Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Turtle in Paradise

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Holm, J. (2010).  Turtle in paradise. New York, NY:  Random House

In 1935, during the Depression, 11 year old Turtle is in a truck with Mr. Edgit who is paying his debt by driving Turtle to Key West, Florida. 

Turtle's mama gets a hard-to-come-by job as a housekeeper.  The problem is that the woman who hired her does not like children. Turtle's mama sends her daughter to live back in her old hometown with her sister in the Keys. Turtle has to figure out how to live in this "foreign place" without her mama.  She doesn't even know if her mama will return for her. 

Rising Action:
The kids are different, the words are different, her aunt is different, even the food is different.  Turtle meets several long-lost relatives and she is learning to become part of the group of kids.

Turtle has found a treasure map in her long-lost grandmother's house.  Turtle and her new friends borrow a boat to go find the hidden treasure. Turtle thinks it will solve all her mama's money problems so that she can come get Turtle.  Turtle and the gang get caught on an island in a hurricane.

Falling Action: 
The owner of the boat, who ends up being her father, finds and rescues the kids.

Mama comes back for Turtle and the money, but brings along her current boyfriend.  He steals it all!  Mama is shocked.  She ends up facing her past.  Turtle ends up coming out of her shell and is able to voice her opinion that they should stay in the Keys with their relatives and new friends.  This is where they belong.

Literary Qualities:
     1) Flashbacks are used throughout to tell the story of how Turtle is on her way to Key West, about the many boyfriends and jobs of her mama, and the old stories her mama had told about her childhood.
     2) Figurative language is used throughout the whole book.  The fantastic imagery allowed me to see, hear, and feel Old Key West.

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