reviews and more about historical fiction and history-related non-fiction for children and teens
Monday, August 25, 2014
Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer M. Holm (Random House, 2014)
Release date: August 26, 2014 When a strange boy shows up at 11-year old Ellie's house, he looks a lot like Ellie's grandfather, a scientist who's obsessed with immortality. But could it really be Grandpa Melvin? The reader needs to suspend his or her disbelief in this quirky new realistic fiction/fantasy mash-up from award-winning children's novelist Jennifer Holm, as Ellie and her friend from school try to help the suddenly teen-aged Melvin recover his newest invention from the lab--one that has made him young again. But Melvin has a lot of other problems to cope with--from doing his homework to dealing with his daughter who is now acting as his parent! Holm mixes in lots of information about real scientists, and it's nice to see a novel in which the main character is fascinated by science and is a female. Ellie realizes that the great achievements of science, like those of Marie Curie and Robert Oppenheimer, can have their negative aspects as well, and the novel sensitively delves into these serious issues as well as whether immortality would be a good thing or not while maintaining a sense of humor in this appealing middle-grade novel. Back matter includes recommended resources on science and famous scientists mentioned in the novel that are appropriate for middle-grade readers. Highly recommended!
I am currently working as a children's librarian in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. For more on my background, click on my photo to go to my About Me page. You can reach me by commenting on this blog or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to send me a galley, please contact me for my mailing address.
Some of the books reviewed were received as advance review copies from Amazon Vine or directly from the publisher. Others may have been purchased or checked out from the library. I am willing to receive copies of appropriate books from publishers for review on this blog. Please contact me for further information.