The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer Holm
Tween – grades 5-8
* * * Stars (Pretty good)
Ellie, sixth-grader, takes it in stride when her grandfather – who has cultured the elixir of youth from a heretofore unknown jellyfish – comes to live with her and her mother after being arrested for breaking into his own lab. Because his elixir works. And he’s now the same cantankerous and opinionated old man (who loves Chinese food) trapped in the body of a teenage boy. Grandpa Melvin isn’t thrilled about having to go back to middle school, but Ellie finds that she shares his scientific interests (maybe it runs in her genes?), and with her help they may be able to prove his discovery. Ellie starts to have second thoughts after learning about the discovery of the atomic bomb. Is the world really ready for eternal youth? Grandpa Melvin certainly isn’t!
Young scientists and others with inquiring and inquisitive minds will enjoy this funny and thoughtful novel.