Jennifer Holm’s “The Fourteenth Goldfish” is a Charming MG Read with a Science Twist

Jennifer L. Holm is no stranger to middle grade literature. Her Babymouse graphic novel series has been hugely successful and she’s the author of three Newbery Honor books. The Fourteenth Goldfish is her latest title and will not disappoint young fans.

Ellie is growing up on the Bay side of San Francisco with her blue-haired mom, who is a drama teacher in a house that looks like a shoebox. She’s happy with her life for the most part, until her grandfather shows up and wants to move in with them.

He has created a formula called T. melvinus which serves as a kind of fountain of youth. Although he still thinks and speaks like an old man, his body is now the same age as Ellie.

The story continues on a main trajectory that one can predict but what is less predictable is the delicacy and grace that Holm lends to under-lying themes: split families, changing friendships, lost love and more. There are a few sputters and starts to the story which keep it from having a completely free-flow.

Science is it’s own character in the story and readers will learn the names of many important American Scientists while reading. The book also includes recommendations for more science reading.

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pub Date: August 26, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-375-87064-4
Page Count; 208 pages
Publisher: Random House

*Thank you Random House for providing a review copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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