Tween Tuesdays (15)

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Tween Tuesdays is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer L. Holm
May 2010
Random House
Goodreads Summary: Inspired by family stories, two-time Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Holm beautifully blends family lore with America's past in this charming gem of a novel, rich in historical detail, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.

Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she's never met.

Florida's like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of wild green peeping out between houses, ragtag boy cousins, and secret treasure. Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.

Review: Turtle in Paradise is truly a treat to read.  Using the Depression as the historical background, author Jennifer Holm develops Turtle, the 11 year-old main character, into a fascinating young girl.  The use of nicknames (Slow Poke, Too Bad, Pork Chop) takes on a special meaning, as it ties in to solve the family secrets.  Turtle learns her role in the Diaper Gang, earns the respect of her boy cousins, and teaches a few lessons of her own to Nana Philly.  When life becomes too good to be true, Turtle and her mom learn the hard lessons of life, even as they discover the special acceptance of family.

by Patricia Reilly Giff
September 14, 2010
Wendy Lamb Books (Random House)
Goodreads Summary: While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.

The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survive and to follow her father and brother into battle.

Zee’s story has been waiting to be rediscovered by the right person. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.

In this beautifully crafted, affecting novel from beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff, the lives of two girls reflect one another as each finds her own inner strengths.

Review: Storyteller is both a historical tale and a modern-day novel. Elizabeth's mother died when Elizabeth was just a girl.  Raised by her artist father, she is suddenly left with her mother's sister,  Aunt Libby, when her father goes to Australia to sell his carvings.   

At her aunt's she sees a drawing of an 18th century ancestor and farm girl. Seeing the drawing of Zee, her mother's relative alive during the American Revolution, Elizabeth relates to Zee as an extension of herself.  Able to imagine Zee's trials 300 years previously, Elizabeth traces Zee's story through the modern-day setting.  Aunt Libby takes Elizabeth into Zee's life through story, exploration, and historical details. The intertwined stories of love and loss and the similarities that the girls share make this heartwarming story a definite must read. Another great book by this talented author!


melissa @ 1lbr said...

Ooh, I'd like to read Turtle in Paradise - it sounds lovely.