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The book was great!!! My daughter couldn’t stop reading it .she atleast read it 7 times . She really loved the fact that there were pictures and things about the storyat the back of the book.Hearing her excitement I too want to read the book!! She recomends reading FULL OF BEANS before TURTLE IN PARADISE .
Turtle is a quite unique character! Other characters like Beans and Pork chop are realistic and change a little into another personality towards the end. It has a ending which may be happy for some and a little disappointing and sudden to others. This is a book with a lot of deeper meaning. Holm has described everything aptly and has put outstanding consequences in it.
It was book that shined like a star. It was amazing but I would have liked a ending that would be more interesting and eventful ending. But Jennifer l holm wrote a book that could not be described in words only by our feelings
Ever since a librarian friend of mine recommended "The Fourteenth Goldfish" to me, I've been steadily making my way through Jennifer L. Holm's other works; being continuously impressed with the way she depicts both the mundane and the fantastic through a child's perspective. So I dove into this book with the same level of enthusiasm...only to find it just...okay.
It's the summer of 1935, and a young girl nicknamed Turtle is being sent off to stay with her aunt and cousins in Key West, Florida. Her mom (who works odd hours as a housekeeper) has big dreams of marrying the latest guy in her revolving door of boyfriends and saving up enough money to buy a proper house. But with seemingly no end to the Great Depression in sight, Turtle has hardened herself to the truths of the world, and wishes her mom would get her head out of the clouds already. Things only seem to get worse when she arrives at her aunt's house and meets her unruly cousins, including mischief-making Beans and his partner in crime Pork Chop; Kermit, who's recovering from an illness and has a weak heart; and four year old Buddy, who's constantly having accidents and getting in the way. But the longer she stays, the more Turtle begins to learn her extended family's secrets. And when she comes across a supposed map to buried pirate treasure, Turtle will learn that sometimes it takes an eccentric family to find that happy ending reserved for the movies.
For such a short story (you can read the whole thing in an afternoon), it packs quite a bit into it; painting a perfect picture of what life was like in the 1930s. (Real life photos and stories are even included in the author's afterward.) While many things have changed over the decades, many others have stayed the same (both the good and bad). Turtle, her cousins, and all the Key West residents are an eccentric bunch, and will no doubt remind you of friends and relatives you grew up with. And with each wacky misadventure, Turtle (and we the audience) will begin to see that sometimes people with a rough exterior turn out to be the kindest of all, and conversely, those with the biggest smiles may actually be hiding a cold and selfish interior.
However, after being impressed with this author's previous works, I found this book to be a bit lacking in substance by comparison. There's nothing wrong with it, but I thought many of the characters deserved to be fleshed out just a bit more, and there's a couple things that are set up early on, but are never fully explained or paid off. And the ending is not only an emotional gut punch, but is also a bit abrupt. Still, it leaves the reader with the lesson that life isn't like the movies, but sometimes, dreams CAN come true, just not in the exact way we think.
While this is still a very enjoyable romp, if you want to read a story about childhood in a bygone era with more emotional weight to it (and by the same author no less), read "Penny from Heaven."
Adult readers actually might relate to this story quicker than younger ones. Both groups are likely to be satisfied.
Optioned by her hard-pressed mother to relatives in Depression-era Key West, a young girl (aka, Turtle) arrives as a surprise to the Florida family. It is something of a jolt to her, as well. She has shoes. Her cousins and their friends do not. Scorpions abound. But so does food. Children are directly in the flow of neighborhood life. A diaper gang sits babies in a wagon for hours at a time and is paid in candy.
Turtle’s story is rich with atmosphere. She identifies with Little Orphan Annie and resents Shirley Temple. She imitates life with Terry and the Pirates and briefly speaks to Ernest Hemingway.
Her life quickly fills with adventure, dilemma and resilience. What seems eccentric at the outset, she soon absorbs into her daily way. The strong narrative deals frankly with the mistakes and accidents of childhood, the fissures in emerging friendships and the question marks of family history. This well-paced tale does a fine job telling it like it was.
When you teach dyslexic students, it is very hard to find books that match both their maturity and interest levels as well as their reading level. It is especially hard to find Middle Reader books that are interesting, funny and engaging for an older reader. So when you find one that is an appropriate story for younger readers as well as an engaging story for older readers, it is time to do a little dance of happiness! I did just such a dance after reading Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm!
It is 1935, and Turtle's mom got a job as a housekeeper for a woman who wouldn't let Turtle and her cat live with them, so she and Smokey were sent to Key West to live with her mother's sister. While there, Turtle has to quickly adapt to island life, from checking your shoes for scorpions to the odd nicknames everyone seems to have. Her mischievous cousins, Kermit, Beans, and Buddy, spice up the story with their antics. Beans and a few other local kids have started the Diaper Gang, who are basically roving babysitters for the Bad Babies. And their secret diaper rash formula is legendary on the island!
When Turtle finds out her grandmother is really alive (even though her mother told her she was dead), she realizes there is more of her own history on this island than she could have imagined. When she finds a treasure map to a hidden pirate's treasure, she takes the gang along with her on an adventure that changes them and the island in more ways that one.
This is the kind of story that has you giggling out loud and loving every page. It is a short enough story so as not to be too overwhelming for beginning readers. The writing is perfect for higher skilled elementary students to low-skilled middle school students, but even high school students would get a kick out of these kids and their goofiness. I know I did!
The fact that it is based on the author's grandmother and her life in Key West makes the story even more interesting. At the end of the book, there are a few pages where the author explains which parts of the story are based on real situations. She even includes pictures of places and people mentioned in the story! This is a cute little book that spans a great spectrum of interest. Give it a shot! It is a great beach read that you can finish in a sitting!
Turtle, who is a 10-year-old girl, is sent to the Florida Keys in the 1920s to live with family she's never met, so that her mom can keep her job. At first, she struggles to fit in until she discovers a treasure map in her grandmother's rotting piano. This leads Turtle and the Diaper Gang on a thrilling adventure.
I enjoyed Turtle in Paradise because it made me laugh out loud. For example, the Diaper Gang got paid in sweets and were always trying to get free ice cream. But Turtle outsmarted Beans and figured out a way to get the ice cream. Also, the character’s names, such as Slow Poke and Beans were funny. My favorite part of the book was when Turtle realized that the real treasure was her family.
My 10 year-old daughter and I read this together, and I may have enjoyed it more than she did! This story is absolutely lovely in the way the author weaves themes of friendship, secrets, and making dreams come true throughout the novel. It is funny, and the author uses wonderful figures of speech. Something about the story reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird. We loved this book so much that I bought my daughter the graphic novel just so she can read that version more quickly.