Review: Turtle in Paradise

Turtle in ParadiseTurtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Random House Books for Young Readers (2010)

ISBN 9780375836886

In 1935, it doesn’t pay to be an 11-year-old girl with high expectations. Turtle is not the kind of girl who believes in Hollywood endings and she has seen enough of the real world as it emerges from the Great Depression to know it’s tough out there. When her mother gets a new job cleaning house for a rich family who does not like children, Turtle sets off to live with an extended family she has never met in the Florida Keys. As Turtle explores the new faces and new places, she begins to emerge from her shell and finds herself in the middle of family scandals, scoundrels and even buried treasure!

Turtle’s adventures with her new tropical world, her strange cousins and her new neighbors are heartwarming and sensitive. Readers will enjoy the mysteries, both big and small in this story.

Quantitative:  Lexile Level: 610; ATOS 3.7

Qualitative: Middle Grades (4-8)

Content Area: English; History – U.S. – 1930’s; Florida

Common Core Standards: RL.7.1, RL.7.2, RL.7.3, RL.7.9

Awards: Newbery Honor (2011); 2013 CYRM Nominee

Additional/Digital Resources: Walking Tour of Turtle’s new home in Key West

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