cover image The Summer I Shrank My Grandmother

The Summer I Shrank My Grandmother

Elvira Woodruff. Holiday House, $15.95 (153pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0832-0

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. (Oct.)