Study Guide

Turtle in Paradise Disappointment

By Jennifer L. Holm

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There's no shortage of disappointment in Turtle's life in Turtle in Paradise. When she lives with her mom, she's mocked and ridiculed by her mom's bosses' kids, and then when she moves down to Key West, she expects white sand and picturesque beaches, but instead finds trash-lined streets and a house that smells like sour milk. Talk about disappointment. It seems like Turtle has an extra dose of disappointment wherever she goes. Since this book is set during the Great Depression, though, Turtle definitely isn't alone in being down on her luck.

Questions About Disappointment

  1. Is Turtle always disappointed because she sets her hopes too high? Or is her life really disappointing regardless of what she expects? 
  2. How does Turtle's life compare to other people's at this time? She seems to get down in the dumps about her life, but then she tells us that she has it better than most. Which do you think is true? 
  3. Who gets more disappointed—Turtle or her mom? Why do you think that is? What does that tell us about their personalities?

Chew on This

Even though Turtle gets disappointed about her new life in Key West, it makes her realize that her life hasn't been so bad compared to most of the rest of her family up until that point.

Turtle's mom gets disappointed too easily because she expects too much from people and life.

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