The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
In preschool, Ellie’s teacher gave all the children goldfish to teach them about the cycle of life. Ellie thought her fish was special until one day the fish died and her mother finally tells her that she kept replacing the fish every time one died.
Her parents are divorced and Ellie lives with her mother, a high school drama teacher. Ellie’s father travels for his career as an actor and her grandfather, Melvin, lives close by.
The babysitter informs Ellie that her mother is going to be late one night because she had to pick up Ellie’s grandfather from jail.
Her grandfather is a scientist and working with jellyfish, found a compound, using a new specimen of jellyfish. He tested the compound on adult mice and found that it caused them to revert to their adolescent stage of life. He injected it into himself, causing him to become a teenager again. He tried to go back into the lab to retrieve the jellyfish but security had him arrested.
Ellie’s mom requires him to go back to school. Under the alias of Melvin, Ellie’s “cousin”, he joins Ellie in middle school.
Throughout the book, Melvin tries to break into his lab. Eventually, he succeeds, but Ellie gets upset with him and tries to teach him a lesson about the cycle of life.
I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. The characters were well developed and I loved them all. The story had multiple wonderful messages, from new beginnings to endless possibilities. I highly recommend it.
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