add to the theme of the book, which is that tenacity and perseverance are vital when seeking to obtain one’s dream. Tesla persevered through great setbacks and opposition and experienced times when others would not believe in his “radical” ideas, and yet he still continued to move forward towards his dream. The setting adds a sense of wonder to the book, as the reader is required to imagine how life as we know it has been so greatly impacted by electricity and Tesla’s inventions in particular.