Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Book Alert: The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm, publication date: August 26, 2014. Have been waiting for this one for quite a while, especially after it was chosen as one of the options for the upcoming Global Read Aloud. (I will be participating in the GRA via The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with the third graders, but The Fourteenth Goldfish would be an excellent late elementary or middle school choice).

The Fourteenth Goldfish is the instantly-intriguing tale of 11 year-old Ellie and the surprise arrival of her grandfather, Melvin, now in the body of his 13 year-old self after he used himself as a human guinea pig for one of his science experiments. Expected middle school dramas (friendships becoming distant, struggling to understand yourself and your passions, and making friends with kids who are different than you) collide with science and science fiction as Melvin enrolls in Ellie's middle school and starts nurturing her interest in science.

This book is great on so many levels. I loved all the information about real science and scientists, as well as some of the bigger questions raised about the implications of science and scientific discovery. Readers across many different type of genres will find something to appreciate in this book. The science is not too overwhelming for fans of realistic fiction, and the real-life issues and struggles are not too powerful or too adult for younger readers or fans of science fiction. I think this book will be a strong draw with later elementary and middle school students. Definitely one to add to your library or classroom collection!


  1. This was such a great book! I really enjoyed the bits of science and history sprinkled throughout. It was intriguing enough that I think it will encourage kids to pursue their passion, whether it be science or art. We need more science-focused books!

    1. I absolutely agree! I did like the evolving attitude of the narrator, as she started realizing more about what science is and what it could offer. I think this is a great book to encourage future scientists, and a great one for a science-interested kid to really see themselves in the book!


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