Lots of scientists—Newton, Salk, Galileo—changed the world. Now Ellie’s grandfather Melvin might be on the same track. But is that a good thing?

When 11-year-old Ellie meets the new, somewhat odd, boy in town, she soon learns it’s really her Grandpa Melvin, a scientist who discovered the secret to eternal youth. Masquerading as Ellie’s cousin, Melvin embarks on a secret mission to prove his scientific methods are valid. But amid the adventure of it all, something just doesn’t seem right.

Despite her growing interest in science, Ellie begins to understand that all science has consequences, positive or negative. She considers Oppenheimer’s atomic bomb, for example. Just because something works doesn’t mean we should use it, right? Maybe Grandpa Melvin’s eternal youth solution isn’t the answer to everything. 

Science is powerful stuff, and it can be heady. But in the hands of capable Newbery Honor author Jennifer L. Holm, it can be truly funny and touching as well. Holm seamlessly brings a science theme to a quirky book that middle grade readers will actually want to read because, after all, who doesn’t want to know what is really possible in the world? As Holm deftly shows, nothing is impossible.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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