A Quick, Feel Good Read

Bright yellow illustration shows an upraised hand holding a small green turtle. Cover features the Newberry award sticker.

by Monae R.

Turtle in Paradise, originally a children’s book, was published as a lovely graphic novel last year. This story by Jennifer L. Holm works wonderfully for children and teens who may be having trouble reading fiction but find graphic novels and pictures easier to comprehend and follow.  

The story follows an 11-year-old girl named Turtle who suddenly has to move to Key West, Florida to live with her aunt. All is going smoothly until she reaches the residence and realizes she is not welcomed with open arms. Although she adjusts to the next few weeks there with her cousins, their weird friends, and jobs, and becomes accustomed to the strange nicknames for everything in the area, Turtle still cannot wait to go home.  

If you like a quick read that grabs your heart strings and keeps you immersed, this delightful story has the words and visuals to do just that. Find out how Turtle learns to grow and get along with her aunt and cousins. Take a look at her mother’s love interest and how that affects Turtle and the family. Discover the story behind a pirate and his lost treasure… and what does that have to do with Turtle? 

Answer all these questions and more with this riveting tale. For those who would prefer the fiction copy, it might be fun to contrast the differences between the formats. Graphic novels are a good way to incorporate reading and learning with your children, families, or even on your own.  

Turtle in Paradise is available as a graphic novel, a children’s book, as an e-book on Libby and on CloudLibrary, and an e-audiobook and an audiobook on CD.

Monae is a Children’s Instructor and Research Specialist at HCLS East Columbia Branch.

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