The 14th Goldfish

Finished The 14th Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?”

I wish I had had this book when I was younger.  I never really liked science that much and I think books like this would have changed that.  (I never thought about the ways that science actually changed the world or, as Ellie said, viewed it as a love story involving people and possibility.  Isn’t that an awesome way to look at it?)

And while there’s nothing wrong with girls liking English (as I did all throughout school) or music or art, there’s also something fantastic about showing girls in love with science.  It’s scary how easy it is to internalize that girls don’t like math or science or aren’t good at it.  And yes, in my case that’s actually true, but how much of that has to do with the fact that we’re subtly taught that we suck at it? And how easily that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy?)


I loved Ellie and her family (her parents are both artistic and Ellie never really thought of herself as being into science until she and her grandfather start doing these experiments together).  And I especially love her grandpa who (God love him) stays elderly even when he has the body of a teenager.

I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more by Jennifer L. Holm.

Highly recommended.


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