Full of Beans
Newbery Honor Book Turtle in Paradise is beloved by readers, and now they can return to this wonderful world through the eyes of Turtle’s cousin Beans.  Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. Not that Beans really minds; it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.

Full of Beans Details

TitleFull of Beans
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 30th, 2016
PublisherRandom House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780553510393
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Humor, Juvenile, Fiction

Full of Beans Review

  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: Strongly voiced male protagonist in depression-era historical fiction, ideal for whole class reading or book clubs for grades 4-5 and for readers who have already read Turtle in Paradise. Students might need some background knowledge on the Great Depression and the New Deal. Disclaimer: Review from ARC on behalf of a reader advisory program. Review: At the not-so tender age of eleven, Beans Curry has learned a hard truth: adults lie.Beans’s mother lies when she says everything’s going t Summary: Strongly voiced male protagonist in depression-era historical fiction, ideal for whole class reading or book clubs for grades 4-5 and for readers who have already read Turtle in Paradise. Students might need some background knowledge on the Great Depression and the New Deal. Disclaimer: Review from ARC on behalf of a reader advisory program. Review: At the not-so tender age of eleven, Beans Curry has learned a hard truth: adults lie.Beans’s mother lies when she says everything’s going to be all right even though his father can’t find a job. His employer, Winky, lies when he says he’s going to pay a dime for used cans and then doesn’t. His teacher lies when she says all he needs to become better at mathematics is more practice.Beans lives a shoeless existence in Key West. Key West is so poor that garbage gathers on the streets without anybody to clean it up. Dilapidated houses are made of wood and are infested with termites and scorpions. Some have to resort to illegal means just to make ends meet.Beans’s voice, a combination of swagger and desperation, carries this story. Some examples (quotes from ARC):“The ringing bell on the door of Gardner’s Pharmacy sounded like money disappearing from my pocket.”“If I was a ghost, I wouldn’t haunt these shabby little houses. I’d haunt somewhere nice, like a mansion. But maybe ghosts were like the living and down on their luck.”“I’d been practicing arithmetic since I’d first stepped into the school, and I never got better at it. Besides, I wasn’t the only one who was bad at arithmetic. President Roosevelt wasn’t much of a whiz, seeing how the country was still in a depression.”Amidst this desperation is a solution. One day, a Bermuda shorts-clad Mr. Stone arrives, bent on transforming Key West into a tourist destination. Houses get painted and refurbished. The garbage gets cleaned up. A playground is created.Beans isn’t sure he is on board with all of these changes, however. He’s not sure how he feels about the stray dogs being taken away, and he isn’t a fan of the New Dealers’ desire to crack down on the ever-popular Bolita gambling game. This transformation of the island takes place amidst a backdrop of other vignettes: there’s Dot, the girl he refuses to play marbles with; there’s Termite, the dog who won’t stop following him until he makes him his own; there’s Beans’s “secret” cure for diaper rash, and at the center of Beans’s emotional life is a pit of guilt he promises himself never to throw himself into again.This is a book that’s easy for adults to fall in love with. It has everything we like, coupled with just enough moral ambiguity to keep us intrigued and a happy ending. However, I’m not yet convinced that younger or less experienced readers will fall in love with this book the same way adults will. Less experienced readers might find this book “slow” and may not have enough background knowledge to make connections to the past. That’s why I think this book is best for younger readers if it’s paired with some intentional teaching. Younger readers can use this book to learn to ask questions about a setting: they can ask questions about why Beans is so excited to make a dime, why he has to go to a neighbor’s house to make a phone call, and why he and his friends play marbles in the street. More experienced readers can make historical connections to Roosevelt and the New Deal and contemplate themes of heroism, the value of telling the truth, and when it is and isn’t okay to lie.Having not read Turtle in Paradise, I’m not sure how the two compare side-to-side. However, I’m floored that this strongly voiced and punchy historical fiction piece came out of the same person who did the ever-popular graphics Babymouse, Sunny Side Up and the thoughtful if quirky Fourteenth Goldfish.
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  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Does building resilience in kids mean they have to be able to handle everything by themselves? Or that they can weather the hard times, with their sense of self intact? I adore Jennifer Holm's newest novel Full of Beans precisely for the way that Beans struggles through hard times, learning about the consequences of his decisions, yet never losing his sense of humor or his loyalty to his family and friends. It is both delightful to read and wonderful to reflect upon.Read my full review at Great Does building resilience in kids mean they have to be able to handle everything by themselves? Or that they can weather the hard times, with their sense of self intact? I adore Jennifer Holm's newest novel Full of Beans precisely for the way that Beans struggles through hard times, learning about the consequences of his decisions, yet never losing his sense of humor or his loyalty to his family and friends. It is both delightful to read and wonderful to reflect upon.Read my full review at Great Kid Books blog.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    Copy provided by publisherBeans, Turtle's cousin from Turtle in Paradise (2010) is doing the best he can to help out his family during the Great Depression in Key West, Florida. He and his brother, Kermit, dig through the trash for tin cans, babysit, and even engage in illegal activities in order to make some money. Their father is away in New Jersey, trying to get a factory job, and their mother takes in laundry and occasionally tries her hand at dressmaking. When New Deal men come to town and Copy provided by publisherBeans, Turtle's cousin from Turtle in Paradise (2010) is doing the best he can to help out his family during the Great Depression in Key West, Florida. He and his brother, Kermit, dig through the trash for tin cans, babysit, and even engage in illegal activities in order to make some money. Their father is away in New Jersey, trying to get a factory job, and their mother takes in laundry and occasionally tries her hand at dressmaking. When New Deal men come to town and try to clean up Key West so it can be a tourist destination, Beans is apprehensive. These men are wearing Bermuda shorts! They can't be official. After one of his money making enterprises goes sadly wrong, Beans feels awful enough that helping the New Deal men make Key West more attractive seems like a good way to give back. Strengths: Holm has based this book on family lore, and includes period photographs at the back. I think the best part of this is all of Beans' money making schemes. While families struggle today, it seems like children are not able to help. At other points in history, children were given a lot of opportunities to be useful. Other period details, such as movies, cars, and games children played, as well as local culture, make this a fun, fast paced book. Weaknesses: Turtle in Paradise seemed like much more of an elementary book, and it doesn't circulate a lot. Luckily, this can be read alone, and I think that it's funny enough that readers will pick it up. What I really think: Will give this to children who enjoy the core novel A Long Way From Chicago and want to read more about the Great Depression.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this historical fiction novel for younger readers. The characters are expertly sketched, and as readers mature they will begin to more deeply understand the relationships presented. I am a huge fan of Key West and learned so much about the island's history in this slim volume--now I want to read even more Jenni Holm books!
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  • Mx. Firke
    January 1, 1970
    This book gets to some big issues in a way that is fun! It's also a very quick read. :) I won't spoil it, but I think this is a GREAT choice if you were interested in the historical period of Bud, Not Buddy.
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    A charming companion story to TURTLE IN PARADISE!
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    January 1, 1970
    It's July 1934, and times are hard for the Curry family. Poppy's out of work and in New Jersey looking for a job, and mom is taking in laundry, so son Beans Curry does what he can to help out. But after sifting through garbage, collecting empty cans and expecting to get 10¢ for every twenty cans, he is cheated out of 5¢ by the wily Winky, who now claims he said 50 cans per 10¢. One thing that Beans knows for sure is that grown-ups lie and Winky is a good example of that. Angered, Beans is determ It's July 1934, and times are hard for the Curry family. Poppy's out of work and in New Jersey looking for a job, and mom is taking in laundry, so son Beans Curry does what he can to help out. But after sifting through garbage, collecting empty cans and expecting to get 10¢ for every twenty cans, he is cheated out of 5¢ by the wily Winky, who now claims he said 50 cans per 10¢. One thing that Beans knows for sure is that grown-ups lie and Winky is a good example of that. Angered, Beans is determined to find another way to help his family out. Luckily, "businessman" Johnny Cakes happens to be looking for Beans with a job proposition.Turns out, Johnny Cakes is a rum runner, and Beans's job is to help him get the illegally gotten Cuban rum off ships in the middle of the night. All Beans has to do is set off the fire alarm to divert any possible attention from the docks. It job pays good money and Beans doesn't mind doing it, but after so many false alarms, the fire department stops responding to them.Which is too bad, since one night there is a real fire, destroying the house of one of Beans's best friends. Racked with guilt, Beans never confesses his part in the fire, but he does stop working for Johnny Cakes and turns his sights toward more positive work trying to assuage his guilt.At the same time, the federal government has sent down some New Dealers to decide whether to simply evacuate Key West, or clean it up and turn it into a warm, sunny tourist attraction. As the transformation of Key West begins, and houses get painted, a playground gets built, and stray dogs are rounded up, Beans manages to find a way to help in the beautification of Key West rounding up his gang of friends to collect garbage and rake seaweed.But perhaps Beans's real saving grace will be his uncanny ability to take care of babies, after all, he certainly has a way with them.Jennifer Holm returns to depression-era Key West, Florida in this fun prequel to Turtle in Paradise. It's a place she is familiar with, since her family had lived there since the late 1800s. The story is told in the first person by Beans, who draws the reader right in the midst of the sights, sounds and smells of 1934 Key West.I thought Beans was a wonderful character. He's got a great sense of humor, a deep sense of loyalty towards friends and family, and despite his brief foray into crime, he actually as a moral compass and conscience to go with it, and, amazingly, he never complains when he is asked to help out at home, no matter what is is asked to do.I loved the historical references, the mention of movie stars and writers of the time - Ernest Hemingway is already a Key West resident, Robert Frost a visitor, and with money in his pocket, Beans escapes life for a little while at the local movie theater. As he tells readers, Shirley Temple is just beginning to make it big and he is sure she will be a star.I thought it interesting that Holm mentions leprosy. Sitting in the dark theater at night, Beans notices a man who seems to vanish in thin air after each movie ends. It turns out that the man, named Murray, has leprosy, and can't go out during the day: "It's not safe...They'd send me to the leper hospital in Louisiana. Nobody ever comes back from that place." (pg 125) (as a middle grader, I had read a book called Miracle at Carville by Betty Martin. This is the hospital that Murray is referring to).Since this novel is grounded in the real history of Key West during the Great Depression, Holm has included an extensive Author's Note, with a number of photographs, and there is even a list of Beans's Favorite Kid Actors and his friend's Pork Chop's Best Sayings.All in all, Full of Beans is definitely full of fun.This book is recommended for readers age 9+This book was sent to my by the publisher, Random House BFYRThis review was originally posted on Randomly Reading
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "I had never held so much money in my whole life. I felt like Daddy Warbucks. Except with hair."Received from my blogger partner JT. He received it at ALA Orlando 2016!! Thanks!!My first experience with Holm was with The Fourteenth Goldfish and it was so different and I was dying to read more of her work. This might be one of the first Middle grade historical fiction that I have ever read and I can't say that I was disappointed, but I wasn't captured like I was with her other book.1934 was a rou "I had never held so much money in my whole life. I felt like Daddy Warbucks. Except with hair."Received from my blogger partner JT. He received it at ALA Orlando 2016!! Thanks!!My first experience with Holm was with The Fourteenth Goldfish and it was so different and I was dying to read more of her work. This might be one of the first Middle grade historical fiction that I have ever read and I can't say that I was disappointed, but I wasn't captured like I was with her other book.1934 was a rough year for the United States and even worse for Key West, Florida. The Great Depression was in full swing and it was every man, woman and child for themselves. Roosevelt wasn't doing much to help out either. Beans, best marble player in town and part of a gang that everyone wanted to be apart of must take in a full load. His dad leaves for Jersey as he looks for a job and makes him man of the house. Taking care of his two siblings and his mom.He picks through trash for cand and even starts to do some underhanded stuff with his brother to help his family out. Delivering alcohol to local businesses for a few pennies. Anything to help his family. As the town starts to go downhill, Roosevelt sends some people down there to liven up the community and bring back booming business and tourists. Trying to save that entire community from despair. Very historically profound and at times funny, this is a tale of growth and love. These kids had to give up a lot in order to make it during that horrid time. It was an okay story, but I felt that I was missing something. Pieces didn't connect very well and felt like it jumped too much and way too fast for my tastes. But this could also be from me having a book hangover thanks to SJM. And let's not forget that Hemingway dig.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    There is much to love in this middle grade story about a time during the Great Depression and the re-making of a town about to die. Yes, it's historical fiction, and Jennifer Holm manages to weave a story about Key West, and a government program that helped it be re-born into a vibrant and successful tourist destination. But the real story is about Beans Curry and his buddies who lead different lives from children today. They are poor, shoeless, and spend a lot of time on the streets, trying to There is much to love in this middle grade story about a time during the Great Depression and the re-making of a town about to die. Yes, it's historical fiction, and Jennifer Holm manages to weave a story about Key West, and a government program that helped it be re-born into a vibrant and successful tourist destination. But the real story is about Beans Curry and his buddies who lead different lives from children today. They are poor, shoeless, and spend a lot of time on the streets, trying to find ways to make a few pennies, and sometimes getting taken by crooked adults. Everyone in this time is desperate for a few cents, most adults too. The underlying thread connects to lying, and the sub-title on the cover tells it like it is: "Never tell a lie unless you have to." Beans tells the story, which involves playing marbles, going through trash for condensed milk tins, a girl he hates (maybe), an evil grandmother, a loving father and mother, a dark secret of hidden people, and some very good friends! Holm adds an author's note and pictures about this re-building of Key West, and added sources. It's a great story.
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  • Trin
    January 1, 1970
    Lively middle grade historical fiction, set during the Great Depression on Key West. I never knew that the New Deal was responsible for making Key West the tourist destination/artists' colony it is today, so there's some fascinating and unusual history at play here. Beans, the main character, has an engaging and quirky voice, but Holm introduces a lot of characters and plot threads, and some don't go anywhere, while others are resolved a bit too abruptly. But I think kids will be pulled along by Lively middle grade historical fiction, set during the Great Depression on Key West. I never knew that the New Deal was responsible for making Key West the tourist destination/artists' colony it is today, so there's some fascinating and unusual history at play here. Beans, the main character, has an engaging and quirky voice, but Holm introduces a lot of characters and plot threads, and some don't go anywhere, while others are resolved a bit too abruptly. But I think kids will be pulled along by this story, as happy as babies in a wagon. (It's a thing: just ask Beans.)
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  • A.E. Conran
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Holm yet again enchants us with humor, heart and historical mastery. I too wanted to know more about Beans and this book does not disappoint. Such fascinating facts about the new dealers, bermuda shorts and illnesses in Key West. Such great characters and one-liners. So happy that Beans is still not impressed by that writer fellow!
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  • Ms. B
    January 1, 1970
    Companion novel to Turtle in Paradise. This story about Beans and his money making schemes in depression era Key West, Florida had me laughing out loud more times than I could count on one hand (or two). Even though, it's geared towards kids; anyone who fondly remembers The Little Rascals
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I had no idea what this book was about when I started it, and sometimes that is the best way to read a book. This book was a joy to read. I learned stuff that I didn't know...and it was cool stuff about Key West in the Great Depression. The characters are totally characters! The whole Nana Philly thing is a hoot! I think kids and adults alike are going to fall in love with this book.
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  • Niki (Daydream Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    Turtle in Paradise is my favorite book by Jenni Holm! So I loved reading about Beans and The Diaper Gang again. A very enjoyable book!
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Loved finding out pieces that connect this story to TURTLE IN PARADISE.Loved the details of the setting.Loved each and every character.Loved the ending.
  • Emily Scheinman
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite book of 2016. Such a wonderful joy to read. Beans stole my heart. And Jenni's storytelling, just wow!
  • Claudia Silk
    January 1, 1970
    A truly delightful children's book that was so enlightening! Little rascals meets historical fiction about the new deal and key west.
  • Samantha Martinez
    January 1, 1970
    Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, is a captivating novel about a young boy named Beans who is trying to get by during The Great Depression in Key West. I really enjoy reading historical fiction novels and I without a doubt enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel as well. I have developed this love of historical fiction as a student in elementary school where I read several historical fiction novels about Titanic and World War II in Germany. It has been a long time since I have read any hi Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, is a captivating novel about a young boy named Beans who is trying to get by during The Great Depression in Key West. I really enjoy reading historical fiction novels and I without a doubt enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel as well. I have developed this love of historical fiction as a student in elementary school where I read several historical fiction novels about Titanic and World War II in Germany. It has been a long time since I have read any historical fiction novels, so it was great reading a new one. Before reading Full of Beans, I just had the knowledge from previous history classes to add to my understanding of the book. I did not do any prior research to the novel; however, I did not have any problems following or understanding the history behind the story. This story made the historical part of it interesting and engaging and the story itself was enticing and exciting. Holm’s Full of Beans, was enticing enough because of this excellent balance between story and fascinating history. I was encouraged to study more about the history of The Great Depression because of this book and that I now have a story to relate to any additional history I learn. If this book were to be read in an elementary school classroom, a lesson about The Great Depression should definitely be taught prior to reading it. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm is an excellent book that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. I would recommend this for an upper elementary school classroom especially if the knowledge from history class can be transferred and related to the book. The book is filled with fun, exciting, and very easy to relate to characters. The main character Beans is a child and I believe young students would have an effortless time relating to and understanding his story. Although this story covers difficult topics including poverty, family issues, health scares, breaking societal norms, and crime, I believe this is a great book to help students face some difficult topics and discuss their own morals and values as well as compare society then to society now.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    This story, set in the 1930s, is told from a young boy named Beans. Living in the Key West during the Great Depression brings a lot of challenges. His dad, also known as Poppy, has headed north to find work which means he has to pick up some responsibility for his little brothers. His mom works hard but they still just manage to get by, if that. Beans is resourceful and very observant. He knows every "conch" in town and is always looking to make a buck. But when opportunity knocks, will Beans go This story, set in the 1930s, is told from a young boy named Beans. Living in the Key West during the Great Depression brings a lot of challenges. His dad, also known as Poppy, has headed north to find work which means he has to pick up some responsibility for his little brothers. His mom works hard but they still just manage to get by, if that. Beans is resourceful and very observant. He knows every "conch" in town and is always looking to make a buck. But when opportunity knocks, will Beans go too far? How much is money really worth? I would definitely recommend reading this book and continue to ponder these questions. Like many historical fiction stories, it weaves two plots into one. You are consistently following the events of the Great Depression while also following the life of Beans and his family. This historical fiction book brings you into the 1930s and emulates a feeling of empathy for the characters and the time period. The light-hearted and funny parts of the story don't mask the seriousness of the events but make this story child friendly. Through experiencing life in the Great Depression through Bean's eyes, I think readers, as young as 8 and as old as 12, will want to learn more about this tragic time in the history of the United States. In the classroom, you can use this book to introduce a unit on the Great Depression. It would be fun to do like a read aloud "scavenger hunt" of certain things he talks about in the book that are connected to the Great Depression. This book has a strong sense of setting in the 1930s which can prompt a lot of discussions. It could also be used to compare and contrast people and families during different times in history. Students can read a variety of books in different literature circles and spend time discussing similaries and differences in people. They can also work together to create a timeline of how people and families have changed and evolved over time and what those major influences were! Not only did I read this book, but I also listened to the audiobook version. I appreciated the way the narrator told the story but it did not offer the image of Beans that I got when reading the story. I pictured two different people which ultimately made it harder for me to comprehend. I think his ethnicity and voice was crucial to the development of this story and this was hard to tell in the audiobook version. I preferred to dive into the story and create these voices for myself.
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  • Sydney Novotak
    January 1, 1970
    Before reading Full of Beans, I recalled my History 101 notes my freshman year of college. I needed up having multiple pages going in depth about the clothing styles, money, daily life style, and work during the 1930's. From this I realized most scenarios were to make the best of what you were given. After this I read farther into how partially due to World War II, sharp reductions in spending, taxes, and regulations on items the economy started to rise again from the Depression. During the stor Before reading Full of Beans, I recalled my History 101 notes my freshman year of college. I needed up having multiple pages going in depth about the clothing styles, money, daily life style, and work during the 1930's. From this I realized most scenarios were to make the best of what you were given. After this I read farther into how partially due to World War II, sharp reductions in spending, taxes, and regulations on items the economy started to rise again from the Depression. During the story, I had a glimpse into more of what life was like as a child experiencing the Great Depression.Full of Beans, is mostly about a young boy named Beans whom is living in Key West during the Great Depression. His dad has taken off looking for work and his mom is barley making enough to squeeze by. Beans decided to take up an unsavory job smuggling alcohol and shares the money with his mom, and treats himself to a movie. There are a lot of advantages to this book when bringing it into your classroom. You will be able to teach the basics of the Great Depression, but you will be able to open the eyes of your students who are more well off. This book is almost a cultural shock realizing how far we have come as a country but how we see five dollars as close to nothing. I mean, minimum wage in Colorado starts at 10.20, Beans was happy to be making a nickel.In my own opinion, this book did not really have a climax which intrigued me as a reader. There were problems the characters had gone through, and hard times but nothing detrimental. It is very informational and descriptive making you think of what times were like, but I also wouldn't sit down and start reading it for fun. Although, there is a sense of freedom. The kids could be out late into the evening just playing a game in the street or the gravel of their yards. Today's society is so limited and scared to death, children hardly do anything but visit a park. This book is a good read for kids ages 8 and older, except there are a lot of details and a lot of pages. I listened to the tape recording which made this much easier for me to pay attention too... as I could see myself wanting to get easily distracted from the actual book
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  • Yadira
    January 1, 1970
    When I looked at the cover of the book I initially thought that it would be about a boy who lost his parents during the great depression and all he had was his dog to accompany him while he collected garbage. The title seemed very interesting, and that is part of why I decided to read this book. I knew that this book was about the Great Depression and I remembered learning about it for the very first time in the third grade and being confused about what the stock market was. I later learned that When I looked at the cover of the book I initially thought that it would be about a boy who lost his parents during the great depression and all he had was his dog to accompany him while he collected garbage. The title seemed very interesting, and that is part of why I decided to read this book. I knew that this book was about the Great Depression and I remembered learning about it for the very first time in the third grade and being confused about what the stock market was. I later learned that it was not the whole cause of the Great Depression, but it was what made it worse. This book did not talk about the Great Depression in a historical way. It gave insight about the Great Depression through Beans life. Just as I imagine many children lived through seeing their parents struggle, and having to go out and find a way to have some money to get through the day like Beans. Beans was a child who saw the way his father left in search of a job, and how his mother washed neighbors laundry which caused him to find a way to help by entering a life style of crime. I liked how the author wrote this book in a way that would introduce the reader on what the Great Depression was without packing it with historical terms. This book can be used to teach kids about the Great Depression. It can be read before teaching about it to introduce students to it.
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  • Sydney Dunigan
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a cute book! A great historical fiction read, a 3-5th grader would not be disappointed in this book. The book was filled with giggles and scheming as Beans tried to maneuver his way through dealing with the Great Depression with his family in Key West. He tries to help his family and earn a little money by collecting cans (and getting into trouble) with his little brother, and helping his hardworking mother after his father leaves to go north to look for work. Through the perspecti This was such a cute book! A great historical fiction read, a 3-5th grader would not be disappointed in this book. The book was filled with giggles and scheming as Beans tried to maneuver his way through dealing with the Great Depression with his family in Key West. He tries to help his family and earn a little money by collecting cans (and getting into trouble) with his little brother, and helping his hardworking mother after his father leaves to go north to look for work. Through the perspective of this little boy, the author illustrates the flipping of Key West into a tourist destination and out of its sad state he describes as “a town that looked like a tired black-and-white movie”. In my classroom, I would use this book to accompany a lesson on the Great Depression as a read aloud. It wasn’t too long, and I think reading a couple chapters a day with my students would be a great way to introduce them to an interesting perspective on a sad time in our country. Secondly, in introducing this book, it would allow them to compare what they are reading about in non-fiction text to this fiction text, and invite them to draw conclusions about how America truly was during this time. Comparing and contrasting would absolutely deepen their knowledge around a topic, and also I think help them remember what they learned based off of Beans’ story. This was a WOW book for me because I don’t know that I have ever read an American historical fiction novel from the point of view from a child, especially on the Great Depression. This book absolutely drew me in and had me hooked!
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    What fun it was to be back in Key West, Florida, this time with Turtle's cousin Bean and his friends and family. Key West during the Depression was definitely not the vacation paradise filled with multi-million dollar homes that it is today. Most houses were little more than unheated shacks and everyone was struggling to find enough work to put food on the table. I loved how Beans and his friends came up with some pretty savvy ways to make a little money-like freeing up the parents by carting th What fun it was to be back in Key West, Florida, this time with Turtle's cousin Bean and his friends and family. Key West during the Depression was definitely not the vacation paradise filled with multi-million dollar homes that it is today. Most houses were little more than unheated shacks and everyone was struggling to find enough work to put food on the table. I loved how Beans and his friends came up with some pretty savvy ways to make a little money-like freeing up the parents by carting their sleeping babies around town in a wagon. And Bean's recipe for diaper rash? Ingenious. Gotta love it. I love that so much of the time, place, events, and people in the story comes from the author's own family history in Key West during the Depression. And if I'm not mistaken, when the car pulls up in front of Bean's house in the last paragraph of the book, who do you think that girl is sitting in the car with the man behind the wheel? Turtle of course, and we know how that story goes. And if you don't, then definitely pick up a copy of Turtle in Paradise. You won't be disappointed.
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  • Judi Paradis
    January 1, 1970
    Beans lives on Key West at the height of the Great Depression, and it is not a lovely tropical spot--its full of trash (they cannot afford to pay to haul it away), run down houses, rum runners and unemployed men. Beans is a hoot and spends his days watching his awful brother Kermit and trying to figure out how to make a buck. When some men come from President Roosevelt's "New Deal," Beans thinks they're nuts, but is impressed when their efforts to paint the houses pink and clean up the island ac Beans lives on Key West at the height of the Great Depression, and it is not a lovely tropical spot--its full of trash (they cannot afford to pay to haul it away), run down houses, rum runners and unemployed men. Beans is a hoot and spends his days watching his awful brother Kermit and trying to figure out how to make a buck. When some men come from President Roosevelt's "New Deal," Beans thinks they're nuts, but is impressed when their efforts to paint the houses pink and clean up the island actually start to work. This companion book to Turtle in Paradise is terrific with vivid characters and well-researched historical details. And its hysterical. Kids in grades 4 and up will love this one.
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  • Barb Keltner
    January 1, 1970
    I had been skipping over this book because the cover made it look like a silly story. But when it kept appearing on award lists, I gave in and read it. It's set in Key West during the depression and ends up telling the story through a child's point of view of the clean up that led to Key West becoming a tourist destination spot instead of being given up on by the government and evacuated. Beans is a good main character and learned some important lessons. The "Author's Notes" explain more of some I had been skipping over this book because the cover made it look like a silly story. But when it kept appearing on award lists, I gave in and read it. It's set in Key West during the depression and ends up telling the story through a child's point of view of the clean up that led to Key West becoming a tourist destination spot instead of being given up on by the government and evacuated. Beans is a good main character and learned some important lessons. The "Author's Notes" explain more of some on the importance of the historical clean-up project. Very good story and another reminder to me not to judge a book by its cover!
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Another home run recommendation by my son. This is a prequel of sorts to Turtle in Paradise. The year is 1934, and this is a Key West like no modern tourist would ever believe. Broken-down wooden shacks, rotting garbage in the streets, bankruptcy, shysters, smugglers, and barefoot kids abound when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal comes to town.Multifaceted supporting characters—a motley group of friends (all with nicknames such as Pork Chop and Too Bad), a fussy baby brother, a pushy g Another home run recommendation by my son. This is a prequel of sorts to Turtle in Paradise. The year is 1934, and this is a Key West like no modern tourist would ever believe. Broken-down wooden shacks, rotting garbage in the streets, bankruptcy, shysters, smugglers, and barefoot kids abound when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal comes to town.Multifaceted supporting characters—a motley group of friends (all with nicknames such as Pork Chop and Too Bad), a fussy baby brother, a pushy girl nemesis, a mean grandmother, a Key West resident afflicted with leprosy—are all seen through Bean’s refreshingly honest eyes, create an entertaining novel with an historically accurate backdrop.
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  • Sydney Neaves
    January 1, 1970
    Full of beans was a book that did not disappoint! It was very cute and a great historical fiction read. Overall this book was always holding my attention with Bean's schemes and ideas of ways to make money to help his family during the Great Depression. The book starts with Beans the main character who is in a marble "gang" in the town of Key West with some of his ten year old friends and his younger brother. The book follows Beans and his family as they struggle through the times of the Great D Full of beans was a book that did not disappoint! It was very cute and a great historical fiction read. Overall this book was always holding my attention with Bean's schemes and ideas of ways to make money to help his family during the Great Depression. The book starts with Beans the main character who is in a marble "gang" in the town of Key West with some of his ten year old friends and his younger brother. The book follows Beans and his family as they struggle through the times of the Great Depression and find ways to make ends meet. While his Father is away looking for work up North, Beans is back home with his Mother and two younger brothers. During this time the book follows closely the story of how Key West got back up and running and turned itself into a tourist destination during this time. Introducing the kids in the book to the New Dealers and how they were there to flip Key West into an up and running town again. This book was a WOW book to me simply because of how genuine Beans was and the time he was in. This book grabbed my attention by following the Great Depression from a child's point of view one of which I had not considered before. I never wanted to put the book down to find out what Beans was going to get into next. I would use this text in a 3-5th grade classroom in a variety of ways.One way I would use this in my classroom would be as a supplemental reading for social studies as a read aloud in 3rd grade. I would read this to my class as we learned about the Great Depression. Comparing and contrasting Beans' experience with that of our history book. Emphasizing the genre that it was fiction but based on a historical event that did take place.Another way I would use this text would be as a mentor text for my students in 5th grade. While learning about the Great Depression or that history has multiple perspectives I would assign my students to write like Beans. Where they would be producing a short story as if they were an individual living in this time period and writing of their troubles. Allowing my students to develop their writing skills and immerse themselves in history. Researching, reading, and learning about the time period and looking at the text to write and create their own historical fiction story.
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  • Raegan Angela Jones
    January 1, 1970
    I thought it had a very slow start, but progressed better as the book went on. The only issue I had from the emotional standpoint was I wish the author had laid it out better to where Beans would have been able to talk to his mother about his problem.
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  • Bunni
    January 1, 1970
    So cute! So funny! I really loved it because it didn’t take the typical plot route I was expecting. Also I’ve been to Key West twice so I could picture it perfectly (even though it was set in the 30s) and pretend i was there. Then i had to read Turtle In Paradise.
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  • Millie Dearden
    January 1, 1970
    This is another of our 2018 William Allen White nominees.I had no idea about Key West! I know this is historical fiction but it is a good read and you learn about Key West and what happened to it!!
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