Turtle in Paradise (paperback)
by Jennifer Holm
AR Level 3.7, 4 points
I recently finished Full of Beans at the recommendation of many other readers online since it had just come out. This is the same author as The 14th Goldfish. I didn’t realize Turtle in Paradise is a story similar to Full of Beans, but from Beans’ cousin’s point of view. While it was published first, the story takes place after, so I read the in the right order. You wouldn’t have to read them in order to enjoy them, though.
Turtle is new to town (Key West) and moves in with her Aunt Minnie and cousins. They lived in New Jersey as the housekeeper and housekeeper’s daughter, but the new household has no tolerance for children, so Turtle’s mother sends her away since she cannot take care of Turtle. Turtle, who is a tough and snarky female character, immediately dislikes her equally snarky cousins, and they butt heads until Turtle finds a treasure map, uncovers a secret about her father, and makes friends with her grandmother. Then their relationship takes a turn, and they maybe even enjoy each other’s company.
What I like about this book is the fact that it is a much deeper story than a 3.7 reading level really gives credit for. It isn’t complicated, there isn’t complex vocabulary or concepts, but the level of self-realization from the main character is more than a third grader might catch on to. I’d see this as more of an upper-grade read, especially with the mystery and betrayal involved.
What I don’t really like about this book is that Too Slow got away. I won’t say much more than that, but I’d have liked to see more of him in the end.
Book 12 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)