Budding young scientist ten-year-old Nelly Brown is spending the summer with her 70-year-old grandmother in a cottage by the sea. When she finds an old chemistry set in the basement, Nelly is thrilled to discover that the experiments in the set are guaranteed to work. Equipped with bottles and beakers, test tubes and chemicals, it also has instructions for mixing up magic formulas. Each child using the set can make one wish that can come true. Nelly, who loves her grandmother more than anyone else in the world, decides to mix up a formula to make her grandmother young. When things go very wrong, Nelly calls on her cousin Ben to help reverse the effects of the formula. But will he be able to help? And can they reverse the formula in time? (Ages 7 - 10)
Rave reviews and honors for The Summer I Shrank My Grandmother:
Winner of Maud Hart Lovelace Award
Winner of the Florida Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award
“A deft blend of magic and farce . . . A lighthearted fantasy about a somewhat misguided budding scientist.” ~ Publishers Weekly
“This is an enjoyable fantasy with realistic concerns about the effects of aging balanced by the comic results of Nelly’s solution, and just a touch of real magic to spice up the story. The reading level, tone, and feeling are similar to Woodruff’s Awfully Short for the Fourth Grade . . . combining a childishly serious theme with funny results in an easy fantasy. It will appeal to the same wide audience.” ~ School Library Journal
In the tradition of Scott Corbett's The Lemonade Trick , this offbeat fantasy reveals the risks of meddling with fate as it recounts a child's mishaps with an extraordinary chemistry set. After discovering an ancient box filled with mysterious powders, budding scientist Nelly Brown produces a formula to make her grandmother younger. But the 10-year-old gets more than she bargains for when she applies the potion: overnight, 70-year-old Emma is transformed into a lively 30-year-old. At an alarmingly rapid rate, her years continue to slip away until Nelly finds herself in charge of a helpless infant. While waiting for the heroine to stumble across the obvious solution to her predicament, readers will be entertained by her attempts to keep track of the elusive Emmy (``That's what I like to be called''), who grows more impish by the day. Although the premise is somewhat contrived, this novel is sure to stir young readers' imaginations. Woodruff ( Awfully Short for the Fourth Grade ) seems to know all the tricks for holding a middle grade audience: blending elements of magic, fast-paced action and a dab of levity, she produces an irresistible tale. Ages 8-12.