Turtle in Paradise

Jennifer L. Holm, Random, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-375-83688-6
Turtle, the witty 11-year-old narrator of this standout historical novel, is a straight shooter: “Everyone thinks children are sweet as Necco Wafers, but I’ve lived long enough to know the truth: kids are rotten.” When her romantic and unrealistic mother, who’s always falling in and out of love, gets a housekeeping job that won’t allow children, she sends Turtle to her estranged family in Depression-era Key West. Though her mother hails Key West as paradise, Turtle initially think it’s a dump (“Truth is, the place looks like a broken chair that’s been left out in the sun to rot”). Two-time Newbery Honor author Holm again crafts a winning heroine who, despite her hardened exterior, gradually warms to her eccentric family members, including her unruly cousins and waspish grandmother (who Turtle thought was dead). Infused with period pop culture references, a strong sense of place, and the unique traditions and culture of Key West natives (aka “Conchs”), this humorous adventure effectively portrays Turtle as caught between her mother’s Hollywood-inspired dreams and the very real family and geography that offer a different kind of paradise. Ages 8–12. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 100 pages - 978-0-375-89316-2
Library Binding - 208 pages - 978-0-375-93688-3
Paperback - 188 pages - 978-0-375-83690-9
Compact Disc - 3 pages - 978-0-307-73830-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-73833-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61637-801-1
Prebound-Glued - 188 pages - 978-1-61383-378-0
Prebound-Glued - 188 pages - 978-0-606-23877-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-3597-5
Paperback - 187 pages - 978-7-221-10316-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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