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Book Club Kits: Turtle in Paradise

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Jennifer L. Holm

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Book Summary

Life isn't like the movies. But then again, 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 live with relatives she's never met. Florida's like nothing Turtle's ever seen before though. It's hot and strange, full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate 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. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls with love.

Discussion Questions

  • What is the thing most surprising to Turtle about life in Key West?

  • What surprised you about Key West?

  • Cousins Buddy and Beans run the Diaper Gang for fussy babies - what did you think about the whole project?

  • What did you think of everyone’s names in the book? Did their names have any significance?

  • Turtle finds a treasure map in the piano of the old lady Nana Philly - did your idea about the woman change when Turtle discovered she was her Grandma?

  • Did you think maybe Slow Poke was Turtle's father before she did? Why?

  • Have you ever been outside at night during a terrible storm? What was it like?

  • Do you like the way the treasure money was divided and spent?

  • How were Aunt Minnie and Turtle's mother alike? Different?

  • Was the ending just right for the story?