The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

I’d heard something good about this and when my son said he wanted to read it I was so pleased I got it right away. He doesn’t usually gravitate towards realistic fiction that is not diary/funny/gross so I was so pleased that he wanted to read this. He read it and said he liked it, and then I read it. I liked it very much, though was surprised at the non-realistic element of the story. Ellie’s grandfather shows up one day but guess what? He’s not an old man anymore, he’s discovered something and tested it on himself successfully and has turned back into a teenager. There are some funny elements, such as teenage Melvin clashing with his adult daughter (Ellie’s mom) and attempts to break back into the lab to get his research.
The thoughtful message of the book seemed to beyond my son, who remarked “I don’t know why it was called that, it doesn’t have anything to do with goldfish.” Well, the goldfish connection and theme seemed very obvious to me, so I explained it and we talked about it and I hope he can improve his deeper connection to reading.


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