Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Turtle in ParadiseEleven year old Turtle’s mother goes to clean house for a rich woman who doesn’t want children around. Turtle gets sent off to live with her mother’s sister in Key West. Turtle has never met her aunt and her cousins not to mention her grandmother who is difficult. This is during the depression and no one has a lot but there is food to be had growing on the trees and Turtle’s cousin babysits with a couple of his friends and are paid with homemade candy. The group is called the Diaper Gang. Turtle enlists the gang to help her find a treasure when she discovers a map in the piano at her grandmother’s house. The real treasure here is her discovery that she has a family, an aunt, an uncle, boy cousins and a sailor who seems to remember her mother very fondly.

I loved the children in this book. The Diaper Gang is very funny. They do have the knack of taking care of babies. Turtle is an interesting girl who makes great headway in becoming an important part of her grandmother’s life and in the spirit of spunky heroines gets her friends in big trouble when she enlists them to help her find the treasure on the treasure map. Life isn’t easy or simple but family and friends are very important.

This book was just chosen as a Newbery Honor book. I recommend it for children who like historical fiction and books about life’s challenges, grades 4 and up.

Posted by: Fran

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