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2010 Award
Turtle in Paradise CD
( by Jennifer L. Holm/ narrated by Becca Battoe, , Listening Library $25 Score: )

Set in the tight times of 1935, 12 year old "Turtle" is sent to her Aunt in Key West when her mom takes a job as a maid in a house where she is not welcome. Mom has a boyfriend who is going to make good and build them a house one day, but not soon enough. Turtle is not exactly welcomed by her cousins or Aunt, who are having their own hard times. Jennifer Holm's dialogue is snappy and the characters are off-beat and edgy. The story takes an unbelievable turn when Turtle finds a pirate map and goes with her cousins to find gold on one of the nearby island that is hit with a hurricane while they are there. Although they find what seems to be a fortune, Turtle discovers that what she has really found is a family and herself. If this were a movie of the Great Depression, Hollywood probably would have given us a happier ending than the one Holm surprises her readers with here. A three-disk set that runs 3 hours and 48 mins. A good choice for a long flight. 8-12

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