So, exactly what are those bacterium doing in your cheese? Eleven year old Ellie is about to get a big dose of science and scientists when her grandpa, Melvin Herbert Sagarsky, moves in to stay. She doesn't quite recognize him at first. You wouldn't have either. You see he shows up as a long-haired thirteen year old boy who is standing out in front of the house lecturing Ellie's mother on when to put out the garbage cans. Is this someone from her mom's theater classes?
Not only does Ellie have this wacky grandpa moving in, but her best friend Brianna is sort of moving on. It used to be that every year Ellie and Brianna would dip their hands in paint and leave their handprints on Ellie's bedroom wall. Year after year the handprints got bigger and bigger as the girls grew up together. Not this year. Why do things have to come to an end, especially the good things?
Meanwhile, Ellie is getting to know Melvin, her grandfather, as a thirteen year old who is in search of his Nobel Prize via T. Melvinus, a very special jellyfish, all while sporting Ellie's mother's black leggings, pink shirts and Ellie's ponytail holders in rainbow colors. It's an adventure for sure. With Melvin as her guide Ellie discovers the wonder of science. Seems what's magical about scientists is that they never give up believing in the possible.
Fast paced and peppered with Melvin's quirky ways, with people afraid of endings, and with Ellie watching her world kaleidoscope around her shifting and sparkling, this story celebrates he wonder of what just might be possible.
190 pages Ages 9-13 9780375870644
Sequel is: Third Mushroom
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Read alike: Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles