Sunday, April 3, 2011

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

One of my favorite places to vacation in the world is Key West, so obviously I had good time reading about some of the setting points this book offered in the storyline. Ernest Hemingway (he makes a cameo appearance), Pepe's Cafe, and just the whole sense of the community and movement made me so attached to the story.

Turtle, an eleven-year-old girl, is sent to live with her relatives (during the Depression, 1935) when her mother gets a job as a housekeeper and the owners do not prefer children. Her Aunt Minnie has provided nice accomodations for Turtle and she settles in well to the pace and lifestyle of her friends and family in Key West.

As much as this book had me captivated, I still don't know for sure about the ending....hmmmmmm.... This reminds me of another book I recently read called The Giver. It left me hanging. I'm sure I can guess, but it was open ended.

Again, another great read about an historical period in American History. Another fantastic way to captures children's interest an provide geographical and time period setting to a specific era. Since I always vacationed in Key West, I never thought about this area suffering like the rest of the country. It's a vacation spot, right? Wrong. It goes to show you how much you disconnect different areas to reality.


  1. Here is a link to a brief video on Key West and the Great Depression: . It talks about how Key West became a tourist and vacation spot in 1934 due to the Depression and the fall of two of their major industries (sponges and cigars). I feel the book ended happily with Turtle and her Mother staying in Key West with her family.

  2. This was a well written book with a twist at the end that I should have been expecting, but I didn't.

    I appreciated the author's note in the back. This really helps support the history in the story. I think kids today may question the way life was lived in the past. It is quite different today.