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Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel

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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 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 ragtag 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 will love.


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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 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 ragtag 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 will love.

30 review for Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    aly ☆彡

    Turtle in Paradise follows a story of an 11 year old, Turtle who finds herself sent off to Florida to live with her aunt and cousins she never get to know of. This story is depicted during the Great Depression period, illustrating the economic hardships which cause family breakdowns at the time. Moving in was hard and this sensitive, heartfelt story captures the magic of meeting new friends and family member as Turtle gets to set for adventures. I had this in my library since its released but de Turtle in Paradise follows a story of an 11 year old, Turtle who finds herself sent off to Florida to live with her aunt and cousins she never get to know of. This story is depicted during the Great Depression period, illustrating the economic hardships which cause family breakdowns at the time. Moving in was hard and this sensitive, heartfelt story captures the magic of meeting new friends and family member as Turtle gets to set for adventures. I had this in my library since its released but decided to read it on the spur of the moment and delighted to find myself enjoying them. I haven't read the novel but I love the atmosphere set forth in the graphic novel. The illustrations were beautifully drawn, demonstrating the perfect setting of Key West during the Great Depression — where kids ran barefoot, families were frequently compelled to take their other stray families, people struggling to look for jobs. Despite the pitiful state at the time, Turtle in Paradise rejoicing the good at the bad time; which couldn't help but make you feel nostalgic and homey instead. If you're into historical fiction or graphic novels, I believe this is one of the must-read MG book. It's splited into mini-chapters, which I believe would make this an easy read for youngsters. Holm's graphic novel adaptation doesn’t lose the story’s warmth, humor, and dramatic moments, you wouldn't want to miss it; especially if you're a fan of the novel itself! It's sweet, poignant, and heartwarming all the same.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    I loved this!! TURTLE IN PARADISE is one of my favorite books and it was my favorite as a kid. Most of the dialogue was taken directly from the book and the art was super cute and fit the story perfectly!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    I already liked this story, and wanted to see how a comic artist would interpret Turtle and her Key West family. The artwork is expressive and energetic, and I could imagine the heat settling over the Curry home each sunny, summer day. I loved the soft shades of the colours invoking the Florida skies and Atlantic ocean, and the water- and sun-beaten wood of the buildings. I already liked this story, and wanted to see how a comic artist would interpret Turtle and her Key West family. The artwork is expressive and energetic, and I could imagine the heat settling over the Curry home each sunny, summer day. I loved the soft shades of the colours invoking the Florida skies and Atlantic ocean, and the water- and sun-beaten wood of the buildings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cecelia

    Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel has one of the prettiest and most colorful book covers I’ve ever seen. And obviously, as a human (aka someone who judges books by their covers), I was drawn to it. I had never read a Jennifer L. Holm book before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade graphic novel, an adaptation of a book by the same name, illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau and colored by Lark Pien. It’s sweet, tart, and endearing – just like a Key lime pie. For Turtle, growing up in the S Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel has one of the prettiest and most colorful book covers I’ve ever seen. And obviously, as a human (aka someone who judges books by their covers), I was drawn to it. I had never read a Jennifer L. Holm book before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade graphic novel, an adaptation of a book by the same name, illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau and colored by Lark Pien. It’s sweet, tart, and endearing – just like a Key lime pie. For Turtle, growing up in the South during the Great Depression means that she’s used to uncertainty. She and her mother Sadiebelle (who has her head stuck firmly in the clouds) make due with any situation – even when Sadiebelle’s employer won’t allow children. So Turtle is shipped down to the Florida Keys to live with her cousins and aunt, whom she has never met before. Upon arrival, Turtle is alerted to the existence of a Diaper Gang, barefoot life, and other Conch (Florida Keys native) peculiarities. As she adjusts to life in the Keys, several mysteries unravel – and the only question remaining is: will Turtle finally find her home in Florida? Or will her mother eventually buy them a home in Georgia? Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel is a gem of a graphic novel – full of shenanigans, feisty cousins, hard-headed Turtle, and the ups and downs of extended family life. For Turtle, who has been an only child, and a practical one at that, it is an adjustment. Turtle’s experiences, illustrated in loving detail and color, are by turns laugh-out-loud funny, bittersweet, and charming. The book reads as a series of connected vignettes, slowly illuminating the mysteries of Turtle’s parentage and lineage, the will-she/won’t-she of being able to keep her cat Smokey, and the all-consuming effort to earn money so that she and her mother can have the sense of security that a home would bring. I loved the historical tidbits and worries that are particular to Turtle’s time. She’s a product of her upbringing: practical, clever, and able to fit in with any crowd, and yet she has soft spots: for her cat, for her crotchety old grandmother, and for her mother, a dreamer who left Key West and ended up a housekeeper. I also loved the illustrations! Especially those of activities that barely exist in the US any longer: sponge fishing, turtle harvesting, encyclopedia sales, and so on. Through this book, can feel both the heat and the ocean breeze of the 1930s Keys. I already adored Savanna Ganucheau’s art from her collaboration with Kevin Panetta in their YA graphic novel Bloom, but this collaboration with Holm and Pien is something special. Ganucheau renders her art digitally in Photoshop, and Holm’s big-eyed characters emote in such a lovely way with those eyes. The art and text combination evoked smells, tastes, visuals, auditory stimulus, and, of course, feeling. In addition, colorist Pien’s pastel sherbet palette of colors is evocative of sun-drenched days and bright light. The combination of all three? A delight. In all, Turtle in Paradise is a pearl, a peach, a star! of a graphic novel, and one that I enjoyed in one gulp. Recommended for: fans of historical fiction, anyone who likes Savanna Ganucheau’s art (Bloom!), and those ready for a summer-y middle grade read filled with poignant moments, à la This One Summer and Be Prepared.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    While I haven't read the original novel, this was an interesting enough story in a setting I didn't know much about. Liked the drawing style and atmosphere. While I think kids will enjoy this, the ending and final revelation was rather abrupt and I'm not sure if it'll throw them. While I haven't read the original novel, this was an interesting enough story in a setting I didn't know much about. Liked the drawing style and atmosphere. While I think kids will enjoy this, the ending and final revelation was rather abrupt and I'm not sure if it'll throw them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews

    Disclaimer : Many thanks to PRH international for e-copy via NetGalley. This was heart warming and fun historical fiction graphic novel that revolved around Turtle who was sent to Key West to live with her aunt where she found treasure and much more. The story was about family, secrets, adventure, coming out of shell, love and friendship. Writing was easy to follow along with illustrations. It was told from Turtle’s POV. Her monologues in box separating the dialogues and conversations were fun to Disclaimer : Many thanks to PRH international for e-copy via NetGalley. This was heart warming and fun historical fiction graphic novel that revolved around Turtle who was sent to Key West to live with her aunt where she found treasure and much more. The story was about family, secrets, adventure, coming out of shell, love and friendship. Writing was easy to follow along with illustrations. It was told from Turtle’s POV. Her monologues in box separating the dialogues and conversations were fun to read. Illustrations were beautiful. I loved colour palate and art. Turtle was amazing 11 years old kid.It was great to see how slowly she came out of the shell she created around her and started enjoying her time in Key West, and how her thoughts changed by the end. Diaper gang was fun to read. Turtle’s cousins ran this gang with their friends. Setting of Key West and timeline of 1935 during great depression and time of Shirley Temple was well presented. Overall, Turtle in Paradise was lovely, heart warming, and entertaining graphic novel with amazing characters and setting. If you enjoy stories set in Key West, great depression timeline, kids and their pranks and adventure, I highly recommend this. Read full review - https://booksteacupreviews.com/2021/0...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Cooke

    A true treasure of a story…pirate treasure, that is! Learning about your family, meeting new people, coming out of your shell; these are all things that Turtle has face in this tale and Jenni Holm and Savanna Ganucheau perfectly set the scene along with warm pastel colours that evoke a southern summer in the Keys. For fans of This One Summer.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    Really cute and delightful little graphic novel. The art is lovely and the story is sweet and full of adventures. I recommend this for older kids/early middle grade and up, and definitely have passed this on for my spawn to read. 5/5 Cups of coffee from me, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I always love Jennifer Holm’s work.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Murtaza Kuwarawala

    Title - Turtle in Paradise Author - Jennifer L Holm Genre - Historical Fiction Received an e-arc from Netgalley. Thank you Penguin Books Plot: The plot is pretty straightforward. Turtle in Paradise is the story of Turtle who is sent to her aunt's place since her mother is not allowed to bring kids at her workplace. Stuck between four other cousins who treats her as an outcast, Turtle tries to settle in Key West, Florida and make her place among them and come out her own shell. My Thoughts on the Boo Title - Turtle in Paradise Author - Jennifer L Holm Genre - Historical Fiction Received an e-arc from Netgalley. Thank you Penguin Books Plot: The plot is pretty straightforward. Turtle in Paradise is the story of Turtle who is sent to her aunt's place since her mother is not allowed to bring kids at her workplace. Stuck between four other cousins who treats her as an outcast, Turtle tries to settle in Key West, Florida and make her place among them and come out her own shell. My Thoughts on the Book: I haven't read the original novel that this graphic novel is based upon so I'm not sure how much of the book has been translated into pictures here. Though the illustrations are beautiful, the plot seemed to have lost at times while translating to graphics and hence a reader would feel lost as to what exactly is the author trying to convey. The book does have a strong second half which apparently lifts the overall book a notch. When one does read about the times that people went through those days, it does touch upon certain emotions that people would surely relate to. My Ratings - 🌟🌟🌟 💫(3.5 out of 5 stars)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thought this graphic novel adaptation was mostly very true to the original novel, and did a great job bringing to life the setting of the Florida Keys. I don't know that I loved the illustrative style of the people, however. While the illustrator took great pains to dress the characters in the style of the day, the faces seemed a little too manga-inspired. I would have liked a bit more of an authentic style for the I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thought this graphic novel adaptation was mostly very true to the original novel, and did a great job bringing to life the setting of the Florida Keys. I don't know that I loved the illustrative style of the people, however. While the illustrator took great pains to dress the characters in the style of the day, the faces seemed a little too manga-inspired. I would have liked a bit more of an authentic style for the people. Additionally, there are some situations in which I feel like a person who has not read the original novel might be confused, or not get the full emotional impact of the situation. For example, when the kids are trapped in the shack on the island during the hurricane, I felt like that scene in the book was very suspenseful and wrought with emotion, however, in the graphic novel, it was not nearly as nerve-wrecking. Similarly, I feel like the relationship between Slow Poke, Turtle, and Turtle's mom was better developed and explained in the book, and kids reading the graphic novel will have to infer more, and might miss what is being implied. Overall, I felt like it was a good adaptation, but I feel like a few more panels in certain situations would have made it more complete.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Revisiting a beloved favorite children’s book in graphic novel form was an absolute joy. I loved getting to return to Key West with Turtle and the Diaper Gang. My only criticism is that the original novel is so beloved to me, that the quick nature of reading a graphic novel doesn't allow you to savor the story as much as you can when you read a prose novel. But, getting to actually visuals definitely gives the reading experience something new and different. There are benefits of both reading exp Revisiting a beloved favorite children’s book in graphic novel form was an absolute joy. I loved getting to return to Key West with Turtle and the Diaper Gang. My only criticism is that the original novel is so beloved to me, that the quick nature of reading a graphic novel doesn't allow you to savor the story as much as you can when you read a prose novel. But, getting to actually visuals definitely gives the reading experience something new and different. There are benefits of both reading experiences.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    There are so many amazing graphic novels out there that sometimes it’s hard to know which one to pick up! You can never go wrong with an adaptation of a beloved book. Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau is a new adaptation of the Newbery Honor-winning novel. When 11-year old Turtle’s mother gets a job keeping house for a woman who doesn’t like kids, Turtle heads off to Florida to live with relatives. Key West is full of ragtag cousins, family secrets, There are so many amazing graphic novels out there that sometimes it’s hard to know which one to pick up! You can never go wrong with an adaptation of a beloved book. Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau is a new adaptation of the Newbery Honor-winning novel. When 11-year old Turtle’s mother gets a job keeping house for a woman who doesn’t like kids, Turtle heads off to Florida to live with relatives. Key West is full of ragtag cousins, family secrets, and maybe even a little pirate treasure! I do love a ragtag group, and especially this "Diaper Gang"! Tropical colors and Depression-era visuals really complement this wonderful story. And did you spot the 🐈‍⬛ on the cover?? How could I not love this book?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Havens

    I really liked learning about Key West during the 1930s but I kind of wanted to slap Sadiebelle. Really lady? How dumb are you? Makes me feel bad about Turtle. I thought that Turtle's journey was typical of this time period (from what I've gathered by watching 1930s era movies). I enjoyed learning about the sea turtle, conch, and sponge industry. I've never been to Key West before but I am definitely more interested now from reading this graphic novel. Fun, historical read! I really liked learning about Key West during the 1930s but I kind of wanted to slap Sadiebelle. Really lady? How dumb are you? Makes me feel bad about Turtle. I thought that Turtle's journey was typical of this time period (from what I've gathered by watching 1930s era movies). I enjoyed learning about the sea turtle, conch, and sponge industry. I've never been to Key West before but I am definitely more interested now from reading this graphic novel. Fun, historical read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    I hadn't read the original, non-graphic novel version of this book, and I loved the story, setting, and characters. I liked the art fine, though I don't feel like it added a ton to the story. A sweet, fun read! I hadn't read the original, non-graphic novel version of this book, and I loved the story, setting, and characters. I liked the art fine, though I don't feel like it added a ton to the story. A sweet, fun read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Flanagin

    I truly enjoyed reading the book that goes to this graphic novel and reading the graphic version was the same. Great story!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Viklund

    Well I LOVED IT!! And I learned so much about Key West during the Great Depression, the author’s notes & glimpse at the illustration process was so fascinating— don’t skip over that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jill Kenna

    I haven’t read the book that this is based on but I really enjoyed it! The artwork was very nice and I loved the story. I will definitely be recommending this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I haven't read the original novel this graphic novel adapts, but I bet it's lovely. This was a sweet story about family and life in depression-era Key West. The artwork brings it to life and cleverly makes the objects of a lot of nicknames and local slang more clear. I haven't read the original novel this graphic novel adapts, but I bet it's lovely. This was a sweet story about family and life in depression-era Key West. The artwork brings it to life and cleverly makes the objects of a lot of nicknames and local slang more clear.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Turtle is sent to Key West when her mother takes on a new job as a live in maid. Her employer doesn't allow children, so Turtle is sent south to family she didn't know she had. Beans and his brothers are her cousins. Although Turtle's story was written first, it happens a year after Full of Beans. As a graphic novel, Turtle's story is trimmed down to the most salient and emotional bits. She's angry at the people in her life. She's learned to trust no one, including her mother. Kids back home set Turtle is sent to Key West when her mother takes on a new job as a live in maid. Her employer doesn't allow children, so Turtle is sent south to family she didn't know she had. Beans and his brothers are her cousins. Although Turtle's story was written first, it happens a year after Full of Beans. As a graphic novel, Turtle's story is trimmed down to the most salient and emotional bits. She's angry at the people in her life. She's learned to trust no one, including her mother. Kids back home set her cat's tail on fire. The adults in her life are just as untrustworthy, even the man who is wooing her mother. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2021/comm... Family Home Blue Highway 336633

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather Lander

    Really loved the setting and era. I'm not typically one for historical fiction but I liked this one. Really loved the setting and era. I'm not typically one for historical fiction but I liked this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Covington

    Sweet story, lovely drawings. Just wanted a bit more in the resolution and the family history, but maybe this is something to be tackled in a sequel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pam Page

    This is such a great story and the illustrations are vibrant and "Key West"-like. The author and illustrator's notes at the end are fun to read and add to the content of the story. The original story is SO good that it was hard for me to separate it from this version. If you are trying to capture reluctant readers, this might be the way to go but I would recommend the original version after reading this! This is such a great story and the illustrations are vibrant and "Key West"-like. The author and illustrator's notes at the end are fun to read and add to the content of the story. The original story is SO good that it was hard for me to separate it from this version. If you are trying to capture reluctant readers, this might be the way to go but I would recommend the original version after reading this!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen Parisot

    A graphic novel for middle-grade readers. The story is centered around eleven year old Turtle who is sent to live with her aunt in Key West. She doesn’t receive the warmest of welcomes, at least from her family. It takes awhile before her cousins and their little gang accept Turtle. Turtle has a lot of adventures and learns a few things too in this appealing tale before finally finding her home. This book is an adaptation of a 2011 Newberry Honor book of the same name. It’s about family and frie A graphic novel for middle-grade readers. The story is centered around eleven year old Turtle who is sent to live with her aunt in Key West. She doesn’t receive the warmest of welcomes, at least from her family. It takes awhile before her cousins and their little gang accept Turtle. Turtle has a lot of adventures and learns a few things too in this appealing tale before finally finding her home. This book is an adaptation of a 2011 Newberry Honor book of the same name. It’s about family and friendship and a little bit about the Key West Conchs. I enjoyed the story and its colorful graphics and found the notes by the author and illustrator to be an interesting addition to the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This was a disappointment for me. I read the book a long time ago and randomly picked this up. Not sure why except it would be a quick read. It was but not memorable, the book is definitely better. So many unlikeable characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diane White

    Solid graphic novel of one of my favorite books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    thewanderingjew

    Turtle in Paradise, The Graphic Novel, Jennifer L. Holm, Savanna Ganucheau Sadie is Turtle’s mom. She is working as a housekeeper, hoping to save enough money to buy a home for them. It could be a pipe dream, but Sadie believes in her fantasies. She has a beau named Archie. Because her employer doesn’t like kids, she sends Turtle to live with her sister Minerva, in Florida. When she arrives with her cat Smokey, the welcome is less than friendly as the children and her aunt did not know she was co Turtle in Paradise, The Graphic Novel, Jennifer L. Holm, Savanna Ganucheau Sadie is Turtle’s mom. She is working as a housekeeper, hoping to save enough money to buy a home for them. It could be a pipe dream, but Sadie believes in her fantasies. She has a beau named Archie. Because her employer doesn’t like kids, she sends Turtle to live with her sister Minerva, in Florida. When she arrives with her cat Smokey, the welcome is less than friendly as the children and her aunt did not know she was coming. They are poor and live a hardscrabble life, and she is an added burden. Turtle is eleven years old and is just discovering that she has three boy cousins, a grandmother and an aunt and uncle she really doesn’t know. Her grandmother has a reputation of being a mean old lady, but an accident robbed her of her ability to yell at everyone so she is pretty helpless now. Turtle is smart. She knows that life is tough, and sometimes she is, too, so she is kind to her grandmother and helps her awaken her own kind side. Her cousins are sometimes cruel to others, but they also have a good side. Turtle joins them babysitting for “bad babies”. They babysit for candy because no one there has any money. They change the diapers, use their own secret formula to heal the baby’s bums, and take them for rides in their wagon to put them to sleep. They also, however, play pranks on people and think it is funny when they are frightened. They have two sides too. The children go in search of a lost pirate’s treasure. When their boat disappears, they are stranded with a storm approaching. It turns out to be a good learning experience for all of them. They have to face their fears. Everyone can make a mistake. It seems that once you get to know someone, you discover that even mean people can be nice, that some people are smarter than others but everyone can contribute, and that there are a few people who are simply bad and take advantage of others. They learn to really care about each other and their friends as they begin to understand that most people are worthy of respect. The book gently exposes children to the travails of life. Infirmity, dishonesty and cruelty are among them. The ultimate moral of the tale is that life will not always turn out the way you want it to, but things have a way of working out, one way or another. The children face their fears and overcome them. The adults learn to deal with their sorrows. Mistakes are forgiven. Kindness prevails. Sometimes the language and grammar in this graphic novel is too graphic. Sometimes the subject matter that concerns cruel pranks, stealing or misplaced anger, misses the opportunity of that teaching moment to encourage ethical and moral behavior. In the end, however, the appropriate lessons seemed learned. The story is deftly handled so that the value of hard work and the comfort of feeling wanted and loved are front and center. Kindness, sharing, and genuine love and concern won in the end, in this middle grade novel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bookphile

    Historical fiction hasn't really been my jam lately, so I wasn't instantly feeling the love when I picked up this book. However, it quickly grew on me, and I realized how much I was enjoying its slow unfurling of a world very different from my own. Set in the 1930s in the Florida Keys, this book tackles a lot of interesting themes without ever feeling overwhelming. It's easy to identify with Turtle's childhood emotions and actions, and I think her authenticity and that of the boys in the Diaper G Historical fiction hasn't really been my jam lately, so I wasn't instantly feeling the love when I picked up this book. However, it quickly grew on me, and I realized how much I was enjoying its slow unfurling of a world very different from my own. Set in the 1930s in the Florida Keys, this book tackles a lot of interesting themes without ever feeling overwhelming. It's easy to identify with Turtle's childhood emotions and actions, and I think her authenticity and that of the boys in the Diaper Gang was the major element that pulled me right into the narrative. I also very much appreciated that Turtle is a rather prickly sort, and that it's her prickliness that enables her to connect with her admittedly rather terrible grandmother. It did make me think about what it would have been like to be something of an unconventional woman in a time like that. I also liked the subplot about Turtle's mother and the effects her behaviors have had on Turtle's life. I do wish this had been a bit better developed, that we would have had more insight into what's made her mother such a dreamer, but maybe the novel does that. As it was, I liked what this book had to say about how kids are often at the mercy of the whims of adults, and how that system is sometimes extremely unfair to kids. The ways in which Turtle reacts to her lack of agency do a lot to help flush out her character and make her feel more three-dimensional. Lastly, I appreciated that the book didn't shy away from some of the harsh realities of the world Turtle lived in, but that it did so in a manner that felt authentic to the setting. I'm not sure kids who know nothing about The Depression would understand it on the same level as an adult like me, but at the time what was going on would have felt incidental to the kids, in the same way major events always feel incidental to kids, even when they're having a profound effect on that kid's life. The kids aren't oblivious; they're aware of their reality, but that's just the way things are. They go on living the lives they have. That level of realism resonated with me. I've read multiple books/graphic novels by Jennifer Holm and find her a very engaging author. She has a way of getting right to the heart of things, of making you feel for her characters, that is very gripping. There's a lot of quality middle grade lit out there, but Holm stands out for me. I don't think she's let me down yet, and I'm not sure she gets as much recognition as she should for being an outstanding author in the genre.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leighton

    Thank you to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau is a delightful middle-grade children's book that has been turned into an equally delightful graphic novel. When I was reading this book, I was impressed by the story, which involves a girl nicknamed Turtle who moves to Key West, Florida to live with family members who she has never met when her mother gets a new job. The story reminded me of th Thank you to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau is a delightful middle-grade children's book that has been turned into an equally delightful graphic novel. When I was reading this book, I was impressed by the story, which involves a girl nicknamed Turtle who moves to Key West, Florida to live with family members who she has never met when her mother gets a new job. The story reminded me of the wonder and humor in classic children's book like Little Women, and Turtle's grit and determination reminded of characters in books that I loved growing up like the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary or other books like Betsy Byars. I can see why so many people enjoyed the original novel. I also greatly enjoyed the art in this graphic novel. I felt like it was manga-inspired without turning into a manga itself. I was reminded of the art styles in the universally-acclaimed Studio Ghibli films Kiki's Delivery Service and When Marnie was There, two of my favorite children's movies based off of books. The art is clean, and the colors are warm and captivating. Overall, Turtle in Paradise is a heart-warming coming of age story. Overall, this book would be the perfect gift for the middle-grade girl in your life. If you're intrigued by the description or if you know someone who loves reading graphic novels, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in June!

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