Review! The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

FourteenthGoldfish_CoverThe Fourteenth Goldfish
By Jennifer Holm

210 pages – ages 8+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on August 26, 2014


Summary – Ellie’s parents keep telling her she needs to find her passion in life, but lately Ellie is only feeling numb. The start of sixth grade is not going well. Her best friend, Brianna, is more interested in the volleyball team than being with Ellie, middle school seems like an alien world, and she just found out that her parents have been replacing her beloved pet goldfish “Goldie” with a new fish for the past seven years every time a “Goldie” died! Things get a lot more interesting complicated when her mom brings home an ornery, pushy, oddly dressed teenage boy who just happens to be Ellie’s scientist grandfather (Melvin) who found a cure for old age, but has been locked out of his lab by its new owners. Will Ellie ever find her passion or at least survive middle school now that her grandfather is enrolled as a student?

What I thought – I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.Β  I loved everything about it. I loved it so much I told my mom to read it (she is a scientist) and she loved it too. I really like that the book isn’t focused on the wacky science experiment that turned Ellie’s grandfather, Melvin, into a teenager, but rather it is focused on Ellie’s struggle to find her “passion,” dealing with growing apart from a friend, and getting closer to her grandfather. The wacky science stuff happens all around all these big topics. Of course I love Melvin. He is so cranky and nerdy it’s awesome! That part of the story is hilarious! I also like that there is real science facts in the book not just the wacky reversing age thing. It also teaches an important lesson about the power of science and how it has to be used wisely (I sound like Uncle Ben in Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility” πŸ˜‰ ). One of my favorite character interactions is how Ellie and her grandfather get to know each other better and they both seem to help each other. The book is just an awesome read. The chapters are very short and you just want to read the whole thing right away. One thing I noticed is that on each chapter heading, there are that many goldfish (like one goldfish on chapter 1 and two goldfish on chapter 2 and so on) up until chapters 14, 15 and 16 – they all have 14 goldfish. Then chapter 17 has 13 goldfish, 18 has 12 and so on until the last chapter has just one goldfish again. Okay that’s pretty nerdy of me to notice that, but I still think it’s cool. πŸ˜‰

This is one of those books where I wish my rating scale went higher. Five out of five bookworms – fivebooks

Categories: Age 6-9, Age 9+

Tags: , , , , ,

52 replies

  1. You sure are excited about this book! It is contagious. I really want top read it now.

  2. This one sounds awesome! I’m locating it.

  3. Wow, I can tell you like this one a lot. Now I’m going to have to read it, too!

  4. I love the title! It sounds like a book I will buy for my granddaughter. It has lots of elements in it that sound like a great story!

  5. Reblogged this on Plum Tree Books Blog and commented:
    Isn’t Erik’s enthusiasm infectious?

  6. GAH! Mom did that in her classroom with her Goldfish named Sparkle, so the kids wouldn’t be sad. A few times Sparkle died during the school day, but mostly Mom was able to do the switcheroo successfully.

    Love and licks,

  7. O, gosh, your enthusiasm for this one is explosive. The title is just awesome too. I am adding this to my TBR list!

  8. Here at the 7 Acre Wood my Mom Person replaces puppies instead of goldfish! This sounds like a hilarious book! I’ll have to sniff it out! Thanks Erik!

  9. I heard good things about this one, and now I see your obvious love of it! That tips the scale. I’ll pick it up on my next trip to the library πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for this wonderful blog, Jennifer – AND for being an inspiration to book lovers everywhere. I think your blog is my new FAVORITE and I’ll come back often!

  11. This book sounds great! It’s a MUST HAVE for our library. Thanks, Erik!

  12. I’m a sucker for great covers! But if you LOVE it, I MUST read it!

  13. Erik, your enthusiasm for this book is IMPOSSIBLE to miss! πŸ˜€ I’ve heard nothing but good about it, but the whole “grandfather finding a cure for old age” thing totally grabbed me! Thanks for this review, Erik! Yet ANOTHER book to add to my TBR!” lol

  14. I love your review. This book sounds fantastic.

  15. Terrific review. I was lucky enough to read an arc & loved it for the same reasons. Have recommended it to a couple of kid readers.

  16. Your excitement alone sells this book. Love the cover and great title. This really sounds like a quirky book — in a good way!

  17. I’ve read so many wonderful things about this book, Erik! And I am glad to note your excitement about it. Would have been a perfect book as well for our current reading theme. Sadly, it’s not available in our libraries as yet. Boo. πŸ™

  18. We are loving this book! πŸ™‚

  19. Erik, the goldfish for the beginning of each chapter is something I would notice, too. πŸ™‚
    This is a book I might have to find.

  20. I always enjoy your reviews Erik – and your enthusiasm for this fabulous book is especially spot-on!

  21. i l;ove this book but im looking for 5 facts

  22. What were the pet fishes names in the book again I can’t remember for the life of me

  23. This book is awesome! 5 of 5 stars. The only thing I didn’t like was that Ellie’s mother married Ben. I expected something like Ellie’s mom and dad re-married, and decided that no one could set them apart, instead of the boyfriend marrying.


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