Study Guide

The Diaper Gang: Beans, Buddy, Pork Chop, Kermit, Jelly, Ira in Turtle in Paradise

By Jennifer L. Holm

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The Diaper Gang: Beans, Buddy, Pork Chop, Kermit, Jelly, Ira

Turtle's cousins have a little club known as the Diaper Gang and, of course, there are no girls allowed (duh). Also on their list of rules?

"Keep your rag clean. Always duck. And never tell anyone the secret formula." (3.62)

One thing's for sure: They take their roles as babysitters very seriously. They've even crafted a secret formula to cure diaper rash for all the little babies out there, which keeps them in serious demand in the neighborhood.

The guys might like to dish out an extra serving of pranks on the regular, but when it comes down to it, they do a pretty good job with the screaming infants. Beans claims that there are no good babies, but they all seem to calm down when the Gang is around. It makes us think about how these boys act all tough and ready to fight, but in reality, they are big softies. They don't admit it to anyone—even themselves—but they've got a good thing going with the little babies.

The Diaper Gang is also important because it exposes Turtle to kids her own age who are not her mom's employers. Before she moves to Key West, she's had a bad time of it with the kids who live in the houses her mom works for—one mean crowd even set her cat on fire. Ouch, right? But with the Diaper Gang, she gets to hang out with them and learn about herself without being designated "the help." This not only gives Turtle more room to just be herself, it also gives her a new perspective on kids in general. And they're not all bad.

Besides, the Diaper Gang takes her in as one of their own. They might not allow girls, but by the end, it seems they're willing to bend the rules a little when Pork Chop asks Turtle, "Uh, say, you want to be in the Diaper Gang?" (18.85). She's one of the gang now because she's hunted treasure with them, played with them, and gotten to know the ropes of Key West under their guidance. And just as Turtle realizes that not all kids re terrible, the dudes in the Diaper Gang figure out that not all girls are bad.

In fact, having one in the club might be handy if she keeps finding treasure maps.

The Diaper Gang: Beans, Buddy, Pork Chop, Kermit, Jelly, Ira in Turtle in Paradise Study Group

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