Friday, July 25, 2014

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Title: The Fourteenth Goldfish
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Publisher: August 26th 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: ebook, 208 pages
Genre: Secondary Reader
Source: Netgalley

Not usually a fan of secondary readers, I was surprised when I sat down and did not want to get up until this book was finished. I laughed with Ellie, got frustrated with Melvin and rejoiced when Ellie and Melvin came to terms as to what is important in life. Life is not about existing it is about the possibilities.

Being told that her mother was going to be late because she had to pick up her father at the police station has 11-year-old Ellie confused. To compound that, when her mother arrives home, Grandpa is not with her, but there is an odd boy that Ellie is convinced must be one of her mother’s drama students. There is something more, the way the boy talks to her mother, his familiarity, but the clincher is the ring he is wearing, she has seen it before. Then it hits her. Grandpa?

What is this magic that has turned her grandfather into a thirteen-year-old boy?

Turns out it is not magic, but science. Somehow her grandfather has reversed aging. No more balding, bad hearing and eyesight, and no more arthritis. This is almost too fascinating for Ellie to bear. This is opening a brand new door. A brand new way of looking at the possibilities. Science fiction is becoming her reality.

“Scientists never give up. They keep trying because they believe in the possible”.

As the realities of what her grandfather is doing hit Ellie, she comes up with a few questions of her own. Practically speaking, if all the adults can become children again, who is go to be the grown-up? As she recalls Oppenheimer’s quote, is the world ready for this change.

Grandpa is introducing his granddaughter to the fascination of science and the men and women who were not afraid of questioning the possible. Without realizing it, this book is also teaching your children about science and scientists and the bigger picture of where science can lead. It teaches about relationships and responsibilities, and what can happen when we dream of the possibilities.

This book still gives me the shivers and leaves me with a smile.

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