Friday, October 10, 2014

The Fourteenth Goldfish (Jennifer Holm)

This entire premise of this book is crazy, but it works.  Grandpa comes to live with Ellie and her mom, only he has discovered a serum that has reversed the aging process and he is actually 13 years old now. Mom and Grandpa don't really ever see eye to eye. Grandpa is a scientist with two PhDs and mom is a drama teacher. Ellie discovers the beauty and wonder of science along with the pitfalls of scientific advancements on society. It is a great story if hope and imagination. It was easy to read. Very well written.

P. 47 "Scientists never give up, they keep trying because they believe in the possible."

P. 171 I stare at his tye-dyed shirt, and I suddenly understand what Starlily was trying to teach us with the goldfish. Endings are sad. Like goldfish dying and grandma's slippers and Brianna and me. But beginnings are exciting. Like discovering something I might be good at and making new friends. Raj.
"It's the cycle of life," I say, remembering Starlily's words. "Things move forward, not backward."
"Who wants to move forward? Not me."
My mind is racing now and I think if things not moving forward. Like my mom. She's scared if making a mistake again, even though anyone can see that Ben's the perfect missing piece for her puzzle.
"What about the whole law of motion thing? You're supposed to keep moving or you get stuck! Like Mom with Ben!"
"She can do better than him," my grandfather says, ignoring what I am really saying.
"What if we've gone too far? What if we ruin the whole world?"
"So dramatic," he observes. "Just like your mother."
"What about the trash cans?" I ask.
"I'll put then out tonight," he says.
"How's that going to work? When all the old people are young again, who's going to be in charge? Who's going to decide when to put out the trash cans and turn up the head. Who's going to be the grown up?"
He looks momentarily off balance, as if he hasn't considered this. Then his expression hardens.
"You don't understand. You haven't had to live through this," he says.
The words tumble from my mouth before I can stop them. "But I want to!"
I look at him imploringly. "Is growing up, growing old - life - is it all so terrible?"
His eyes go still and he looks at me, like he's seeing me for the first time.
I take a deep breath, remembering the feeling if dancing in that dark floor, the music pounding through me, the possibility of something - I don't know what - so close, and I want to feel that again.
"Because I want to try it," I whisper. "I'm only twelve." 

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