Reviews for Turtle in Paradise

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

Gr 3-6--Set in 1935, 11-year-old Turtle is sent off to her aunt in the Florida Keys when her mother gets a job in New Jersey as a live-in housekeeper for a woman who doesn't like children. Turtle's mother is a dreamer who pins her hopes on every new man she meets and, as each one disappears, Turtle becomes more of a pragmatist. Ever adaptable, she works to fit in with her wacky boy cousins (reminiscent of The Little Rascals but called The Diaper Gang) and all the colorful characters she finds in the small community of Key West. Along the way she discovers a grandmother she did not know existed and, through her, a pirate's treasure. The book (Random, 2010) was inspired by Jennifer Holmes's great-grandmother's stories. Narrator Becca Battoe perfectly portrays Turtle and distinctly voices the entire cast of characters. Listeners get a perfect sense of Florida's heat, the ennui of the kids, and the laid back community struggling through the Depression. This audiobook brings a whole new dimension to an already splendid novel.--Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisburg, VA

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