Book Review: Robot Army Rampage

This is the second book in a series about Nick and Tesla, two kids with a Maker ethos who get broiled up in adventures while staying with their eccentric inventor uncle. The series by “Science Bob” Pflugflelder and Steve Hockensmith comes complete with diagrams and plans for building the things that Nick and Tesla build in the story, so an intrepid reader could construct their own robo-hovercrafts or bot-blasting soaker gun or maybe a robo-bug? My son and I haven’t yet made any of these, but we’ve bookmarked a few for the future.

The story in this second book – Robot Army Rampage — moves at a quicker pace than the first book (High-Voltage Danger Lab), which I appreciated, and the characters in the story are bit more lively, too. Here, the story involves a series of robberies of stores in town, the sudden emergence of a bunch of odd little robots, a comic book/Maker store where kids like to hang out, and some off-kilter characters. My son guessed the culprit early on but still thoroughly enjoyed the tale.

I like how the writers really bake in the whole engineering/inventor/Make ideas into the books. It doesn’t seem terribly forced and instead, the kids use their wits and humor to solve problems. It helps their uncle has a fully-equipped science lab in the basement of their home (doesn’t everyone?) but the schematics that are provided here rely on mostly common everyday objects and materials.

So, you could build your own robo-bug. And why wouldn’t you?

Peace (in the make),

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