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Jennifer L. Holm

Photo provided by the author

This book, Turtle in Paradise, started with a story my mom liked to tell about her childhood. During the summers, her grandmother would take her to Key West to visit her relatives. Her mother made her promise to “shake her shoes out.” My mom didn’t know why her mother wanted her to do this, but she did it anyway. And then one hot day, she shook her shoes and out popped . . . a scorpion!
 
Writing Turtle in Paradise was a wonderful way to re-connect with my Key West heritage. My great-grandmother, Jennie Lewin Peck, emigrated from the Bahamas to Key West at the turn of the century. She considered herself a “Conch,” what the local Key West folks called themselves, after the native mollusk that so many fished for in the Bahamas. Nana was always talking about how she missed sugar apple ice cream and Spanish limes. When my editor, Shana Corey, started asking me about Nana and my Key West family, I just knew that there was a story somewhere in there.
 
Researching this book was also an interesting way to experience a different side of living through the Great Depression. While Key West suffered significant economic hardship (the town went bankrupt and the majority of the citizens were on economic relief), it didn’t have the same sort of feel as most of the depression stories I was used to hearing—soup lines, tent cities, and the Dust Bowl. Key West was warm for one thing, and there was plenty of free food, courtesy of the sea. One man told me, he ate lobster during the Depression! Key West was a freewheeling town full of characters and bygone industries—sponge fishing, rumrunners, and, of course, pirates! It had all the ingredients for a fabulous setting.
 
I hope you enjoy reading Turtle in Paradise as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you ever go to Key West, be sure to shake out your shoes!


Author Bookshelf

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World!

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm

With multiple Children's Choice Awards and over 1.8 million books sold, kids, parents, and teachers agree that Babymouse is perfect for fans of Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Bad Kitty, and Dork Diaries!

Meet Babymouse—Her dreams are big! Her imagination is wild!...

Babymouse #2: Our Hero

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!

With multiple Children's Choice awards...

Babymouse #3: Beach Babe

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards and over...


Babymouse #4: Rock Star

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards and over...

Babymouse #5: Heartbreaker

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards...

Babymouse #6: Camp Babymouse

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards and over...


Babymouse #7: Skater Girl

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards and over...

Babymouse #8: Puppy Love

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE!
 
With multiple Children's Choice awards and over...

Boston Jane: An Adventure

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Fans of adventure, romance, and a strong heroine will love this this action-packed historical trilogy by three-time Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Holm.

1855....


Boston Jane: The Claim

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Fans of Boston Jane: An Adventure and Boston Jane: Wilderness Days will revel in the rip-roaring adventure, romance, and humor of this spectacularly spirited and satisfying conclusion to New York Times bestselling...

Boston Jane: Wilderness Days

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Girls looking for adventure, romance, and a strong heroine will love the second book in this action-packed historical trilogy by three-time Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Holm.

1854....

Our Only May Amelia

By: Jennifer L. Holm

She may be a miracle,
but she’s no Proper Young Lady!

It isn’t easy being a pioneer in the state of Washington in 1899, but it’s particularly hard when you are the only girl...



Penny from Heaven

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Jennifer Holm's New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor Winner is the story of a summer of adventures and secrets that will change everything, at a time in America’s history, just after World War II, when being Italian-American...

Turtle in Paradise

By: Jennifer L. Holm

In Jennifer L. Holm's New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor winning middle grade historical fiction novel, life isn't like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple

She's smart and tough and has seen enough...

Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick

By: Jennifer L. Holm
illustrated by: Elicia Castaldi

Part graphic novel, part scrapbook and altogether original—New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Holm's Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick is just right for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid,...


The Fourteenth Goldfish

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm
 
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the...


The Trouble with May Amelia

By: Jennifer L. Holm

May Amelia Jackson lives in Washington State in 1900, but she just can’t act the part of a proper young lady. Working a muddy farm on the rainy Nasel River isn’t easy—
especially when...