One of the things I treasure the most about the experience of publishing Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity is the chance to meet some great people. While I’ve met off-Broadway actors and writers (TESLA), authors and museum directors, and even Nikola Tesla’s grandnephew, one of the most inspiring has been 12-year-old Kyle Driebeek and his family.
I wrote about Kyle after meeting him several months ago at the annual Tesla conference in the New Yorker Hotel. His mother Betsy has kept me up-to-date on his activities since then, and we met again at Tesla Days in Philadelphia. Both Kyle and his brother Julian gave presentations about their first experiences trying to research Tesla for school projects. Kyle surprised me by mentioning he would be buying an extra copy of my book and donating it to the school library. He encouraged others to do the same.
On August 30th, Kyle presented the book to Mrs. Margo Nabors, librarian at the Bear Path School in Hamden, CT.
The idea all began in 2010 when a third grade project required students to research a famous person. Kyle chose Nikola Tesla. Other students chose people like Einstein, Disney, Hershey, Edison, Michelle Obama, Orville Wright, and Helen Keller. They had no trouble finding sufficient material for their projects. Tesla? Not so easy. After searching through the library’s database Kyle couldn’t find anything on Tesla. Nothing. The librarian, like Kyle’s parents and most other people, had never heard of Nikola Tesla.
Flash forward three years. My book, Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity, is released and, as Betsy Driebeek puts it, “reaches many ages and intellects.” Seeing an opportunity to give something back to his elementary school, Kyle decided to donate the book to the school library so that new students would have a chance to learn about this important, but often overlooked, scientist and inventor. Even better, Kyle has volunteered his own extensive and ever-increasing knowledge to assist the next student who comes inquiring about Tesla.
I am honored that Kyle and his family chose to donate my book to further education. Two of my relatives, both long-time teachers, have also told me that they will donate a copy of the book to the local school and public town libraries, respectively. Others have suggested they will do the same. I am very happy that Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity is playing a role in bringing the work and life of Nikola Tesla to a wider audience.
As another Tesla friend said to me recently “Tesla awareness is growing rapidly!!!” It’s nice to be a small part of building that awareness.
David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity. You can order a signed copy directly from me, download the ebook at barnesandnoble.com, and find hard copies exclusively at Barnes and Noble bookstores. Stores are starting to sell out their stock, and restock, so get them while they are available.