By Azadeh Westergaard
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà

“An elegant and enlightening look at a man who brightened the whole world.” – Booklist, starred review

Viking Books for Young Readers Ages 5-9

Penguin Young Readers is excited to introduce a lyrical biography of the eccentric engineer and inventor, Nikola Tesla. A Life Electric: The Story Of Nikola Tesla by Azadeh Westergaard; illustrated by Julia Sardà introduces readers to one of the greatest inventors of all time with bewitching and whimsical text that’s brought to life with striking illustrations.

Born at the stroke of midnight during a lightning storm, Nikola Tesla grew up to become one of the most import- ant electrical inventors in the world. But before working with electricity, he was a child who loved playing with the animals on his family’s farm in Serbia.

An inventor since childhood, Tesla’s patents encompassed everything from radar and remote-control technology to wireless communications. But his greatest invention was the AC induction motor, which used alternating currents (AC) to distribute electricity, and which remains the standard for electric distribution today. Tesla’s love of animals also remained constant throughout his life and led to his anointment as the Pigeon Charmer of New York for his devotion to nature’s original wireless messengers.

Exploring his groundbreaking inventions against the back- drop of his private life, A Life Electric introduces Nikola Tesla to young readers unlike ever before. Azadeh Westergaard’s lyrical debut brings compassion and humanity to the legacy of the brilliant inventor, while the esteemed illustrator Julia Sardà deftly brings him to life.

A Life Electric is perfect for any curious reader, and the STEM hook is sure to inspire budding inventors to nature-lovers. The extensive back matter at the end that go into further detail on Tesla’s legacy and creations make this the perfect educational resource for all.

Azadeh Westergaard received her BA from Harvard College and MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A Life Electric is her picture book debut. The daughter of an electrical engineer and originally from Iran, she grew up in the United States and now lives in New York City with her husband and three boys. Visit her at

Júlia Sardà is an artist who has illustrated many books for children, including The Liszts by Kyo Maclear and Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey. Her work has been published around the world in many languages. She lives in Barcelona, Spain.