Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau

Published by Random House Graphic

Amazon.com: Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel (9780593126318): Holm,  Jennifer L., Ganucheau, Savanna: Books
Amazon.com: Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel (9780593126318): Holm,  Jennifer L., Ganucheau, Savanna: Books

Summary:  Turtle’s gotten her nickname from being hard-shelled, but a new friend guesses that she also has a soft underbelly.  This proves to be the case when her mother sends her to live with her aunt in Depression-era Key West, Florida.  Her overworked aunt wasn’t expecting her, and Turtle finds herself spending her days with her boy cousins and their friends, a group that calls themselves the Diaper Gang because of their abilities to calm babies and cure diaper rash.  An unusual friendship with Turtle’s newly-discovered grandmother leads Turtle to a discovery that results in near-tragedy, but ultimately triumph (and treasure!).  Just when Turtle thinks she’s on her way to a home and family with her mother, another unexpected twist destroys their plans.  But in the final few pages, Turtle and her mother learn the value of their Key West family, and it looks like they have found a home after all.  256 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Based on the 2010 Newbery honor book by Jennifer Holm, this graphic novel is told in vignettes which I assume are similar to the original (which I haven’t read).  The story and artwork are engaging, providing a look at the impoverished Key West before it became a tourist destination.  Fans of Raina Telgemier, Victoria Jamieson, and Holm’s other graphic novels are sure to want to read this one.

Cons:  Like I said, I haven’t read the original, but I did read the prequel Full of Beans, and I felt like some of the interesting historical details were lost in the transition to a graphic format. 

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