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The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm is a 4-6th grade juvenile fiction book with some fun STEM elements.

Eleven-year-old Ellie isn’t big on change. She liked fifth grade. She misses fifth grade. Sixth grade just isn’t the same; her best friend has become distant and Ellie doesn’t really know what to do about it. This was her biggest concern until her 76 year-old grandfather shows up on her doorstep, looking like a teenager.

Apparently, her scientist grandfather–obsessed with immortality–experimented on himself and found the fountain of youth. Now this angsty teen with the habits of an old man wants Ellie to help him break into is lab and steal his experiment back.

Things are about to change in a big way and for once, Ellie isn’t sure that is a bad thing. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?

I have been meaning to read this one for a while and just haven’t gotten around to it. But what a wonderful story with lots of STEM-y goodness. I’m always looking for a good STEM themed juvenile fiction book for my book club and this one references Galileo, Newton, Salk, and Oppenheimer.

There’s also this question of morality in the book. What is right or wrong and how far is too far? Does innovation and scientific breakthrough come at a cost? These are some really great this to think about and would work well in a book club discussion.

This book can also be considered a coming of age novel because Ellie really goes on a journey of self discovery. By working with her grandfather, she realizes that she doesn’t have to be like her parents, she can choose her own path.

This is a great book for everyone and I think it will definitely make it onto my STEM Book Club list. It gets five stars from me.

That’s all for now!


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