Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Reading 2014 The Fourteenth Goldfish

Jennifer Holm (of Babymouse fame) has written a wonderful story of laughter, growing pains, and an exploration of whether growing up and aging is actually a good thing or not. Ellie and her mom live in San Francisco. Her parents are divorced, although they get along pretty well. Mom is nervous about taking the big step and marrying her boyfriend, because she doesn't want to make another mistake. Ellie is an only child, but has a great best friend named Brianna. Rather, she HAD a best friend, until Brianna joined the volley ball team and started spending all her time with her teammates. So Ellie is already sad about growing up and growing apart from friends at the beginning of the book, and then her babysitter quits to go work at the "ear-piercing place at the mall."

On her babysitter's last night on the job, Ellie's mom gets a phone call to come down to the police station and pick up Ellie's grandfather, Melvin. It seems that Melvin has discovered a cure for old age and tried it out on himself. He now looks like a thirteen-year-old and was arrested for trespassing in his own research lab. (Go ahead and laugh, you know you want to.) Melvin has to move in with them and go to school with Ellie so he won't wind up in foster care or a group home somewhere. You can imagine the problems that follow - mom telling Melvin what to do, Melvin telling Ellie and her mom what to do, trying to keep the secret of his identity from everyone, Melvin trying to survive middle school when he's been a research scientist for over 40 years and doesn't want to listen to the teachers...It's a good thing her mom is a drama teacher, because their lives are suddenly full of drama.

Readers who enjoy stories about growing up and finding new interests and friends, or families learning how to get along and when to let go, or humorous stories about scientists and the unexpected results of their experiments - you need to read this.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published August 26, 2014.

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