Title: Turtle in Paradise
Age Range: 9-12 years ; grades 4-6
Genre: historical fiction ; family problems
Turtle is the practical voice of reason in her family, despite being only 11 years old; this is a useful trait as Turtle’s mom, Sadie Bell, is a slightly dreamy and overly optimistic, live-in housekeeper. Sadie Bell is beautiful and romantic, which sometimes causes problems with her employers, so Turtle and her mom have a somewhat nomadic existence. When a new employer refuses to let Turtle live-in, Sadie Bell sends Turtle to live with relatives in Key West. Taking place in 1935, during the Great Depression, the book tells the tale of Turtle meeting new people – some of whom are close relatives – and discovering secret treasures buried by pirates and family members. Turtle in Paradise offers humor – the Diaper Gang babysitting business – and adventure – a hurricane rages while the kids are stuck on an island. Lots of period details are included, such as regular references to the comic strips Little Orphan Annie and Terry and the Pirates. In addition to receiving a 2011 Newbery Honor for this title, Holm has received the same award for Penny from Heaven (2009) and Our Only May Amelia (2000); she is also the author of the very popular Babymouse graphic novel series.
Find it in the catalog.