Friday 11 October 2013

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit up the World

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit up the World by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 27.95
ISBN 9780763658557
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Nikola Tesla was a man destined for great things. This realization came to him at an early age when he ‘began to notice invisible energy everywhere’. Perhaps this was because on the night of his birth ‘lightning zapped, crackled and flashed overhead’. Throughout his childhood, he was drawn to the sight of electrical bolts in the sky.

This is the story of a magnificent mind and the alternating current that he dreamed of and imagined in specific and minute detail in his head. As a college student he promised himself that he would find a way to harness the power of alternating current and he did. He had to overcome great obstacles and initially and for a long time, the derision of all the people he called on to invest in his work. Even Thomas Edison tried to stop him for he had to protect his own invention of direct current for which he became famous.

It was at the Chicago World Fair that Nikola Tesla proved himself, with the support of the Westinghouse Company that had committed to use his other smaller inventions.

This is a heroic story of self-belief and perseverance, perhaps one of many experienced by early inventors.

This inspiring story beautifully presented with bold illustrations by Oliver Dominguez highlights this great man’s achievements and shows children that dreams can materialise and thoughts can become reality.

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