Saturday, September 15, 2012

Turtle in Paradise


The year is 1935. Our country is in the middle of the Great Depression. This means that many people were out of work and did not have much money. Turtle's mom gets a job as a housekeeper to an uptight women who doesn't allow children in her home. As a result, Turtle gets sent to live with her Aunt Minnie and menagerie of cousins in Key West, Florida. When she arrives she discovers things are wildly different than she has expected. Besides the fact that nobody wears shoes, she unearths a supposedly dead grandmother and uncovers a long buried pirate treasure. Throw in some hilarious scenes, memorable characters, and a serious adventure and you've got the makings of one terrific novel.

Here are the top three things I absolutely LOVE about this book:
1.) The Character Names.
     Beans, Kermit, Pork Chop, Slow Poke, and Too Bad, to name a few.
2.)  The Diaper Gang
Turtle's entrepreneur cousins belong to the very exclusive Diaper Gang. Yes, they change diapers and swaddle fussy babies in exchange for candy. Hey, times were tough. Candy was a hot commodity.
3.) The History.
You learn a heap about what life was like in Key West in 1935. I was intrigued by all of the references to Little Orphan Annie and Terry and the Pirates. Turtle even meets Key West's most famous writer (Ernest Hemingway, perhaps?) and advises him to write for the funny pages.
4.) Alligator Pears.
You'll have to read to find out what they are!

Little Orphan Annie

Terry and the Pirates

Recipe to Read By:
A True Key West Cut Up
Key West Cut


Here's a picture of the Key West Cut-Up we made in my class. A little sour, a little sweet, a LOT delicious!