Turtle in Paradise

22 May


Turtle is an eleven-year-old girl living through the Great Depression. Her hopelessly romantic mother works as a live-in housekeeper, and when she takes a job with a mean lady that hates children, Turtle is sent to live with her relatives in Key West.

The Conchs of Key West live in poverty, but food grows everywhere, so at least they aren’t hungry. Turtle’s many cousins (all boys) quickly take her in, but they still won’t let her join in all their fun – she has to work to be a part of things.

Turtle in Paradise is intended for middle readers, but the writing is excellent and will appeal to older readers as well. There are tons of great details about the Great Depression and Key West, and the author (of Conch descent) provides an inside view into the culture.

Turtle herself is a dry and witty narrator, and the book is both realistic fiction, historical fiction, and an adventure novel. There are a couple of parts that seem far-fetched, but the author always manages to bring everything back to reality. A great read and highly recommended.

Nora’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (May 2010)

2 Responses to “Turtle in Paradise”

  1. April (Good Books & Wine) 30. May, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    How have I never heard of Turtle In Paradise? It sounds right up my alley! Thanks for reviewing it Nora, it’s now on my wishlist!

  2. Em 04. Jun, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I wonder if there is an audiobook version…off to find out!

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