The Fourteenth Goldfish
Jennifer L. Holm
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Believe in the possible . . . with this New York Times bestseller by 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 misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility. Look for EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL in the paperback—including Ellie’s gallery of scientists and other STEM-appropriate features.
“Warm, witty, and wise.” —The New York Times
* “Written in a clean, crisp style, with lively dialogue and wit, this highly accessible novel will find a ready audience.” —Booklist, Starred
* “Top-notch middle-grade fiction.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred
* “Ellie’s memorable journey into the world of science will inspire readers to explore the world around them and celebrate the possible.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred
“Awesomely strange and startlingly true-to-life. It makes you wonder what’s possible.” —Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal–winning author of When You Reach Me
A SUNSHINE STATE AWARD FINALIST!
cocks an eyebrow and I explain. “Like they did with the Manhattan Project. When they were creating the atomic bomb.” We try out a few names (the Melvin Sagarsky Project, the Jellyfish Project, the Raj and Ellie Are Totally Cool Project). And then Raj snaps his fingers. “I got it,” he says, pointing to his plate. “The Burrito Project.” My grandfather explodes into the kitchen, shouting, “They closed my email account!” “Who?” He’s outraged. “My email account at the lab! Someone closed my
night. “Did she just quit?” I ask. I’m a little in shock. My mother nods. “This is turning into a banner day.” I stare out into the night to catch a last glimpse of my babysitter, but see someone else: a boy with long hair. He’s standing beneath the old, dying palm tree on our front lawn. It drops big brown fronds everywhere, and my mom says it needs to come down. The boy is slender, wiry-looking. He looks thirteen, maybe fourteen? It’s hard to tell with boys sometimes. “You need to put your
healthy.” “Do you want to sleep over Saturday night?” I ask her. She looks uncomfortable. “Tournament.” “Right,” I say. I remember the time I went fishing at summer camp. I didn’t catch anything, no matter how many times I threw my line with the worm in the water. I listen as they talk volleyball. They think the coach is tough, some girl named Serena needs to work on her serve, the hotel they are staying at this weekend has a pool. One of the girls stands abruptly with her tray and says,
talk of Chinese food has made me hungry. “I’ll take a wonton soup,” I say. My mother sighs. “Fine,” she says, and a little of the excitement goes out of her voice. When my mom returns from picking up the food, we settle in on stools at the counter. My grandfather digs around in his carton suspiciously. “This doesn’t look like the moo goo gai pan I usually get. This looks spicy. You know I don’t like spicy food, Melissa.” “It’s regular old moo goo gai pan, Dad,” my mom says. My grandfather
shakes his head. “Are you learning anything at all in this place?” He looks past me. “If this country spent half as much time on science education as cheering some idiot with a ball, you’d know who Jonas Salk is.” I turn to see what he’s looking at and feel a stab of pain. At the edge of the lunch court, a bunch of girls are throwing a volleyball around. Brianna’s with them. She spikes the ball and the girls collapse on the ground in laughter. I force myself to look away. “Tell me about Salk,”