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The Fourteenth Goldfish

by Jennifer L.  Holm

Published by Arthur A, Levine Books/ Scholastic, Inc., 2014
195 pages
ISBN: 978𢠥75-870644

Ages 9-12

Eleven-year-old Ellie抯 scientist grandfather has discovered a jellyfish with anti-aging properties. Ellie learns this the day her mom comes home with a young teenage boy who seems vaguely familiar. It抯 her grandfather, Melvin. Ellie has never been particularly close to her grandfather, who抯 always been critical of her theater-teacher mom, but now the two of them are peers. Melvin doesn抰 change a thing about himself to attend middle school, still dressing like a seventy-something-year-old man except for his long hair (揑f you抎 been bald for years, would you cut it?). Unable to get back into his lab because no one recognizes him, he enlists Ellie and their new friend, Raj, to try to help him get to his research. Meanwhile, he抯 opening Ellie抯 eyes and mind to the fascinating world of science of things we cannot see that are happening all around us, of things that are waiting to be discovered, and of problems waiting to be solved. She抯 captivated, but as Ellie delves deeper into the world of science, into the life-changing and sometimes shattering work of scientists like Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine and J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project, she realizes there is more than just the wonder of discovery and the challenge of problem-solving. There are also questions about ethics and moral responsibility, some of them hitting close to home. Jennifer Holm抯 story is funny and engaging and effortlessly thought-provoking.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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