Monday, May 30, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer L. Holm

Flap Copy description:
Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-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 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's spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.

My thoughts:
Jennifer L. Holm has created a colorful and creative tale set in the Florida Keys in 1935. Her character descriptions and voice are brilliantly authentic. Seen through the eyes of eleven-year-old Turtle, the text is warm and wonderful, complete with references to entertainment icons of the period: Shirley Temple, Annie, and Flash Gordon. Turtle in Paradise won a 2011 Newbery Honor Award - this is Ms. Holm's third such award. This book would make an awesome summer read for all young readers.

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