Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm...

How I Heard About It:  Twitter of course.  I kept seeing this title being talked about over and over.  I think the "talk" when way back to last fall.  I was jealous of all the readers that were getting an advanced copy of the book.  As I was waiting patiently for the August release I got an email from Net Galley with an invitation to download the book.  Can you say "Happy Day!"  

What It Is About:  Ellie is eleven years old and going through the typical changes that most kids go through:  growing up, friendship issues, and of course family stuff.  A teacher had given all of his students a goldfish to raise.  He wanted to teach them about life, life changes, and the life cycle.  Ellie was surprised to learn that the original goldfish she had been given had died many years ago and they were on the thirteenth version of the first goldfish.  Soon after this, a strange young boy shows up with Ellie's mother.  The boy seems oddly familiar to Ellie and she learns that it is actually her grandfather in a boy's body.  Yes, this sounds strange, but actually makes sense within the story.  As Ellie, her grandfather, and a friend try to figure out the secret to the "fountain of youth", they each learn a thing or two about growing old, staying young, and how important science is to our world.  Ellie's grandfather is on a quest to retrieve a jellyfish from his laboratory.  This jellyfish holds the answers to his scientific research.  He asks Ellie and her friend to be "assistants" in this quest.  They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

What I Thought Of It:  After hearing so much about certain books before they come out, my expectations don't always live up to all the hype.  That was not the case with this book.  I downloaded the novel on Friday afternoon after getting the email from Net Galley and finished the book before dinner.  I could not put it down.  I absolutely loved it.  I can't wait to share it the my students this year.  I will either use it for a "Breakfast with Books" book club selection and/or a read aloud.  The plot was creative, unique, and just plain fun.  As fun as the book was, there were some really important life lessons along the way.  I love the theme of "anything is possible."  We have to teach our students to believe in the possible.  Ellie was such a cool character and I won't soon forget her.  Her parents were a hoot along with Grandpa Melvin.  All of the supporting characters were just as important.  This is a top notch novel!

Who Should Read It:  Well, everyone of course.  This will be a novel that I will be telling my colleagues about.  It definitely needs to be in all classrooms.  The book could be read by a student in third grade or above.  I think it is just perfect for fourth grade readers which is awesome since that is the grade I teach.  The book would make for a perfect read aloud for any class in an elementary setting.  Be sure to look for this novel at the end August.  You will not be disappointed.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars 

1 comment:

  1. Just an fyi, this is one of the book choices for the global read aloud 2014. Check it out.