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The Fourteenth Goldfish

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  12,966 Ratings  ·  2,064 Reviews
Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even m
ebook, Books for Young Readers, 208 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Random House (first published January 1st 2014)
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Suzy The author of the book The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, Jacqueline Houtman, coined a term -- "sciency-fiction" -- to describe books like this. It…moreThe author of the book The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, Jacqueline Houtman, coined a term -- "sciency-fiction" -- to describe books like this. It weaves real information (in this case information about famous scientists and their work) into a great story for middle grade readers. I also loved that it raised moral and ethical questions about scientific discoveries.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Rachel Reads Ravenously
3 stars!

Ellie is eleven years old, lives with her eccentric actress of a mom while her dad is a traveling actor. Ellie has just started the sixth grade, started middle school and is feeling overwhelmed and lost. One day her mother gets a call to pick up her grandfather from the police, and brings home a thirteen year old boy Melvin, who is actually her grandfather. Through a special jellyfish, Melvin developed a serum to reverse the aging process, and he used it on himself. Mentally a seventy
Jul 15, 2016 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am on vacation! This gem of an audiobook helped us pass three hours of our six hour trip and to say it was a sheer delight is understating it a bit. This was a very nearly perfect listening experience in that both my children and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The adorable story slips in a lot of information about important scientists and life-changing scientific discoveries all while keeping it light and quite funny. There is an underlying moral question that both of my children fully embraced, as ...more
Want to raise kids who embrace curiosity, thrill in discovery, appreciate science, and care about ethics? Hand them this book. Warm, wise, and wonderfully accessible, The Fourteenth Goldfish is, on the surface, the entertaining story of an 11 year-old whose grandfather has found a way to reverse aging and is now forced to attend middle school alongside her. But dig a little deeper and you'll find this novel is a rich invitation for readers to explore and ponder big questions about the world and ...more
Liesl Shurtliff
I drank this book up, goldfish and all. I loved it. Funny, quirky, and beautiful. This would be a perfect read-aloud. The grandpa is hilarious.
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
This book was awarded by NetGalley - I LOVED it!!!
I wish I had read this book while I was in middle school! I think it had EVERYTHING I would have wanted!
The way the Information was so gently handed to the reader, would have prompted me to find other books to further research the scientists, they were so well explained.
The family issues, and interactions were believable. Growing out of one relationship and into another as we all do, as the one between Ellie and her best friend and having divor
Jul 25, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grandfathers aren’t supposed to look like 13-year-olds, have acne and wear their hair in ponytail holders. But Ellie Cruz’s does—such is the premise of “The Fourteenth Goldfish” by Jennifer L. Holm, known too many because of her “Baby Mouse” and “Squish” series, and Newbery Honor awards.

Ellie’s granddad, Melvin Sagarsky, a scientist, has discovered the fountain of youth via a jellyfish compound called T. melvinus. Now the 76-year-old has a senior brain in a pubescent body. Madcap mayhem ensues
La La
I am giving this three stars, but it was more like 2 1/2. I admire the attempt at making the book a science showcasing story with a female MC, but the story also has to be entertaining, and it fell short in that department. The beginning of the book was great, but somewhere around 20% in it just dragged with too many setting details and unnecessary dialogue. I speed read a couple more chapters and then gave up. I did want to know how it all ended, so I read the last chapter and it was back to be ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Skip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Maybe 2.5 stars? I really wanted to like this book but found the characters pretty flat. Ellie, an 11-year old girl, is in middle school and lost her best friend to volleyball. Ellie’s mother brings home a stray teenage boy, Melvin, (view spoiler) Melvin gets Ellie interested in famous scientists like Robert Oppenheimer, Isaac ...more
Jenn (One of Many, We are Legion)
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

"Endings are sad....but beginnings are exciting."

This is one of those books I was invited to read via Netgalley. When I received the invitation, I did not realize this was a middle grade book, so that revelation was rather surprising. This was a cute book with lots of great messages for middle grade readers, but it definitely requires a great suspension of disbelief (probably much e
Tommeh Bell
The Nitty Gritty: Ellie's world is about to get sucker punched in the gut. First, her best friends runs off for greener pastures with the volleyball team, her father is off on a tour with his play company and her mother is a hipster looking for some fashion sense. If that isn't enough her grandfather is now a moody teenager.

Like most people Ellie doesn't like change, but her grandfather and more importantly her dearly departed goldfish, Goldie just might teach the middle schooler that change is
Rebecca McNutt
I haven't read such a creative middle-grade novel in some time. Teaching younger readers not only about science and heritage, but also about coping with change and loss, The Fourteenth Goldfish is a really remarkable story.
Dec 08, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy moly! We will be buzzing about The Fourteenth Goldfish in the fall.
Apr 14, 2017 Huy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sách dễ thương, đọc 1 lèo trong 1 buổi tối. Nhưng không thích bằng mấy cuốn trước của Jennifer L. Holm.
Bài nhỏ của mình về cuốn này trên trang Đọc Sách:


I really wanted to like this book. The person who recommended it to me is a very dear friend, and a wonderful soul. I tried so hard...

This is a children's book. I don't agree with it, but some people say allowances have to be made for that. In any case, if you decide to read it, keep that in mind.

Synopsis: Ellie is an 11 year-old girl with artistic parents who is currently suffering a break-up from her best friend, and doesn't like the change. One da

I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. I had checked this title out because I just wanted something short for a couple of walks/runs.

I was reminded of "Flowers for Algernon" pretty early on in the story, but this book wasn't treading that same ground. Instead, this book covered a lot of different territories: growing old, losing friends and making new friends and the pain there, learning to live with one's parents' expectations, learning to accept one's child's differences and interest
Minh Trang
Cuốn sách thiếu nhi với cốt truyện đơn giản, về một nhà khoa học và cô cháu gái cùng nhau nghiên cứu và phát triển một thứ thần dược giúp người ta trẻ mãi không già. Nhưng cuối cùng họ nhận ra, lớn lên rồi già đi là một quy luật tất yếu của cuộc đời, không thể can thiệp hay thay đổi, nếu như cố tình sẽ gây ra những hậu quả khôn lường.

Người ông của cô bé khi trở lại là một đứa trẻ tuổi 13 do thứ thuốc mình nghiên cứu đã gây rất nhiều phiền phức cho gia đình cô bé cũng như ngôi trường ông theo họ
I didn't like this book because it got really boring at the end.
Aug 02, 2014 Celeste_pewter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two-second recap:

The Fourteenth Goldfish is a wonderful, funny tale on family, finding what you love in life and second chances. Readers both young and old, will undoubtedly appreciate Ellie's gradual discovery of her love of science, and her growing appreciation of family and friends in all ages and forms.


Full review:

I've been sitting on my review for The Fourteenth Goldfish for several months now, because I've been worried that I just can't do this book justice.

It's a wonderfully inve
Destinee Sutton
My thoughts upon finishing this:

1. This is like Rebecca Stead lite! And I mean that as a compliment! Stead's books explore themes in interesting and sophisticated ways. This explored a theme (the impacts of science on nature) on a bunch of levels in a way that is (probably) easier to grasp for most young readers. I'm very excited to talk to kids about this one.

2. Man, I love this idea of a teenage grandparent. So funny. There was something about it that was familiar to me, but I can't put my f
Wart Hill
Jul 17, 2014 Wart Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

[I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley. This fact has no bearing on my review.]

Ellie’s life gets a little strange when a thirteen year old boy comes home with her mom and claims to be her grandfather. All evidence points to him telling the truth, and Ellie is whisked into the world of science and “discovering the possible” as she tries to help her grandfather retrieve the specimen that made his life’s work - reversing
Cathy Blackler
Jul 01, 2014 Cathy Blackler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holm has spun a beautiful little tale for readers of all ages that addresses family, growing pains, and the importance of belief in the possible. Science facts sure to entice curious readers are found throughout the novel. I love this simple, evocative story & found many connections with the familial relationships & Ellie's uncertainty about her future. A must read. THIS REVIEW COMES AS A RESULT OF READING AN ADVANCED READER'S COPY. MUCH THANKS TO THE RANDOM HOUSE REPS AT ALA14.
Lauren Waters
I liked how quick this book read, and I liked the overall theme of appreciating and living life to its fullest. This is a great book for readers that enjoy science and characters that learn life lessons about getting older and discovering their true self.
THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH is a thoughtful, well-written middle grade book that touches on friendship, coming of age/aging, family, and science. Jenni will be at Avid on 8/28 at 4pm. She's best known for BABYMOUSE & SQUISH but her novels are just lovely.
Mar 18, 2014 katsok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one amazing book. My students will be addicted to it.
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I am going to be honest, I'm not one of Jennifer Holm's biggest fans. Don't get me wrong, I book talk her books, put them on recommended reading lists, and buy them for my daughter (who is a huge a fan), but her writing style is not my particular cup of tea. I was really surprised then to find myself enjoying The Fourteenth Goldfish as much as I did.

The Fourteenth Goldfish is a story about life and how it is in constant flux. At the cent
Melissa Chung
Jul 28, 2014 Melissa Chung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Thank you so much Random House Children's and NetGalley for inviting me to read this eARC copy of 'The Fourteenth Goldfish'. Ohhh this book was simply amazing. If I could give it 10 stars I would.

Ellie is a 12 year old girl living in San Francisco. One morning she wakes up to find that her goldfish has died. Unbeknownst to her, her mother Melissa has been switching out her goldfish since Kindergarten. That was unlucky #13 taking a ride down the porcelain express.

This story was about growing up a
Jul 17, 2014 Diamond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every middle school kid
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed. A few people cried. Most people were silent."
-Oppenheimer (Loc 476 of ARC)

That's right, that's an Oppenheimer quote from a middle grade book. This isn't any old middle grade book about a girl and her goldfish (admit it, you kinda thought it was). It's a deeply moving story about a girl, Ellie and her grandfather Melvin. Melvin is a scientist who ju
Aug 13, 2014 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brenda by: NetGalley
Originally posted:

I love a story where everything comes full circle and all the pieces of the puzzle seem to seamlessly come into place. One where Holm relates the story of how Ellie's kindergarten teacher gave out a goldfish to her students, but when the goldfish dies, her mom gives her a new one, and another, and another, until she has had thirteen goldfish in all. Yet this little detail wraps into conveying the cycle of life. A story where the reader is prompted t
Aug 13, 2014 Matina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fourteenth Goldfish is the lighthearted story of Ellie a young girl who's just started 6th grade and her grandfather who's just discovered the key to the fountain of youth. This story was a delight from start to finish with it's crazy situations and delightful approach to science.

Jennifer Holm did an amazing job presenting science in a way that will really appeal to kids. Her engaging characters and plot did a great job highlighting the joys of discovery and science. There were times I found
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I loved this middle grade book about dealing with change and the inevitability of change!

Ellie's life is undergoing changes that she isn't happy about. Her best friend is moving on to other friends. She has left fifth grade and is now in sixth attending a middle school. Her grandfather is now living with them as a teenager and she found out her goldfish hasn't lived for seven years. It has been replaced several times by a concerned mother.

There are many great lessons that can be taken away from
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Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly pra
More about Jennifer L. Holm...

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“I'm a jellyfish glowing in the dark sea, bright and brilliant, just waiting to be discovered.” 3 likes
“I think what you wear on Halloween is important. It says something about you--who you are and what you want to be. There's got to be a reason so many girls go around dressed as princesses and witches.” 2 likes
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