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The Fourteenth Goldfish
Cover of The Fourteenth Goldfish
The Fourteenth Goldfish
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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-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.1
  • Lexile:
    550
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book 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-
  • DOGO Books sweetpanda - The Fourteenth goldfish is a really good book and i recomend it to all you peaple taht haven't read it.My most favorite person in the book would be Ellie because she isn't following her Mom's foot steps to become an actor but she is very interested in scince so she follows her grandfathers instead of her Mom.The Fourteenth Goldfish is very funny,sensitive,and very adventurus.I hope that if you read my comment that you would read it and like it.
  • 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.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2014
    What would it be like if your grandfather turned up in your house as a 13-year-old boy?For sixth-grader Ellie, this leads to a recognition of the importance of the cycle of life and the discovery of her own passion for science. After her scientist grandfather finds a way to regain his youth, he's denied access to his lab and must come to live with Ellie and her mother. Although he looks young, his intellect and attitudes haven't changed. He still tells Ellie's mother what to wear and when to come home, and he loathes middle school even more than Ellie does. There's plenty of opportunity for humor in this fish-out-of-water story and also a lesson on the perils as well as the pluses of scientific discovery. Divorced parents, a goth friend and a longed-for cellphone birthday present are among the familiar details setting this story firmly in the present day, like Holm's Year Told Through Stuff series, rather than in the past, like her three Newbery Honor-winning historical novels. The author demonstrates understanding of and sympathy for the awkwardness of those middle school years. But she also gets in a plug for the excitement of science, following it up with an author's note and suggestions for further exploration, mostly on the Web.Appealing and thought-provoking, with an ending that suggests endless possibilities. (Science fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2014

    Gr 5-7-Eleven-year-old Ellie Cruz's life changes dramatically when her mother brings a teenage boy home one night and she learns it is her estranged grandfather. Melvin is a scientist who has figured out how to reverse aging and is now 13 again. Tensions are high between Melvin and his adult daughter, Ellie's mother, but Ellie feels like she now has the opportunity to really get to know her grandfather. Her interest in science blossoms, and she is eager to help Melvin retrieve the jellyfish specimen he used in his experiments so he can publish his discovery. Fascinated, Ellie learns about the work of Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, and Marie Curie. But as she learns more, she realizes that scientific discoveries often have unforeseen consequences. Readers are carried along with Ellie as she navigates old and new friendships in her first year in middle school with the added complication of her teenage grandfather at the same school. Short chapters keep the story moving at an engaging pace, and the interactions among the characters will easily hold readers' interest. Ellie's growing relationship with her grandfather helps her make discoveries about herself. Melvin, who begins as unapologetically single-minded in his determination to continue his work, also learns from Ellie. With humor and heart, Holm has crafted a story about life, family, and finding one's passion that will appeal to readers willing to imagine the possible.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2014
    Grades 4-6 *Starred Review* It's a little strange for 11-year-old Ellie when her mother brings home a boy who looks to be about 13 but dresses like Ellie's grandfather. But it's a shocker when Ellie realizes that the kid is her grandfather, a scientist who has suddenly succeeded in reversing the aging process. Now sleeping in their den and newly enrolled in Ellie's middle school, Grandpa connives with her to sneak into his old lab and swipe what he needs to continue his research. Meanwhile, Ellie comes to admire the grandfather she has barely known, listens to his stories of famous scientists, and discovers her own passion for science. Written in a clean, crisp style, with lively dialogue and wit, this highly accessible novel will find a ready audience. The idea of an adult in a young teen's body may not be new, but Ellie's first-person narrative makes good use of the situation's comic potential, particularly in the fractious, role-reversed relationship between Mom and Grandpa. Along with the comedy, the story has a reflective side, too, as Ellie thinks through issues such as death and immortality and confronts Grandpa with the social consequences of his research. A great choice for book groups and class discussions as well as individual reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A three-time Newbery Honorwinning author, whose books have also ranked on the New York Times best-seller lists, Holm has a formidably sized fan base waiting for her next release.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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The Fourteenth Goldfish
The Fourteenth Goldfish
Jennifer L. Holm
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