Monday, March 20, 2023


illustrated girl running towards a hand with a ring
Why this book?

It’s funny, it’s a mystery and it’s packed with action! I also love the way the main character Nikki relies on her friends to help her and how they all have their own special skills—and messy real life problems. Nikki has an interesting and temperamental pet ferret to add to the mix.

Connections: science, mysteries, friendships, STEM

Activity Ideas:

Literacy – Do some research to find out more about the real-life scientists that inspired the characters in book, such as Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin and Michael Faraday. Create a poster or a short video to tell your friends more about them.

STEM: If you could invent anything, what would you invent? Draw a design for invention. Have one of your friends look at your design and ask questions about it. Do you need to revise your design? What materials would you need to build it?

Literacy/STEM: – If you found a ring with unknown powers, what tests would you try to figure out it’s capabilities?

Art: Imagine you’ve been shrunken to the size of a ferret or other small pet. What would you see? Create a piece of art to show what your classroom or room would look like from a tiny animal’s perspective.

Watch this video by Jess Keating to learn more about the books and the science behind them:

Find out more about this book by visiting the publisher’s webpage HERE.

Find out more about illustrator Lissy Marlin by visiting her webpage here.

Additional Resources:

Check out the other books in this series:

Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray (Elements of Genius #1)

Nikki Tesla and theTraitors of the Lost Spark (Elements of Genius #3)


Description from the publisher:   

"For a group of geniuses who are supposed to help people, we do an awful lot of stealing."

Nikki Tesla and the rest of the Genius Academy team have agreed to pilfer a completely priceless, totally lethal high-tech ring. Why? Because a mad scientist on a power trip plans to use it to do some serious damage. And because the very same mad scientist has kidnapped Mary Shelley. Mess with one genius, and you mess with them all.

But mostly they're planning the heist of the century so Nikki can get to know her long-lost father who claims he isn't the criminal mastermind she believes him to be. After all, if a little international thievery can protect the world from evil, it just might save Nikki's family.

Nikki Tesla and the Fellowship of the Bling (Elements of Genuis #2), written by Jess Keating and illustrated by Lissy Marlin was published by Scholastic Press in 2020.


To find more middle grade books to read, check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, organized by Greg Pattridge over at his blog.



  1. Thanks for sharing this title. I had not heard of it before reading your review. The characters and wild plot should appeal to young readers.

  2. Funny and mystery are a great combination. It sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for the heads up.


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