Author: Holm, Jennifer L.
Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager--which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 168161
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 64357
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/14)
School Library Journal (06/01/14)
Booklist (+) (07/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2014 Gr 5–7—Eleven-year-old Ellie Cruz's life changes dramatically when her mother brings a teenage boy home one night and she learns it is her estranged grandfather. Melvin is a scientist who has figured out how to reverse aging and is now 13 again. Tensions are high between Melvin and his adult daughter, Ellie's mother, but Ellie feels like she now has the opportunity to really get to know her grandfather. Her interest in science blossoms, and she is eager to help Melvin retrieve the jellyfish specimen he used in his experiments so he can publish his discovery. Fascinated, Ellie learns about the work of Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, and Marie Curie. But as she learns more, she realizes that scientific discoveries often have unforeseen consequences. Readers are carried along with Ellie as she navigates old and new friendships in her first year in middle school with the added complication of her teenage grandfather at the same school. Short chapters keep the story moving at an engaging pace, and the interactions among the characters will easily hold readers' interest. Ellie's growing relationship with her grandfather helps her make discoveries about herself. Melvin, who begins as unapologetically single-minded in his determination to continue his work, also learns from Ellie. With humor and heart, Holm has crafted a story about life, family, and finding one's passion that will appeal to readers willing to imagine the possible.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 07/01/2014 *Starred Review* It’s a little strange for 11-year-old Ellie when her mother brings home a boy who looks to be about 13 but dresses like Ellie’s grandfather. But it’s a shocker when Ellie realizes that the kid is her grandfather, a scientist who has suddenly succeeded in reversing the aging process. Now sleeping in their den and newly enrolled in Ellie’s middle school, Grandpa connives with her to sneak into his old lab and swipe what he needs to continue his research. Meanwhile, Ellie comes to admire the grandfather she has barely known, listens to his stories of famous scientists, and discovers her own passion for science. Written in a clean, crisp style, with lively dialogue and wit, this highly accessible novel will find a ready audience. The idea of an adult in a young teen’s body may not be new, but Ellie’s first-person narrative makes good use of the situation’s comic potential, particularly in the fractious, role-reversed relationship between Mom and Grandpa. Along with the comedy, the story has a reflective side, too, as Ellie thinks through issues such as death and immortality and confronts Grandpa with the social consequences of his research. A great choice for book groups and class discussions as well as individual reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A three-time Newbery Honor–winning author, whose books have also ranked on the New York Times best-seller lists, Holm has a formidably sized fan base waiting for her next release. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2014 It’s already been a year of adjustments for eleven-year-old Ellie, and it gets worse when her scientist grandfather moves in with her family following an age-reversal experiment that undid his physical aging so effectively that he’s back to having the body of a thirteen-year-old. Soon, though, she’s getting to know her brilliant, crotchety grandfather and learning about scientific giants such as Oppenheimer, Salk, and Galileo and the questions their work both answered and raised. In the process, she discovers her own passion for science, as well as an ability to adapt to the inescapable changes of life in middle school and beyond. Ellie is funny, unpretentious, and easygoing, and her curious nature and quick mind make her an enjoyable and approachable heroine unconcerned with being anyone other than herself. Holm’s writing is crisp, accessible, and well paced, and her enthusiasm for science and its impact emerges clearly and consistently but not overbearingly, with clear, appreciative nods to the world of theater and its purpose in our lives. Indeed, this novel explores weighty elements of human existence with a light touch, allowing readers to engage with the issues at multiple levels; an excellent appendix of recommended readings encourages exploration and dialogue. This novel would make an ideal classroom read aloud, particularly to expose students to the rich and rewarding STEM fields. AA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.