Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

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In Jennifer L. Holm's New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor winning middle grade historical fiction novel, life isn't like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple

She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida to live with relatives she's never met. Florida's like nothing Turtle's ever seen before though. It's hot and strange, full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she's spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls with love.

Includes an Author's Note with photographs and further background on the Great Depression, as well as additional resources and websites.

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews:
"Sweet, funny and superb."

Starred Review, Booklist:
"Just the right mixture of knowingness and hope . . . a hilarious blend of family drama seasoned with a dollop of adventure."

From the Hardcover edition.

About Jennifer L. Holm

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Brother-and-sister team MATTHEW HOLM and JENNIFER L. HOLM have never run for office, although Jennifer has had breakfast at the White House (She's sorry about the orange juice incident. She hopes the tablecloth wasn't historically significant). Today, Jennifer is the New York Times bestselling author of several highly acclaimed novels, including three Newbery Honor-winners, Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. Matthew Holm is a graphic designer and freelance writer. To find out more, visit Babymouse.com.
Published April 25, 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 210 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Turtle in Paradise

Kirkus Reviews

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Eleven-year-old Turtle falls in with the Diaper Gang—her boy cousins Beans, Kermit and Buddy and their friends Ira and Pork Chop—when she is packed off to stay in her mother's hometown of Key West because her housekeeper mother has a new job with a woman who doesn't like kids.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Turtle in Paradise

Common Sense Media

Readers will relate to Turtle: She is tough on the outside, with a soft underbelly, just like a turtle.

May 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Turtle in Paradise


Readers will relate to Turtle: She is tough on the outside, with a soft underbelly, just like a turtle.

May 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Turtle in Paradise

Buried Under Books

Turtle really isn’t sure how her Mom is going to survive since she’s the sensible one of the two of them, but hard times call for desperate measures.

Jul 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Turtle in Paradise

Arlington Library

The author’s description of heat stifled Key West made me fight the urge to turn up the air or turn on a fan.

Jun 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Turtle in Paradise

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