August 1, 2014
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer Holm
When Ellie is in preschool, her teacher gives each child in the class a gold fish. The explanation that she gives the parents is simple. Goldfish don’t last very long and owning one will teach your child about life and death and loss. To her amazement, Goldie lives for 7 years until one morning Ellie finds her fishing floating bellie up in its bowl.
Not only is this the day that Ellie finds her fish floating, it is also the day that she discovers that her mother has been replacing dead fish with live fish for 7 long years. Goldie the First only lived for 2 weeks. This was Goldie Unlucky 13.
Ellie is waiting for her mother to get home when she gets the news. Mom might be a while. She’s at the police station getting Ellie’s grandfather. Ellie can’t imagine what kind of trouble her grandfather might have caused. After all, he’s old. What she isn’t expecting is her mother to return home with a thirteen year-old boy, a thirteen-year old boy who seems vaguely familiar, has out of control curly hair just like hers and dresses like an old man.
Apparently, her grandfather’s lastest science experiment was a success. Based on the regenerative properities of a certain jelly fish, he is once again a teenager and was caught entering his own labs.
As a teen, he is forced to attend middle school, a fate he bemoans. Ellie finds herself drawn to him as he teachers her about the scientific method and the scientists who plied it to unlock the secrets of the universe and a world of possibilities.
While definitely science fiction, this book contains healthy doses of truth in both the realities of middle school (old frienships wane, while new are born) as well as the importance of love, family and being true to each other. Ellie also learns that there are two sides to every story, including stories of scientific discover and the “good” of any invention.
This book may be a quick read, but it isn’t all light and air. It will make you think and pop back into your mind as you read about the latest and greatest finds, guarenteed to improve the world and solve all our problems.