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Turtles in Paradise

In: English and Literature

Submitted By garciaconacento
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Book Analysis & Summary Report

Book Title: Turtle in Paradise
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Date of Publication: 2010

Awards: Newbery Honor 2011
Central Character/s: 1. Turtle Curry – eleven-year-old; heroine; realistic; brave

Other characters: 1. The Diaper Gang – gang created by turtle’s cousins: Beans, Buddy, Pork Chop, Kermit, Jelly, Ira. 2. Aunt Minerva – Minnie Curry; attentive; good mother; sweet 3. Sadiebelle Curry – Turtle’s mama; daydreamer; hard worker 4. Slow Poke – sailor; 5. Archie Meeks – salesman; slimy; dishonest; robber; 6. Nana Phily – old lady; grumpy; always upset 7. Mr. edgit – awful opinions; 8. Jhonny Cakes – rumrunner 9. Kermit – helped turtle to find a job 10. Miss Sugarapple – teacher 11. Uncle Vernon – Beans’ father

Themes: 1. Family issues – Turtle’s mom needed to work to earn money 2. The Great Depression- Main cause of economic issues for everyone 3. Realistic beliefs – Turtle has her feet on earth

Conflicts: 1. Poverty – the environment is dirty and depressing 2. Confusion – turtle does not understand daydreamers 3. Adventure – kids work for money and looked for a treasure
1. Aunt Minnie’s house – structure of the story 2. Nana Philly’s house – mean grandma 3. The streets – the diaper gang main place 4. The island - climax

Detailed Summary of Main Events:
Turtle is an eleven-years-old who will be living with her aunt for a while because her mom just got a job as a housekeeper and can’t bring along her daughter. Archie is turtle’s mom’s boyfriend. According to turtle, she thinks that that is the problem with her mom. She falls in love and then before she know it she’s solitary. Turtle is worried about the Great Depression. Turtle hates kids because they lie, cheat and steal all the time. She hates Shirley Temple. Turtle’s mom promised her that one day they will live in a house of their own, but turtle was not sure to believe that or not. Her mom is the opposite of her personality. The mom believes in happy endings but not her. Turtle does not understand how adults are always acting that wherever they are from is the absolute best. This reminds turtle how her mom believed that Key West is the most beautiful place she’s ever been. Mr. Edgit and Turtle arrived to a dirty place where a sign says, “Will work for candy.” Outside, there was a boy making fun of Mr. Edgit for selling hair products while being bald. The name of this kid is Beans and was stopped by his mom. Aunt Minnie was very surprised because she never knew about the arrangement with turtle’s mom. However, she welcomed turtle and Beans was not happy since he had to share room with his brother. Turtle considers orphans have it easier because they can get adopted by a millionaire and that is way better than living in dirty old Key West. Buddy has a heart condition and hast to take a nap every day even though he hates that. Turtle met Pork Chop and asked about “the Diaper Gang”. This gang is created by Beans and his friends who work for candy, change diapers and look for babies in town. She can’t be in the gang because she is a girl. Turtle is impressed how everyone knows she is there and who she is, Pork Chops explains that gossip is part of that place. Buddy invited Turtle to hang out with the Diaper Gang since they have gotten three babies. Turtle realized that all the people is suffering due to the fact of unemployment. Turtle questioned why the Diaper Gang don’t work for money instead, and Buddy told her that no one has the money to pay, so they take candy. One day, Turtle was playing with paper dolls her mom gave her. Turns out that those dolls were Aunt Minnie, and turtle’s mom stole them from her years ago. Turtle misses her mom, she has spoken to her once and it was quick because Mrs. Budnick got mat at her for using her phone. Turtle decided to look for a Job and Johnny Cakes gave her the opportunity since he could use another hand. The next day they get on the boat with Ollie and start sailing around. Slow poke gave turtle a big straw hat to use once it gets hot. Turtle wanted to try to get the sponges into a bucket (so they can sell them back on land). Turtle leans over the boat and works at one. She fell and couldn’t swim even though she mentioned she knew how to swim before getting on the boat. Slow Poke took her to an island and told turtle that everyone looks for Black Caesar’s treasure around there but no one’s ever found it. Turtle asks Slow Poke why he is named that, and he explains that everyone in the Keys has a nickname, and he was named like that because he takes his time doing stuff. He paid Turtle and she went home. Turtle thinks about the fact that big families are not as happy as they seem. She prefers it being just her mom and her. The diaper gang was hungry and they went to Mrs. Soldano, Pork Chop’s mom and gave them bollos. Mrs. Soldano asked Pork Chop to take some to Nana Philly. The kids don’t like her because she’s meaner than a scorpion. Turtle discovered that Nana Philly was her grandma. She was confused because her mom told her that her grandma was dead. Kermit explained that she was not dead, she is just really mean. Ira is a kid that just got back from Miami because his brother needed surgery. Ira told them about a prank in which you take a rock and scratch it on someone’s window using a string. It makes a creepy sound and scared them half to death. The diaper gang did it to Miss Sugarapple first and to other people from the neighborhood. They were enjoying it, but they were super tired during the day. They felt proud of seeing the paper saying Key West cursed by weeping ghost. Turtle gets a letter from her mom saying that she has been thinking about becoming an actress, but turtle thinks her head is in the clouds. Uncle Vernon arrived to the house and everyone was excited. He didn’t know who turtle was. He asked about her name and she explains that her mom says turtles have a hard shell and that she can handle anything. Uncle Vernon explained that turtles might have a hard shell, but their bellies are soft, that maybe turtle is soft on the inside, too. Turtle accepted to take lunch to Nana Philly this time because she wanted to know more about her. Every time she was giving her food, Nana Philly was throwing it on the ground. This happened several days until one day she was actually eating the soup Turtle gave her. Nana Philly admitted that she hates Shirley Temple, too. People are always talking how tough times bring out the best in people, but Turtle does not agrees because she left the shoes Archie bought her to make her feel like a princess outside and someone stole them. Aunt Minnie was bitten by a scorpion and Turtle got a doctor. The next day, Aunt Minnie wakes up and everything was cleaned. Turtle found a box that said, “This being where black Caesar put his treasure.” She decided to ask the diaper gang to find the treasure. They stole Jhonny Cake’s boat and looked for the treasure. The perception of Turtle changed in the instant a bunch of poor kids found a pile of gold. Now she believed that dreams come true. The kids tried to go back, yet the boat was not there. The kids were trapped on an island, hungry, furious, and a big storm was coming. It was dark and scary.The storm was over, and Slow Poke and Jhonny Cakes arrived to help them. They couldn’t believe the diaper gang and turtle found the treasure. The kids bought a new boat, and split the money between the gang and Nana Philly. Turtle shared her adventure to the writer and Slow Poke with specific details. Turtle’s mom and Archie got married and came to visit turtle. Turtle is beyond excited and happy. Turtle found out that Slow Poke is her dad. Archie escaped with the money. All their dreams washed away. Turtle encountered that the best treasure was always in front of her. People who really loved her

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