Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

The Fourteenth Goldfish

on September 2, 2015
Eleven-year-old Ellie is going about her everyday middle school life when her mother is called to pick up her scientist grandfather from the police station. Instead of coming home with her 76-year-old grandfather Melvin, Ellie’s mom returns with a thirteen-year-old boy with the same curmudgeonly attitude as Melvin. We soon learn that Melvin has discovered a way to reverse the aging process and was able to return his body to that of his teenage self. However, his mind and memories of his entire life are still present. He dresses in his favorite polyester pants and tie and still lectures Ellie’s mom about everything from her longtime boyfriend to when to put out the trash. Melvin attends school with Ellie and begins to scheme ways to get back into his lab to resume work on his experiment. As Ellie and Melvin spend more time together, he teaches her about famous scientists like Salk, Galileo, Oppenheimer, Curie, Pasteur, Newton and Einstein. Ellie becomes interested in the sciences, but begins to question whether the work and their contributions to the world are always for the best. Ultimately, she comes to believe that the best of science is the belief and search for what may be possible.

41 Responses to “The Fourteenth Goldfish”

  1. the hjkflahlwef hibelh fcbkq Chef Curry says:

    I liked the book it really made me wonder if were always ready for a new discoverey

  2. KaLyStA says:

    In my opinion I think this book is great, because it has a lot of details and good descriptive writing. For example, the author explains that Ellie’s mom is a drama teacher and she likes to do that because she likes working with kids. I would recommend this book for anybody who likes a good comedy/adventure story.

  3. WoolyWolf says:

    @FLUFFY
    I totally agree with you, I love the Fourteenth Goldfish! Grandpas are not supposed to turn young! If my Grandpa turned young I would question life itself! XD XP 😛 😀 WW

  4. WoolyWolf says:

    @FLUFFY
    I totally agree with you, I love the Fourteenth Goldfish! Grandpas are not supposed to turn young! If my Grandpa turned young I would question life itself! XD XP 😛 😀

  5. FLUFFY says:

    I can not put this book down. If my grampa ever turned young again I would freak out. It is a very cool and interesting book. I could read this book over and over again. When I first started reading this book I fell in love. This is one of my favorite book in the world.

  6. Stormy29 says:

    I read this book its an amazing book. I like it a lot because it had short chapters, it was funny, and interesting. I am going to read more DCF books.

  7. PhoenixLord123 says:

    Love the book its one of my favorites. That is because its funny and I just like what goes on in the book. I have finished the whole book which they would make another one

  8. Des says:

    I haven’t read this book but a student of mine did and loved it! I think it sounds like an interesting idea for a book.

  9. Honey Bear V.T L.M says:

    I love this book, the idea that the author is righting about is so cool that you can’t help but wish that it was true.But there is one thing that i wonder about that Jennifer L. holm has not said. But i can’t say,because that would be a spoiler

  10. Honey Bear V.T L.M says:

    Dear Ryan i’m sorry for your loss but i don’t think the grandfather doesn’t like himself i think he’s just a scientist and tribe out his experiment on himself .

  11. Honey Bear V.T L.M says:

    I wonder if there is such a jellyfish that can really do what it does in the book, or if the other got the idea from another animal.

  12. LillianVT says:

    I had a connection to Ellie in the beginning of this book. Ellie does not know what she enjoys doing or what her passion is. My connection is that I don’t know what my passion is yet either.

  13. EmilyVT says:

    Responding to intrepid (aka Jasper): I was not sad about Ellie and her grandfather not getting along because I thought they got along well for most of the book. Except for one time at the end of the book but that time it was more of a disagreement that I agreed with Ellie.

  14. Honey Bear V.T L.M says:

    This book is a very good and interesting and it hooked me just with the first sentence. But it’s title can be deceiving.I hope that you will read this wonderful book.

  15. intrepid (aka jasper) says:

    responding to EmilyVT: That is good thinking, but also her grandfather wanted to make life longer but he didn’t understand the privileges of growing up the fun opportunities you get when being a grown up.

  16. EmilyVT says:

    Responding to LillianVT: I already have passions but this book made me think about how interesting science can be.

  17. Ella says:

    AMAZING!! I love this book so, so much I would say it is probably the best I have read out of the DCF books. I would recommend it to every one.

  18. EmilyVT says:

    While I was reading the Fourteenth Goldfish I thought in the end when Ellie called her grandfather her fourteenth goldfish it was because she learned from her thirteen goldfish that life is short and for most of her grandfathers life he was trying to win the Nobel prize and not going anywhere or seeing anything.

  19. intrepid (aka jasper) says:

    responding to EmilyVT: Good thinking, but where would he go if he didn’t go to school? They wouldn’t let him back in the science lab because he is now a kid!

  20. LillianVT says:

    66parkread, how did this book make you think? What did you think about while reading this book? Questions? Connections? Inferences?

  21. LillianVT says:

    HalleVT, why do you love this book? Do you think it was good because
    you had a connection or you liked the genre? Why?

  22. hannahpeacock says:

    That’s a great question. Why do you think he was sent to school?

  23. SarahVT says:

    this book is really mystery and funny in the book. people will love this book if they like mystery.

  24. EmilyVT says:

    A question I had while reading was why did Ellie’s mom make Ellie’s grandfather go to school with Ellie to get him out of the house? I’m wondering this because Ellie’s grandfather already went to school. Also, since he is an adult he could just go somewhere else for the day.

  25. HalleVT says:

    some of the parts in this book i don’t get so I’m rereading them i love the fourteenth goldfish.

  26. HalleVT says:

    Im reading the fourteenth right now so far i love i haven’t gotten far but i know by all the comments its a good one

  27. HI says:

    This book looks good i want to read it next

  28. intrepid (aka jasper) says:

    I was sad that Ellie and her grandfather didn’t get along because her grandpa inspired her to observe things more closely.The book has affected me because now I look at things and actually think about how it got there and where it came from.

  29. intrepid says:

    If you like science then this is the right book for you. But its not all about science so don’t be expecting lots of chemicals and potions.

  30. LillianVT says:

    I loved this book. I liked it because I don’t know what my passion is yet and Ellie and Melvin inspired me to find out what I am passionate about. I liked this book a lot.

  31. Pollen says:

    I love the scientific facts in the book

  32. Ms. Thompson says:

    This is one of my favorite book on the list this year too! It was really funny to learn about Ellie’s grandfather becoming a teenage boy.

  33. Trinity says:

    I really liked this book. Espasialy when Ellie and her grandfather work things out really well. I liked how they tried to get the T. Melvinus back from Ellie’s grandfathers lab. This book was AWESOME.

  34. Trinity says:

    I liked this book how Ellie and her grandfather worked together really well. Especially when they tried to get the T.melvinus back from Ellie’s grandfathers lab.

  35. Toni says:

    Would you like to share some of your thoughts?

  36. !@# says:

    Awesome book!!! It really made me think!

  37. !@# says:

    I loved this book!!!! It really made me think hard about what would happen next and how Ellie and her grandpa worked things out.

  38. Corndogio says:

    i loved this book it was amazing the main character was amazing

  39. 66parkread says:

    I thought that this book was very fun for me to read and I would recommend this book for other people.

  40. NarwhalGod says:

    This is a great book! Read it if you like mystery and fantasy.
    This book will make you wonder about what’s real and there is a great cliffhanger at the end that makes you think.

  41. ryan says:

    This book is awesome because of the Grandfather and Ellie but they both have problems. I know how Ellie feels because i lost a pet. Ellis is also feeling sad about her friend ship with her best friend Ellie’s Grandfather doesn’t look like him self because used his own experiment on himself.

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