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The Fourteenth Goldfish
Cover of The Fourteenth Goldfish
The Fourteenth Goldfish
Borrow Borrow
Believe in the possible . . . with this "warm, witty, and wise" New York Times bestselling novel from three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm. A perfect read about a child's relationship with her grandfather!

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.
And don't miss the much-anticipated sequel, The Third Mushroom!
"Warm, witty and wise"—The New York Times
"Awesomely strange and startlingly true-to-life. It makes you wonder what's possible." — Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
SUNSHINE STATE AWARD FINALIST!
Believe in the possible . . . with this "warm, witty, and wise" New York Times bestselling novel from three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm. A perfect read about a child's relationship with her grandfather!

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.
And don't miss the much-anticipated sequel, The Third Mushroom!
"Warm, witty and wise"—The New York Times
"Awesomely strange and startlingly true-to-life. It makes you wonder what's possible." — Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
SUNSHINE STATE AWARD FINALIST!
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    550
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the cover Goldie

    When I was in preschool, I had a teacher named Starlily. She wore rainbow tie-dyed dresses and was always bringing in cookies that were made with granola and flax and had no taste.

    Starlily taught us to sit still at snack time, sneeze into our elbows, and not eat the Play-Doh (which most kids seemed to think was optional). Then one day, she sent all of us home with a goldfish. She got them at ten for a dollar at a pet store. She gave our parents a lecture before sending us off.

    "The goldfish will teach your child about the cycle of life." She explained, "Goldfish don't last very long."

    I took my goldfish home and named it Goldie like every other kid in the world who thought they were being original. But it turned out that Goldie was kind of original.

    Because Goldie didn't die.

    Even after all my classmates' fish had gone to the great fishbowl in the sky, Goldie was still alive. Still alive when I started kindergarten. Still alive in first grade. Still alive in second grade and third and fourth. Then finally, last year in fifth grade, I went into the kitchen one morning and saw my fish floating upside down in the bowl.

    My mom groaned when I told her.

    "He didn't last very long," she said.

    "What are you talking about?" I asked. "He lasted seven years!"

    She gave me a smile and said, "Ellie, that wasn't the original Goldie. The first fish only lasted two weeks. When he died, I bought another one and put him in the bowl. There've been a lot of fish over the years."

    "What number was this one?"

    "Unlucky thirteen," she said with a wry look.

    "They were all unlucky," I pointed out.

    We gave Goldie Thirteen a toilet-bowl funeral and I asked my mom if we could get a dog.
About the Author-
  • JENNIFER L. HOLM's father was a pediatrician and she grew up listening to him talk about the wonder of antibiotics and how science could change the world. Today Jennifer is the NY Times bestselling author of three Newbery Honor Books, as well as the co-creator of the Babymouse series (a 2013 Eisner Award Winner) and Squish series, which she collaborates on with her brother Matthew Holm.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Georgette Perna's deft narration enhances Holm's story of a generation gap gone haywire. How do you cope when your grandfather turns up as a teenager who becomes your babysitter and draws you into a daring B and E of his former science lab? Perna voices 12-year-old Ellie's wacky adventures with glee. Her tones contrast well with the voice of Ellie's exasperated mother, who doles out life lessons to her previously 70-year-old father, Melvin, now a teen. Even better is Perna's delivery of Melvin's mixed persona of adolescent know-it-all and senior curmudgeon. Perna's exuberant storytelling takes the edge off the author's slight didacticism about the wonders, and evils, of science. D.P.D. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 26, 2014
    Middle school doesn’t start smoothly for 11-year-old Ellie, whose best friend finds her passion (volleyball) and new teammates to eat lunch with, while Ellie flounders, uninterested in sports or her parents’ avocation, theater. A startling addition to the household helps Ellie get her groove back when Grandpa Melvin, a scientist, moves in
    after engineering a cure for aging (the regenerative properties of jellyfish are involved) and transforming himself into a teenage boy. Though Melvin dresses and acts like the crotchety old man he was, he and Ellie bond over spirited discussions about Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, the possibilities of science, and the moral questions scientific advances can raise. Though the subject matter has a lot of intellectual heft, the writing has Holm’s ever-present light touch. The small cast, which refreshingly includes
    divorced parents who treat each other
    respectfully, is so well realized that the farfetched aspects of the plot seem almost plausible. This is top-notch middle-grade fiction with a meaty dilemma, humor, and an ending that leaves room for the possibility of a sequel. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Grinberg Literary Management.

Title Information+
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    Burn to CD: 
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    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Fourteenth Goldfish
The Fourteenth Goldfish
Jennifer L. Holm
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