I loved this book! Laurie Halse Anderson has a real knack for creating characters you can love and putting them in difficult circumstances. I can't giI loved this book! Laurie Halse Anderson has a real knack for creating characters you can love and putting them in difficult circumstances. I can't give it five stars because there was one plot line that just dropped about two-thirds through. ...more
America is in the midst of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and Turtle's mom just got a new job as a maid. Unfortunately, her new boss doesn'tAmerica is in the midst of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and Turtle's mom just got a new job as a maid. Unfortunately, her new boss doesn't like children, so Turtle has to leave New Jersey to live with relatives in Key West. To make matters worse, her aunt and cousins are not happy to see her because they are struggling financially, too.
The boys won't let her join the Diaper Gang (no girls allowed), but Turtle is determined to prove she's just as clever and tough as any boy. She'll also discover some truths about the past and her family that will change the way she sees herself.
Like Penny From Heaven, Turtle in Paradise is filled with quirky but believable characters and bizarre but believable events. One of the things I found most interesting about this book is the way Holm reveals mysteries and presents information that the reader can easily comprehend but to which Turtle remains oblivious. For example, Turtle has no idea who her biological father is, but the answer is quite obvious to the reader from fairly early in the book. It's an interesting choice, and I felt a little frustrated that Turtle still didn't know the truth at the end of the story. Holm has created a character who is believable and sympathetic, and I wanted her to get the big revelation at the end. Maybe there will be a sequel? (Grades 4-7)...more
Gen Welsh is looking forward to spending summer before beginning high school with her two best friends, alternating her time between soccer camp and tGen Welsh is looking forward to spending summer before beginning high school with her two best friends, alternating her time between soccer camp and the pool. Her plans are destroyed when her mother decides to sign the family up for an entire summer at Camp Frontier where, for all intents and purposes, it's 1890.
From her first experience using the outhouse to the heavy and overwhelming clothing, Gen is not having fun. To top it all off, all technology had to be surrendered for the entire summer, but Gen has a secret. She took the cell phone that was supposed to be her reward for having a positive attitude at Camp Frontier and is secretly texting her two best friends.
Gen hates Camp Frontier in the beginning, but she quickly begins to realize that her family have all been wrapped up in their own worlds instead of connecting to each other. She's the worst of all of them because she doesn't really notice anything outside herself. The Walsh family struggles and has a few tense moments where the future of the family is in jeopardy under the stress of frontier life, but they eventually learn to work to together and discover that they actually like each other.
The story has a villain in the shape of Nora, daughter of the Betsy and Ron, the camp owners, who tries to make Gen's life miserable. This includes fighting for the affections of Caleb, the cute blonde with the southern accent.
This is a fun, quick read, and I enjoyed reading about the specifics of Gen's adventures in frontier life. It even has a little depth in the end about identity and self respect. (Grades 6-10) ...more