Inspired by family stories, two-time Newbery Honor winner and New York Times best-selling author Jennifer L. Holm beautifully blends family lore with America's past in this charming gem of a novel, rich in historical detail, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.
Life isn't like the movies, and 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she's never met.
Florida's like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of wild green peeping out between houses, ragtag boy cousins, and secret treasure. Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.
©2010 Jennifer L. Holm (P)2010 Listening Library
"Turtle is just the right mixture of knowingness and hope; the plot is a hilarious blend of family dramas seasoned with a dollop of adventure." (Booklist)
"Sweet, funny and superb." (Kirkus Reviews)
Our entire family enjoyed this book while on a long car trip. The author has created wonderful characters who live in a vividly depicted run-down area of Key West in the early 20th century. Turtle is a believable girl, who is a complicated mix of brave and vulnerable. She makes the most of unfortunate circumstances while befriending a crew of cousins she's never met. The book is even more delightful because it is based on the author's grandmother's memories of growing up in Key West when it was a remote outpost instead of a tourist destination (Ernest Hemmingway has a cameo).
I read this with my 10 year old daughter for a mother/daughter book club. We both very much enjoyed it.
The relationships within the family. I liked that her name was "Turtle". And the history detailed when completed.
I purchased this book because Becca Battoe was the narrator. Loved her in the Fifty Shades Trilogy.
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