The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer L. Holm
How many of you have a close relationship with your grandfather? Now….how would you feel about hanging out with your grandfather as a 13-year-old boy? A grandfather who looks young but has the same intelligence, personality and attitude he had as a 76-year-old! 11-year-old Ellie finds herself in this exact situation as her scientist grandfather has, shockingly enough, found the means to reverse aging through a particular species of jellyfish and has experimented upon himself!
This may sound like a good thing for Grandpa Melvin but now that he is young again, this man who previously earned 2 PhD’s must now attend middle school for the 2nd time creating complications not only for himself but for Ellie! Then there is the issue of Ellie’s mother having to take in her own father and raise him as a teenage boy in her household while Grandpa is still trying to tell her what she can and can’t wear to work!
However, there is a bright side to this crazy situation. Ellie’s relationship with her grandfather deepens as he teaches her a lot about famous scientists and their discoveries, stimulating an interest in science she never knew she had. As the story unfolds, both Grandpa and Ellie learn that sometimes scientific discoveries have unexpected consequences.
Holm has hit a home run once again with this smart, funny and touching middle grade novel about a family learning from one another about themselves and the world around them.
Recommended for grades 4 through 6.
Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)