Study Guide

Turtle in Paradise Chapter 3

By Jennifer L. Holm

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Chapter 3

Lucky as an Orphan

  • Why do people feel so badly for orphans? As for Turtle, she thinks orphans have it pretty easy. Take Little Orphan Annie for one: She gets adopted by a millionaire, which Turtle figures is way better than staying in dirty old Key West. 
  • As for Turtle, her new digs smell like sour milk, and she has a tiny room with a sloped roof. 
  • She remembers living with her mom in a room right next to the pantry, and every night they would hear the rats searching for food as they went to sleep. One night, a rat was nibbling her hair. 
  • Turtle screamed so loud her mom thought someone was trying to murder her, so she got Smokey, her cat, to keep the rats away. 
  • Jolted back to reality, Turtle notices a little boy asking about her cat. She explains that someone set Smokey's tail on fire and that's why he's all burned now. 
  • The little boy notices Turtle's accent and the fact that she's wearing shoes and guesses she's not from around here. 
  • He introduces himself as Buddy, but before he can say anymore, Minnie interrupts. He needs to take his nap—now. 
  • It turns out Buddy has a heart condition and has to take a nap every single day, which he hates. 
  • There's lots of noise and ruckus in the house, especially when Termite the dog chases after Smokey. 
  • Aunt Minnie seems tired and overwhelmed but she keeps working. She does throw the kids outside, though, so they can run around out there. 
  • Turtle meets Beans's friend Pork Chop and mocks his weird nickname. Hey, at least it goes with beans…
  • A neighbor comes by the house and says hello to "the Diaper Gang." Once he leaves, Turtle asks about it. 
  • Beans and his buddies all work—for candy of course—changing diapers and looking after babies in town. 
  • She can't be in the gang since she's a girl. That's the first rule. They also have to keep the babies clean, always duck, and never tell anyone about the secret formula. 
  • Turtle's confused, but Beans explains that they've created a secret formula for diaper rash—all the moms want it, but it's theirs. 
  • Beans points out that all babies cry a bunch and none of them are well behaved, so they've got a booming business.

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