Study Guide

Turtle in Paradise Youth

By Jennifer L. Holm

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In typical young adult lit fashion, Turtle in Paradise talks about kids and what it means to be a kid. On the list? (1) Be really cruel and cold-hearted; (2) pull pranks on people; (3) act like an angel to adults. Okay, okay, we'll admit that we've pulled our fair share of pranks and practical jokes over the years, but still—we wonder whether Turtle is being entirely fair. After all, the kids in Key West aren't as mean to her as the ones her mom works for. It begs the question: Are all kids as nasty as she thinks they are? As Turtle learns, the answer to that question is no.

Questions About Youth

  1. What's the difference between the kids Turtle knows before the book begins and the ones she meets in Key West? Do you think meanness in kids is related to social class? 
  2. How does Turtle think of herself—as a kid or as an adult? How do other adults treat her? 
  3. Why do you think Turtle hates kids so much? Do you think her assessment of kids as vicious and cruel is fair?

Chew on This

Turtle sees how manipulative and malicious kids are in her life, and therefore thinks all kids are just as mean-spirited.

Even though Turtle hates kids, she gets to know the Diaper Gang and finds she judged kids too quickly.

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