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The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish

by Jennifer Holm

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An interesting middle grade book about Ellie, a girl whose scientist grandfather discovers eternal youth. Since he looks like a teenager, not an old man, he has to move in with Ellie and her mother, and go to middle school. There’s an emphasis on Ellie discovering science and loving it, and I, in turn, love THAT! The ending makes the book seem like the first in a series, and I really hope the focus stays on Ellie becoming a scientist. ( )
1 vote howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Ellie is starting sixth grade when suddenly this sullen, grouchy teenager shows up at her house with her mom. He seems oddly familiar until she figures out it is her grandfather who has invented a drug to "cure old age".
He is determined to get back into his office to get the information that he is certain will win him the Nobel Prize. Ellie is dealing with friend changes and realizing that she thinks science is really cool.
The book is peppered with information about real scientists and their work.
A touching story with dynamic characters. ( )
  ewyatt | Sep 28, 2015 |
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed. A few people cried. Most people were silent."
-Oppenheimer (Loc 476 of ARC)

That's right, that's an Oppenheimer quote from a middle grade book. This isn't any old middle grade book about a girl and her goldfish (admit it, you kinda thought it was). It's a deeply moving story about a girl, Ellie and her grandfather Melvin. Melvin is a scientist who just made a groundbreaking discovery. He discovered the fountain of youth! He is now her grandfather trapped in a 13 year old's body. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. But this isn't some comical joke of a novel.

First of all, the book is about science. Technical details, famous scientists name, and controversial issues were all discussed. Keep in mind, in case you're forgetting, this is a middle grade novel. I can't tell you how happy this made me. I mean, middle school was the setting, but Ellie was considering really great topics. For instance, the issue of scientific discovery. Oppenheimer's Manhattan Project (which I didn't learn about until High School, and Ellie is learning it in middle school because of her grandfather), created the atomic bomb. Was the world ready for it? What were the ramifications? How was his discovery received? Did the scientists eat burritos while discussing ideas?

The characters were hilarious. The majority of the humor came from Melvin, Ellie's grandfather-turned 13 year old, who also turns into her new babysitter. He wears her moms leggings because he hates doing laundry. He steals soy sauce packets from the Chinese restaurant (my grandfather does that with saltine crackers). Basically, he's laugh out loud funny. The book is a fast read, and I was instantly captivated by Ellie and her scientific mind. I loved how the author didn't dumb things down for the audience. In fact, she did the opposite. She encourages young readers to look up these famous scientists, and their discoveries! Marie Curie, Einstein, Galileo, Oppenheimer, and Stalk are some of the many that are listed and referenced in the book. Not to mention, at the end there's a wonderful "for further research" page for kids who want to quench what curiosity was piqued from reading the book.

So thank you Jennifer Holm! I will be recommended this to my nephew and niece, as well as my students I tutor. Those who like and those who don't like science, will find this a pleasurable and funny read. I wouldn't e surprised if this wins awards. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
Lovely story about a girl's growing relationship with her grandfather and how it helps her make important discoveries about herself. Well-crafted, engaging novel that is nicely suited for group discussion. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Ellie's grandfather is a scientist, who experiments on himself. His latest creation causes him to reverse the aging process, and become a middle schooler again. Ellie learns a lot from him while he goes to school and lives with her, finding her own true passion for science.
  mlbailey77 | May 16, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375870644, Hardcover)

Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:46 -0400)

Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager--which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.

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