and I’m Off! (reading and making lists…)

14th Goldfish book cover

First finished book of the New Year! Which is appropriate because it’s all about moving forward, even if it scares you, even if it involves new things, like changing out of the clothes you wore all day.

I swear good children’s lit is equivalent to reading self-help books but with a plot and better writing. My apologies to all the great authors out there writing great children’s books and basically just calling them self-help. Sorry. The Phantom Tollbooth is a phenomenal self-help book and ridiculous story, you should gift TPT to recent grads instead of Oh The Places You’ll Go.

Back to The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm!

The Fourteenth Goldfish is about 11-year-old Ellie, who is going through some changes. Changes like missing her old best friend, discovering new friends, new foods, but the biggest change happens to Ellie’s Scientist Grandfather who finally makes a scientific discovery worthy of the Nobel prize when he changes or regenerates his body (I’m not sure, there were no scientific articles included, it’s fiction and involves a rare jellyfish) into a 13-year-old body.

My favorite things about this book:

  • A fake pizza delivery / spy mission.
  • Science! For Her! — Just kidding, but seriously
  • Jellyfish
  • Discovering how science and experimentation exist outside of school, ie cooking
  • Introduction to Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, Marie Curie, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, and science related enthusiasm
  • Learning about life, and moving on, and taking risks, and new experiences!
  • Coq au Vin, which I will attempt to make sometime
  • Cool guy Raj
  • The inclusion of resources for further scientific exploration!
  • Science related Fan Clubs
  • EVEN MORE JELLYFISH

Things that made me groan:

  • Why can’t science and art get along? There are beautiful examples of art and science collaborating with love in the real world.
  • I understand that this would ruin character development and possibly the story.
  • I guess Melvin (the grandfather) is able to see value in two artistic things that he previously hated: Our Town & The Catcher in the Rye, so at least there’s some appreciation / growth. FINE. It’s okay to like both Science and the Theataah!
  • That’s it, it was a wonderful book.

This book immediately made me think of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, a book about a young girl in late 19th century Texas who is curious and wants to understand more about the natural world around her who happens to have a Naturalist Grandfather to nurture her curiousity (once he takes notice). Shout out to scientific grandfathers everywhere nurturing their young granddaughters in the ways of science!

Thought I’d try to round up some science-y related books if you wanted to keep exploring science enthusiasm + middle-grade fiction (gasp!) and non-fiction:

And for a wildcard / NOT middle-grade book because it’s also about lovers, but I’ll include it here, just because:

My Reading Year 2014

bookfiles_Page_1bookfiles_Page_2  bookfiles_Page_4bookfiles_Page_3bookfiles_Page_7 BookShelf

Drawing all my books as I read them was one of my mini projects for 2014. I read over 80 books (a lot of kid lit and YA because trying to predict the Printz and Newbery Award is my idea of a good time). Here are most of my 2014 reads! I’m missing some last minute December reads and some eBooks and some books I just plain forgot to draw.

Not sure if I’ll continue this project into 2015 or if I’ll find some other kind of madness project.

Cheers to reading! Cheers to finishing a project and being a bit clueless about what’s next! Just Cheers, because.