Sunday, June 06, 2010
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
I was so excited to see a new novel by Jennifer Holm. I picked up TURTLE IN PARADISE and was so happy for the time this weekend to read it. I love Jennifer Holm and have loved all of her work so far. Who doesn't love Babymouse? And PENNY FROM HEAVEN made its way around my entire Italian family--mother, grandmother, aunts, etc. Jennifer Holm captures people and life in a way that is humorous, hopeful and real.
TURTLE IN PARADISE is about a little girl named Turtle, who is sent by her mother to live with her aunt. This story takes place during the depression and Holm gives us more information at the end of the book about this era and that it was common for children to go live with relatives. Turtle is sent to Key West and gets to know her cousins and the neighborhood where her mother grew up.
The characters in the book are quite fun. Bill Prosser at Literate Lives described them well--they have a bit of a Little Rascals feel to them. A group of lovable kids who seem to run the town and get in a bit of trouble here and there. Turtle fits right in, although that isn't clear to her at the beginning. And she grows up as she comes to know herself and her family.
It is amazing to me how Jennifer Holm strings together a story of ordinary days to create something bigger. There is a calm rhythm to the story but you realize that in these ordinary days, Turtle is growing up.
From the cover (which I LOVE!), my first thought was that this was a beach book that would appeal mostly to girls. But this is a book that will appeal to a huge variety of readers. I can see it as a GREAT read aloud in 3, 4th or 5th grades. Much to talk and think about but in a way that is very accessible to kids. Such a variety of characters that everyone will find someone to cheer for.
Love the book-so happy it was my first read of the summer! Again, totally amazed at the variety of writing that Jennifer Holm is able to do well.
Posted by Franki at 10:25 AM