Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab, the new middle-grade mystery I wrote with Science Bob Pflugfelder, comes out next week, and it's been getting some lovely reviews. (You can check 'em out here if you don't believe me!) But appropriately enough for my first kids' book, my favorite review by far has come from a kid.
How's this for a testimonial? When fourth-grader Emilia "Mia" H. of Wilmette, Ill., was asked to write a book report about her favorite mystery, she chose Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab. (The H. family and I go way back, so I gave them an advance copy of the book this summer. But hey -- don't think there's favoritism at play here! Mia didn't have to go and chose Uncle Steve's book as her favorite. She had, like, 10,000 Nancy Drew and Boxcar Children books to choose from.) Apparently book reports at Mia's school are a lot cooler than they were when I was a kid, because she didn't just have to stand in front of the class and recite a plot synopsis. Part of the assignment was picking a favorite scene and carving it onto a pumpkin!
Hence, this: the mysterious, ghostly waif who flashes ominous messages at our heroes from a window in a dilapidated mansion, brought to vivid orange life via jack-o'-lantern.
Mia, you're a better pumpkin carver than I'll ever be -- and it goes without saying that you also have absolutely stellar taste in books.