I just finished listening to Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm. Wished the book had been out two years ago when I went to visit my aunt and uncle living in Key West. I missed out on a couple of good places to visit (and I thought I had visited them all).
Readers will fall in love with Turtle, an eleven year old who hates Shirley Temple. It’s 1935, middle of the Great Depression and jobs are few and far between. Turtle’s mom gets a housekeeping job with a woman who doesn’t like kids. She’s sent from New Jersey to Key West to live with her relatives she’s never met.
Key West offers a whole new adventure for Turtle. Boy cousins, a mysterious grandmother that she thought was dead according to her mother, and possibly of hidden treasure and Hollywood endings, Turtle comes into her own as an eleven year old.
I loved how Holm wove in historical bits and the flavor of Key West is there. My next trip there will include a meal at Pepe’s, the oldest restaurant in Key West. While I was listening to it, I really wanted to just board a plane and go!
As with many of Jennifer Holm’s books, Turtle in Paradise is based of family history and lore. It received a 2011 Newbery Honor Medal. I am looking forward to the day on of her books receives the Newbery Medal as her book are so worthy of it.
More book talks listed at The Lemme Library.