I know that conchs are beautiful shells perfect for putting to your ear to hear the sound of waves, as well as mollusks that make tasty fritters. Until I read this book though, I didn’t know that Conchs are also residents or natives of the Florida Keys. Eleven-year-old Turtle was born a Conch and returns to her Conch roots when her single mother hits the skids in Depression-era New Jersey.
Like a tender mollusk inside a hard shell, Turtle has built her own hard shell to survive a tough life. When she arrives, uninvited and desperate, at her Aunt’s home in Key West, Turtle refuses to cry over her new life. She spends the summer with her band of male cousins trying to have a role in their babysitting business, searching for lost pirate treasure, connecting with a crotchety grandmother she never knew she had, and dreaming of the life she hopes to have someday with her mother.
This beautifully written middle grade novel would make a wonderful read-aloud on a cold and dreary winter day. The sweetness and humor of the story added to the funky and sunny Florida setting will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone. Turtle is a kid you pull for from the first page to the last. And I can tell you that Turtle does find gold, but not the kind you might think…
—Constance Van Hoven, children’s book author and teller of tall tales
- Page 1 of 0