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Stories with

Humor and Heart


from bestselling author
and three-time Newbery Honor winner

A YEARLING BOOK

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the
product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright 2014 by Jennifer L. Holm
Cover art and interior illustrations copyright 2014 by Tad Carpenter
Photograph credits: p. 202 RIA Novosti/Alamy,
p. 204 PRISMA ARCHIVO/Alamy, p. 206 GL Archive/Alamy,
p. 208 Everett Collection Inc./Alamy, p. 210 GL Archive/Alamy,
p. 212 Everett Collection Inc./Alamy.
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Yearling, an imprint of
Random House Childrens Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC,
New York. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by
Random House Childrens Books, New York, in 2014.
Yearling and the jumping horse design are registered trademarks
of Penguin Random House LLC.
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The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition of this work as follows:
Holm, Jennifer L., author.
The fourteenth goldfish / Jennifer L. Holm. First edition.
p. cm
Summary: Ellies scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging,
and consequently has turned into a teenagerwhich makes for complicated
relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.
ISBN 978-0-375-87064-4 (trade) ISBN 978-0-375-97064-1 (lib. bdg.)
ISBN 978-0-307-97436-5 (ebook)
1. GrandfathersJuvenile fiction. 2. ScientistsJuvenile fiction.
3. AgingJuvenile fiction. 4. FamiliesJuvenile fiction. [1. GrandfathersFiction.
2. ScientistsFiction. 3. AgingFiction. 4. Family lifeFiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.H732226Fo 2014 813.6dc23 2013035052
ISBN 978-0-375-87114-6 (pbk.)
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Yearling Edition 2016
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and celebrates the right to read.

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1
Goldie

For Jonathan, Will & Milliemy mad scientists

hen I was in preschool, I had a teacher named


Starlily. She wore rainbow tie-dyed dresses
and was always bringing in cookies that were made
with granola and flax and had no taste.
Starlily taught us to sit still at snack time, sneeze
into our elbows, and not eat the Play-Doh (which
most kids seemed to think was optional). Then one
day, she sent all of us home with a goldfish. She got

them at ten for a dollar at a pet store. She gave our


parents a lecture before sending us off.
The goldfish will teach your child about the
cycle of life. She explained, Goldfish dont last
very long.
I took my goldfish home and named it Goldie
like every other kid in the world who thought they
were being original. But it turned out that Goldie
was kind of original.
Because Goldie didnt die.
Even after all my classmates fish had gone to
the great fishbowl in the sky, Goldie was still alive.
Still alive when I started kindergarten. Still alive in
first grade. Still alive in second grade and third and
fourth. Then finally, last year in fifth grade, I went
into the kitchen one morning and saw my fish floating upside down in the bowl.
My mom groaned when I told her.
He didnt last very long, she said.
What are you talking about? I asked. He
lasted seven years!
She gave me a smile and said, Ellie, that wasnt
2

the original Goldie. The first fish only lasted two


weeks. When he died, I bought another one and
put him in the bowl. Thereve been a lot of fish over
the years.
What number was this one?
Unlucky thirteen, she said with a wry look.
They were all unlucky, I pointed out.
We gave Goldie Thirteen a toilet-bowl funeral,
and I asked my mom if we could get a dog.

2
Puzzles

e live in a house that looks like a shoe box.


It has two bedrooms and a bathroom, which
has a toilet thats always getting clogged. I secretly
think its haunted by all the fish that were flushed
down it.
Our backyard is tinyjust a slab of concrete
that barely fits a table and chairs. Its the reason my
mom wont let me get a dog. She says it wouldnt be
fair, that a dog needs a real yard to run around in.
4

My babysitter Nicole walks into the kitchen,


where Im putting together a puzzle. Its kind of
taken over our table.
Youve been working on that forever, Ellie,
she says. How many pieces is it?
One thousand, I say.
Its a picture of New York Citya street scene
with yellow cabs. I love puzzles. I like trying to figure out how things fit together. How a curve meets
a curve and the perfect angle of a corner piece.
Im going to be on Broadway someday, she
tells me.
Nicole has long buttery hair and looks like she
should be in a shampoo commercial. She played
Juliet in the production of Romeo and Juliet that my
mother directed at the local high school. My moms
a high school drama teacher and my dads an actor.
They got divorced when I was little, but theyre still
friends.
Theyre always telling me I need to find my passion. Specifically, theyd like me to be passionate
about theater. But Im not. Sometimes I wonder if
5

I was born into the wrong family. Being onstage


makes me nervous (Ive watched too many actors
flub their lines), and Im not a fan of working
behind the scenes, either (I always end up steaming
costumes).
Oh, yeah. Your mom called. Shes gonna be
late, Nicole says. Almost as an afterthought, she
adds, Something to do with getting your grandfather from the police.
For a second, I think I heard wrong.
What? I ask. Is he okay?
She lifts her shoulders. She didnt say. But she
said we can order a pizza.
An hour later, my belly is full of pizza, but Im
still confused.
Did my mom say anything about why Grandpa
was with the police? I ask.
Nicole looks mystified. No. Does he get in trouble a lot?
I shake my head. I dont think so. I mean, hes
old, I say.
How old is he?
6

Im not quite sure. Ive never really thought


about it, actually. Hes always just looked old to
me: wrinkled, gray-haired, holding a cane. Your
basic grandparent.
We only see him two or three times a year, usually at a Chinese restaurant. He always orders moo
goo gai pan and steals packets of soy sauce to take
home. I often wonder what he does with them. He
doesnt live that far from us, but he and my mother
dont get along very well. Hes a scientist and says
theater isnt a real job. Hes still mad that she didnt
go to Harvard like he did.
A car alarm goes off in the distance.
Maybe he was in a car accident? Nicole suggests. I dont know why teenagers get a bad rap,
because old people are way worse drivers.
He doesnt drive anymore.
Maybe he wandered off. Nicole taps her head.
My neighbor had Alzheimers. She got out all the
time. The police always brought her home.
It kind of sounds like shes describing a dog.
Thats so sad, I say.
7

Nicole nods. Totally sad. The last time she ran


away, she got hit by a car! How crazy is that?
I stare at her with my mouth open.
But Im sure your grandfathers fine, she says.
Then she flips back her hair and smiles. Hey!
Want to make some popcorn and watch a movie?

10

3
Ring

arm air drifts through my bedroom window.


We live in the Bay Area, in the shadow of San
Francisco, and late-September nights can be cool.
But its hot tonight, like summer is refusing to leave.
I used to love how my bedroom was decorated,
but lately Im not so sure. The walls are covered with
the painted handprints of me and my best friend,
Brianna. We started doing them back in first grade
and added more handprints every year. You can
9

11

see my little handprints grow bigger, like a time


capsule of my life.
But we havent done any yet this school year, or
even this summer, because Brianna found her passion: volleyball. Shes busy every second now with
clinics and practices and weekend tournaments.
The truth is, Im not even sure if shes still my best
friend.
Its late when the garage door finally grinds
open. I hear my mother talking to Nicole in the
front hall, and I go to them.
Thanks for staying, she tells Nicole.
My mom looks frazzled. Her mascara is smudged
beneath her eyes, her red lipstick chewed away. Her
natural hair color is dirty blond like mine, but she
colors it. Right now, its purple.
No problem, Nicole replies. Is your dad okay?
An unreadable expression crosses my moms
face. Oh, hes fine. Thanks for asking. Do you need
a ride home?
Im good! Nicole says. By the way, Lissa, I
have some exciting news!
10

12

Yes?
I got a job at the mall! Isnt that great?
I didnt know you were looking, my mom
says, confused.
Yeah, I didnt think Id get it. Its such a big
opportunity. The ear-piercing place at the mall!
When do you start? my mom asks.
Thats the hard part. They want me to start
tomorrow afternoon. So I cant watch Ellie anymore. I totally would have given you more notice,
but . . .
I understand, my mom says, and I can hear
the strain in her voice.
Nicole turns to me. I forgot to tell you. I get a
discount! Isnt that great? So come by anytime and
shop.
Uh, okay, I say.
I better be going, she says. Good night!
Good night, my mother echoes.
I stand in the doorway with my mother and
watch her walk out into the night.
Did she just quit? I ask. Im a little in shock.
11

13

My mother nods. This is turning into a


banner day.
I stare out into the night to catch a last glimpse of
my babysitter, but see someone else: a boy with long
hair. Hes standing beneath the old, dying palm tree
on our front lawn. It drops big brown fronds everywhere, and my mom says it needs to come down.
The boy is slender, wiry-looking. He looks thirteen, maybe fourteen? Its hard to tell with boys
sometimes.
You need to put your trash out, the boy calls
to my mom. Tomorrow is trash day and our neighbors trash cans line the street.
Would you please come inside already? my
mom tells the boy.
And whens the last time you fertilized the
lawn? he asks. Theres crabgrass.
Its late, my mom says, holding the door open
impatiently.
I wonder if hes one of my moms students.
Sometimes they help her haul stuff in and out of
her big, battered cargo van.
12

14

You have to maintain your house if you want it


to maintain its value, he says.
Now!
The boy reluctantly picks up a large duffel bag
and walks into our house.
He doesnt look like the typical theater-crew kid.
They usually wear jeans and T-shirts, stuff thats
easy to work in. This kids wearing a rumpled pinstripe shirt, khaki polyester pants, a tweed jacket
with patches on the elbows, and leather loafers. But
its his socks that stand out the most: theyre black
dress socks. You dont see boys in middle school
wearing those a lot. Its like hes on his way to a bar
mitzvah.
He stares at me with piercing eyes.
Did you make honor roll?
Im startled, but answer anyway.
Uh, we havent gotten report cards yet.
Something about the boy seems familiar. His
hair is dark brown, on the shaggy side, and the
ends are dyed gray. An actor from one of my moms
shows, maybe?
13

15

Who are you? I ask him.


He ignores me.
You need good grades if youre going to get
into a competitive PhD program.
PhD program? Shes eleven years old! my
mother says.
You cant start too early. Speaking of which,
he says, looking pointedly at my mothers outfit, is
that what you wear to work?
My mom likes to raid the theater wardrobe
closet at school. This morning, she left the house in
a floor-length black satin skirt and matching bolero
jacket with a frilly white poets shirt.
Maybe you should consider buying a nice pantsuit, he suggests.
Still stuck in the Stone Age, I see, she shoots
back.
Then he turns and looks at me, taking in my
tank-top-and-boxer-shorts pajama set.
He says, Why are your pajamas so short?
Whatever happened to long nightgowns? Are you
boy-crazy like your mother was?
14

16

All the girls her age wear pajamas like that,


my mom answers for me. And I wasnt boy-crazy!
You mustve been boy-crazy to elope, he says.
I was in love, she says through gritted teeth.
A PhD lasts a lot longer than love, he replies.
Its not too late to go back to school. You could still
get a real degree.
Something about this whole exchange tickles at
my memory. Its like watching a movie Ive already
seen. I study the boythe gray-tipped hair, the
way hes standing so comfortably in our hall, how
his right hand opens and closes as if used to grasping something by habit. But its the heavy gold ring
hanging loosely on his middle finger that draws my
eye. Its a school ring, like the kind you get in college, and it looks old and worn and has a red gem
in the center.
Ive seen that ring before, I say, and then I
remember whose hand I saw it on.
I look at the boy.
Grandpa? I blurt out.

15

17

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Sale of this book without a front cover may be unauthorized. If the book is
coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher as unsold or destroyed
and neither the author nor the publisher may have received payment for it.
This is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with
the exception of some well-known historical and public figures, are products
of the authors imagination and are not to be construed as real. Where real-life
historical or public figures appear, the situations, incidents, and dialogues
concerning those persons are fictional and are not intended to depict actual
events or to change the fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any
resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright 2010 by Jennifer Holm
Cover art and interior illustrations copyright 2016 by The Little
Friends of Printmaking
Cover lettering by Jaclyn Reyes
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Yearling, an imprint of
Random House Childrens Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC,
New York. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Random
House Childrens Books, New York, in 2010.
Yearling and the jumping horse design are registered trademarks of Penguin
Random House LLC.
Photo credits: p. 180 (top): Little Orphan Annie Tribune Media Services,
Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. p. 180 (bottom):
Shirley Temple popping through 1935 calendar Bettmann/CORBIS. p. 182:
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection,
LC-USF34-026281-P DLC (Pepes Caf). p. 183: Monroe County Library
(undated postcard). p. 184: Personal collection of Cathy Porter, used by
permission (photo of Kermit and family friend). p. 185: State Archives of
Florida (Conch house).
Visit us on the Web! randomhousekids.com
Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
RHTeachersLibrarians.com
The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition of this work
as follows:
Holm, Jennifer L.
Turtle in paradise / by Jennifer L. Holm.
p. cm.
Summary: In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman
who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives
she has never met in faraway Key West, Florida.
ISBN 978-0-375-83688-6 (trade) ISBN 978-0-375-93688-3 (lib. bdg.)
ISBN 978-0-375-89316-2 (ebook)
[1. CousinsFiction. 2. Family lifeFloridaFiction. 3. Adventure and
adventurersFiction. 4. Key West (Fla.)History20th centuryFiction.
5. Depressions1929Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.H732226Tu 2010 [Fic]dc22 2009019077
ISBN 978-0-375-83690-9 (trade pbk.)
Printed in the United States of America
30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21
Random House Childrens Books supports the First Amendment and
celebrates the right to read.

FREE SAMPLE COPYNOT FOR SALE

Rotten Kids

Everyone thinks children are sweet as Necco Wafers,


but Ive lived long enough to know the truth: kids are
rotten. The only difference between grown-ups and
kids is that grown-ups go to jail for murder. Kids get
away with it.
I stare out the window as Mr. Edgits Ford
Model A rumbles along the road, kicking up clouds
of dust. Its so hot that the backs of my legs feel like
melted gum, only stickier. Weve been driving for
days now; it feels like eternity.
In front of us is a rusty pickup truck with a gang
of dirty-looking kids in the back sandwiched between
furniturean iron bed, a rocking chair, battered
potsall tied up with little bits of fraying rope like a
3

21

TURTLE IN PARADISE

spiderweb. A girl my age is holding a baby thats got


a pair of ladies bloomers tied on its head to keep the
sun out of its eyes. The boy sitting next to her has a
gap between his two front teeth. Not that this stops
him from blowing spitballs at us through a straw.
Weve been stuck behind this truck for the last few
miles, and our windshield is covered with wadded
bits of wet newspaper.
A spitball smacks the window and Mr. Edgit
hammers the horn with the palm of his hand. The nogood boy just laughs and sticks out his tongue.
There oughta be a law. No wonder this countrys going to the dogs, Mr. Edgit grumbles.
Mr. Edgit (You can call me Lyle) has a lot of
opinions. He says folks in the Dust Bowl wouldnt be
having so much trouble if theyd just move near some
water. He says he doesnt think President Roosevelt
will get us out of this Depression and that if you give
someone money for not working why would they
ever bother to get a job? But mostly Mr. Edgit talks
about a new hair serum hes selling thats going to
make him rich. Its called Hair Today, and hes a believer. Hes used the product himself.
Can you see the new hair, Turtle? he asks,
pointing at his shiny bald head.
I dont see anything. It must grow invisible hair.
4

22

ROTTEN KIDS

Maybe Archie should start selling hair serum.


If his pal Mr. Edgits anything to go by, most men
would rather have hair than be smart. Archies a
traveling salesman. Hes sold everythingbrushes,
gadgets, Bibles, you name it. Right now hes peddling
encyclopedias.
I could sell a trap to a mouse, Archie likes to
say, and its the truth. Housewives cant resist him. I
know Mama couldnt.
It was last May, one day after my tenth birthday, when I opened the door of Mrs. Grants house
and saw Archie standing there. He had dark brown
eyes and thick black hair brushed back with lemon
pomade.
Well, hello there, Archie said to me, tipping
his Panama hat. Is the lady of the house at home?
Which lady? I asked. The ugly one or the
pretty one?
He laughed. Why, aint you a sweet little
thing.
Im not sweet, I said. I slugged Ronald
Caruthers when he tried to throw my cat in the well,
and Id do it again.
Archie roared with laughter. Ill bet you would!
Whats your name, princess?
Turtle, I said.
5

23

TURTLE IN PARADISE

Turtle, huh? he mused, stroking his chin. I


can see why. Got a little snap to you, dont ya?
Whos that youre talking to, Turtle? my
mother called, coming to the door.
Archie smiled at Mama. You must be the pretty
lady.
Mama put her hand over her heart. Otherwise
it would have leaped right out of her chest. She fell so
hard for Archie she left a dent in the floor.
Mamas always falling in love, and the fellas
she picks are like dandelions. One day theyre
there, bright as sunshinecharming Mama, buying
me presentsand the next theyre gone, scattered to
the wind, leaving weeds everywhere and Mama
crying.
But Mama says Archies different, and Im starting to think she may be right. He keeps his promises,
and he hasnt disappeared yet. Even Smokey likes
him, which is saying something, considering she bit
the last fella Mama dated. Also, hes got big dreams,
which is more than I can say for most of them.
Mark my words, princess, Archie told me.
Well be living on Easy Street someday.
That sounds swell to me, but even I know
theres gonna be a few bumps on the way to Easy
Street, and Im sitting right next to one of them.
6

24

ROTTEN KIDS

Youre like Little Orphan Annie and her dog,


Mr. Edgit says, eyeing Smokey, whos curled up in
my lap. You know, Annies dog. Whats its name?
How can someone have opinions on baldness
and not know the name of Annies dog? Shes the
most famous orphan on the radio and in the funny
pages.
You know, the dog thats always with her . . .
I look out the window.
The one thats always barking . . .
Sandy, I say.
Right, Sandy, he says with a pleased look.
What does Sandy say, again?
Arf, I say.
Thats good! Sandy says arf! Mr. Edgit chortles. Does your cat say meow?
I roll my eyes.
What happened to your cat, anyhow? he asks
with a sidelong glance at Smokey. She got the
mange?
She got burned, I say, smoothing my hand
over Smokeys ragged patches of fur.
That why you call her Smokey?
No, I say. The name came first.
I still dont understand why you couldnt stay
with that old dame, Mr. Edgit says. Place was a
7

25

TURTLE IN PARADISE

mansion. Looked like something Shirley Temple


would live in.
Shirley Temple is this kid actress everyones
calling Americas Little Darling. She has dimpled
cheeks and ringlet curls and is always breaking into
song or doing a dance number at the drop of a hat.
Everyone thinks shes the cutest thing ever.
I cant stand her.
Real kids arent anything like Shirley Temple
and I should know. Because Mamas the housekeeper, we get free room and board. Which wouldnt
be so bad, except the rest of the house usually comes
with kids. And theyre never nice to the housekeepers
daughter.
There was twelve-year-old Sylvia Decker, who
gave me her old doll and then told her mother that I
stole it from her. We didnt last very long there. And
then there was Josephine Stark, who told all the kids
at school that it was my job to clean the toilet. No one
would play with me after that.
The worst, though, were the Curley boys
Melvin and Marvin. They thought it would be funny
to light poor Smokeys tail on fire and watch her run
around. Mr. Curley didnt believe me when I told him
what his boys did, and he fired Mama on the spot.
Like I said, kids are rotten.
8

26

ROTTEN KIDS

Mamas promised me that someday were going


to live in our own home. Weve got it all picked out,
too. Its a Sears mail-order house, from a kit. The
Bellewood, Model #3304. This is what the brochure
says:
The Bellewood is another happy combination
of a well-laid-out floor plan with a modern
attractive exterior. The design is an adaptation
of a small English cottage.

Theres a living room, a kitchen, a dining room,


two bedrooms, and a bathroom that comes with something called a Venetian mirrored medicine case. I
dont know what it is, but it sure sounds fancy. Still,
were a long way from living in the Bellewood.
Mama says shes lucky to have a job with Mrs.
Budnick considering how tough times are. I dont
know how lucky I am, though. Mrs. Budnick shook
her head when Mama brought our things over to her
house.
You didnt say anything about a child. Children
are noisy. I cant abide noise, Mrs. Budnick said,
tapping her foot.
I asked Archie if I could stay with him.
Princess, he said, shaking his head, I live in a
9

27

TURTLE IN PARADISE

rooming house with a bunch of other men. I dont


think its exactly the kind of place a young lady
should be, if you get my meaning.
So now Im on my way to Key West to live with
Mamas sister, Minerva, who Ive never met. Mr.
Edgits a pal of Archies, and since he was already
going to Miami to meet with a fella about Hair Today,
he offered to give me a ride. Also, he owes Archie a
bunch of money. I guess Hair Today aint exactly an
overnight success.
Mama thinks me going to Key West is a swell
idea.
Youll love it, baby, Mama told me. Mamas
good at looking at the sunny side of life. Her favorite
song is Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.
I blame Hollywood. Mamas watched so many
pictures that she believes in happy endings. Shes
been waiting her whole life to find someone wholl
sweep her off her feet and take care of her.
Me? I think lifes more like that cartoon by Mr.
DisneyThe Three Little Pigs. Some big bad wolfs always trying to blow down your house.
Ahead of us, the pickup truck is swerving
wildly. The kids in the back are clinging to the side.
Whats that fella doing, anyway? Mr.
Edgit asks.
10

28

ROTTEN KIDS

I think his tires gone flat, I say.


A moment later, the pickup truck pulls off to the
side of the road in a cloud of dust.
We slow down beside the truck. Theres a wornlooking lady in the front seat staring straight ahead,
a drooling toddler asleep on her lap. The fella behind
the wheel is rubbing his eyes.
Mr. Edgit calls out the rolled-down window,
You need help there, buddy?
Do we look like we need help? the boy in the
back asks.
Mr. Edgit shakes his head. Bunch of fools, this
whole country, he says, and we start to move again.
I lean out the window, looking back. The boy
blows a spitball, but weve pulled away already. It
falls short, landing in the road.

11

29

Paradise Lost

Ive never been to Easton, Pennsylvania, but according to Mr. Edgit, Im missing out.
Best thing about Easton? Mr. Edgit says. We
didnt go in for Prohibition like the rest of the country. You could always get a drink in Easton.
What is it with folks always talking about where
theyre from? You could grow up in a muddy ditch,
but if its your muddy ditch, then its gotta be the
swellest muddy ditch ever.
Mamas the worst. Shes always going on
about how Key West is paradiseits beautiful, the
weathers perfect, theres fruit dripping from trees.
To hear her talk, youd think the roads are paved
12

30

PARADISE LOST

with chocolate, like something out of that dumb song


Shirley Temple sings:
On the good ship lollipop,
Its a sweet trip to a candy shop
Where bonbons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.
It turns out that getting to Key West is nearly
as impossible as getting to Peppermint Bay. Theres
no road between some of the keys, which are little islands, so we have to wait on a ferry to take the car
and us over. Its hours late because of the tide.
This is ridiculous, Mr. Edgit grouses. I dont
owe Archie a penny more after this trip.
When we finally pull into Key West, theres not
a bonbon in sight. Truth is, the place looks like a broken chair thats been left out in the sun to rot. The
houses are small and narrow, lined up close together,
and most of them havent been painted in a long time.
Theres trash piled everywhere. Its so hot and humid
it hurts to breathe.
What a dump, Mr. Edgit says.
But its the green peeping out everywhere that
catches my eyebetween the houses, in the yards
and alleyways. Twining vines, strange umbrella-type
13

31

TURTLE IN PARADISE

trees with bright orangey-red blossoms, bushes with


pink flowers, and palm trees. Like Mother Nature is
trying to pretty up the place. She has a long way to
go, though.
We drive around looking for Curry Lane, which
is where Aunt Minnie lives, but Mr. Edgits about
as good at following directions as Hair Today is at
growing hair. Finally, we park next to a little alley so
that Mr. Edgit can study the hand-drawn map Mama
gave him.
I just dont understand where this Curry Lane
is, Mr. Edgit says, scratching his bald head.
I wish Archie was here. He never gets lost. And
hes been just about everywhere. Well sit with a big
map and hell point out all the places hes been.
See Chicago? Folks are smart there. And they
like to look good, too. Sold a crate of hair pomade in
one day, hell say, or That little town in North
Dakota? Stingiest place Ive ever been. Folks there
wouldnt buy a button if their pants were falling
down.
A barefoot boy with big ears is looking furtively
down the alley. Hes wearing overalls with no shirt
underneath.

14

32

PARADISE LOST

Hey, kid, Mr. Edgit calls out the window.


Can you tell me where Curry Lane is?
Youre looking at it, the boy says, pointing
down the muddy alley.
Thats Curry Lane? I ask, and the boy nods.
Which ones the Curry place? Mr. Edgit asks.
Theyre all Currys, mister, the boy says. Its
Curry Lane.
Mr. Edgit gets out of the car and grabs my
suitcase. Come on, Turtle, he says. At least were
in the right place.
I pick up Smokey and follow him down the
lane. Mr. Edgit stops in front of a house thats so
small you could probably sneeze from one side to the
other. Theres a boy who looks my age rocking lazily
on a porch swing, his feet resting on a sleeping dog.
In front of the house is a beat-up childs wooden
wagon. Somebodys painted on the side of it:

WILL WURK FOR CANDY


Excuse me, son, Mr. Edgit calls to the boy.
What are you selling, mister? the boy asks,
flexing grimy bare feet. Hes wearing one of those
newspaper-boy caps set low on his forehead.
15

33

TURTLE IN PARADISE

Mr. Edgit brightens. Well, since you asked, I


do happen to have some Hair Today back in my
automobile.
The dog lifts its head and growls low in his
throat. Its the funniest-looking dog Ive ever seen,
like someone crossed a dachshund with a German
shepherd. Its all tiny body with a big head.
Whats it do? the boy asks.
Makes your hair grow, Mr. Edgit says, pointing to his head. Its guaranteed to work in one month
or your money back.
The boy snorts. Guess you aint a satisfied
customer.
The dog leaps up, barking like mad. Smokey
looks at him, like she cant be bothered. Shes never
been very scared of dogs, just kids.
Beans! Whats going on out there? a voice
shouts from inside the house.
A heartbeat later, the screen door slams open
and a woman in a faded striped dress is standing in
the doorway, wiping her hands on the front of her
apron. She looks like an older version of Mama, except her face is tanner and her hairs pulled back in a
flyaway bun.
Hush, Termite, she orders the dog, who stops
16

34

PARADISE LOST

barking with a whine. Then she turns to Mr. Edgit.


Who are you?
Hes just some salesman, Ma, the boy says.
Im looking for Minerva Curry, Mr. Edgit says.
Im Minnie Curry, she says, her eyes widening
when she sees me. Why, if you arent the spitting
image of my sister, Sadiebelle!
Folks have always told me that I look like
Mama. My hairs brown, same as hers, but its cut
short in a bob with bangs, like a soup bowl turned
upside down. Mama keeps hers long as a good
dream, because thats the way Archie likes it.
Our eyes are different, though. I think the color
of a persons eyes says a lot about them. Mama has
soft blue eyes, and all she sees is kittens and roses.
My eyes are gray as soot, and I see things for what
they are. The mean boy on the porch has green eyes.
Probably from all the snot in his nose.
Thats because she is Sadies daughter! Mr.
Edgit says.
Im Turtle, I say.
Turtle? the boy, Beans, says. What kind of
name is that?
At least Im not named after something that
gives you gas, I say.
17

35

TURTLE IN PARADISE

Wheres your mother? Aunt Minnie asks,


looking around.
Mr. Edgit answers for me. In New Jersey.
Where else would she be?
Who are you? Aunt Minnie asks.
Mr. Edgit holds out a business card. Im Lyle
Edgit. You can call me Lyle.
Beans hoots with laughter. Idjit? Your name is
Idjit? Thats a scream, pal!
Its not Idjit, kid, Mr. Edgit says, his lips tight.
Its Edgit. Got it? Edge-it!
Whatever you say, Mr. Idjit, Beans says.
Mr. Edgit frowns at Beans and says to Aunt
Minnie, Im a friend of Archies.
Whos Archie? Aunt Minnie asks.
Im starting to get that bad feeling I always get
right before one of Mamas fellas stops coming
around and breaks her heart.
The fella Mamas dating, I say.
Aunt Minnie looks at me in confusion. I dont
understand. Why are you here without your mother?
Didnt you get her letter? I ask.
What letter? Did something happen to her?
Say, Mr. Idjit, Beans says loudly, you been
using that hair tonic on your arms, cause its sure
coming in thick there!
18

36

PARADISE LOST

Its the final straw for Mr. Edgit. He drops my bag


on the porch. The dog leaps back with a startled yelp.
Ill leave you to your happy reunion, Turtle,
Mr. Edgit says with a huff, and marches down the
lane to his automobile. He gets in, guns the engine,
and screeches away.
So long, Mr. Idjit! Beans calls, laughing.
Mama wrote you a letter, I say. She got a new
job as a housekeeper, and Mrs. Budnick doesnt like
children.
So she sent you to me?
I didnt have anywhere else to go.
She looks shocked. For how long?
Until we can get a place of our own, I guess,
I say. Or until she gets a new job where I can live
with her.
But Aunt Minnie isnt listening to me. This is
just like Sadiebelle. She never thinks. As if I dont
have enough already with three kids and a husband
whos never home. She looks at Smokey. And you
brought a cat?
Smokeys a good mouser, I say.
Shes good at being ugly, is what she is,
Beans says.
From inside, a young voice calls: Ma! I had an
accident!
19

37

TURTLE IN PARADISE

Aunt Minnie closes her eyes and rubs her


forehead.
Ma! the voice cries again.
She turns on her heel, walking through the door
without a backward glance.
Beans, help your cousin with her bag, she calls
over her shoulder.
Then its just Beans and me and the animals.
Here, Beans says with a mean smile, picking
up my suitcase. Let me help you with your bag,
Tortoise.
He flips it over in one smooth movement, dumping my belongings onto the wooden porch in a heap
and sending my paper dolls flying everywhere. Beans
walks into the house, the dog running after him, and
slams the door so hard it nearly falls off its hinges.

20

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This is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some
well-known historical and public figures, are products of the authors imagination and are not to be
construed as real. Where real-life historical or public figures appear, the situations, incidents, and
dialogues concerning those persons are fictional and are not intended to depict actual events or to
change the fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living or
dead is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright 2016 by Jennifer L. Holm
Jacket art copyright 2016 by The Little Friends of Printmaking
Jacket lettering by Jaclyn Reyes
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Childrens Books,
a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photo credits: pp. 181, 182, 184 courtesy of State Archives of Florida;
p. 185 John Kobal Foundation/Moviepix/Getty Images.
Visit us on the Web! randomhousekids.com
Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at RHTeachersLibrarians.com
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Holm, Jennifer L., author.
Title: Full of Beans / Jennifer L. Holm.
Description: First edition. | New York : Random House, [2016] | Companion to Turtle in paradise.
| Summary: Ten-year-old Beans Curry, a member of the Keepsies, the best marble-playing gang in
Depression-era Key West, Florida, engages in various schemes to earn money while New Dealers
from Washington, D.C., arrive to turn run-down Key West into a tourist resort.
Identifiers: LCCN 2015041078 | ISBN 978-0-553-51036-2 (hardback) |
ISBN 978-0-553-51039-3 (ebook) | ISBN 978-0-553-51037-9 (lib. bdg.)
Subjects: | CYAC: Moneymaking projectsFiction. | GangsFiction. | Key West (Fla.)
History20th centuryFiction. | Depressions1929Fiction. |
BISAC: JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century. | JUVENILE FICTION /
Social Issues / Friendship. | JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / General.
Classification: LCC PZ7.H732226 Fu 2016 | DDC [Fic]dc23
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Edition
Random House Childrens Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

ATTENTION, READER:
THIS IS AN UNCORRECTED ADVANCE EXCERPT

Look here, Mac. Im gonna give it to you straight:


grown-ups lie.
Sure, they like to say that kids make things up and
that we dont tell the truth. But theyre the lying liars.
Take President Roosevelt. Hes been saying on the
radio that the economy was improving, when anyone
with two eyes could see the only thing getting better
was my mothers ability to patch holes in pants. Not
that she had a choice. There was no money for new
threads with Poppy out of work. It was either that or
let us go naked.
1
41

Then there was Winky. He was the lyingest liar of


them all.
You said twenty cans for a dime, Winky! I pointed
at the small red wagon.
It was full of empty condensed-milk cans. I found
them for Winky and cleaned them up. Even smoothed
the sharp edges. Winky sold the cans to Pepes Caf,
where they used them to serve caf con lecheespresso
and condensed milk. Everyone in Key West drank
leche, even toddlers.
You must have wax in your ears, Beans, Winky
replied. He had a potbelly and slicked-back, greasy
hair that matched his slippery ways. The armpits of his
Cuban-style shirt were stained yellow. I said fifty cans.
I was so burned up by his words that steam just
about burst out of my ears. And believe me, it was sweltering outside. Key West in July was stinking hot.
Especially stinking.
Garbage had been piling up ever since the town ran
out of money to pay for collecting it. Flies swarmed
above the rotting mounds. They were filthy and disgusting, and my brother and I had spent the entire
morning in them.
Me and Kermit had dug through steaming piles of
2
42

garbage from one side of Key West to the other, looking for milk cans. Wed dodged stray dogs and mosquitoes and fearless rats. I couldnt imagine a worse job
in the whole world. Except maybe cleaning outhouses.
Now Winky was trying to cheat us out of our money?
I heard you just fine, I told him. You said twenty.
Sorry, but youre full of beans, Beans, Winky said,
and then laughed. Look: I made a joke. Get it? Full of
beans?
Hilarious, I said, and glared. Youre a regular
comedian, Winky.
I suppose I could give you a nickel for twenty,
Winky offered us, like he was a king doing us a favor.
A nickel? I wasnt very good at arithmetic, but
even I knew that this was a lousy deal.
Sorry, Beans, Winky added with a smirk. Maybe
you can find someone else to sell the cans to?
I glared at him. I would if I could, but everyone
knew that Winky had the only milk can game in town.
He was a cousin of Pepes.
Beans, Kermit whined, tugging on my shirt. Im
hungry.
I sighed and rolled my eyes. Kermit wore crooked
glasses and couldnt drive a bargain with a kitten.
3
43

Winky saw the advantage and took it. A fake kindly


expression lit up his face. Why, Beans. Your little
brothers hungry. I bet a nickel would buy a nice lunch.
I swallowed my pride.
Fine, I muttered. Well take the nickel.
Whats that? Winky asked loudly. I didnt quite
hear you.
I glared at him.
I said well take the nickel!
He dropped the coin into my outstretched palm.
Cmon, Kermit, I snapped. Lets go.
As we walked away, Winky shouted, Always a pleasure doing business with you, Beans!
Id been Winkied again.
We sat in the shade of a sapodilla tree, eating our lunch.
Broadcasts from radios tuned to Havana stations drifted
out open windows. The streets were deserted. Everyone took siestas to avoid the worst heat of the day. Key
West at noon was sleepy.
Thats the last time we work for him, I muttered.
You say that every time, Beans, Kermit said,
munching on the measly lunch the nickel had bought
4
44

us: cracker sandwiches. Crackers with a smear of mustard and a tiny bit of ham.
Id wanted to buy a real ham sandwich from Pepes
Caf. They made it Cuban-styleham, mustard,
cheese, and pickles, toasted on fresh Cuban bread. It
was delicious.
Well, this time I mean it, I vowed.
Aw, hes not that bad, Kermit replied. He gave us
a nickel!
We earned a dime, Kermit.
Kermit was only eight and didnt understand how
life worked. Maybe when he got to be ten, like me, hed
smarten up.
Gee, do you think if we collect fifty cans for Winky
tomorrow, hell give us another nickel? Kermit asked.
Then again, maybe not.
Im still hungry, Kermit complained.
Get some dilly gum, I told him. The sap of the
sapodilla tree made good chewing gum if you didnt
much care about taste.
Kermit scraped back some bark and dug out a wad of
the sticky sap. Then he started chewing. Getting it soft
took a while. Even though it was free, it still took work.
5
45

A rumbling motor had my ears pricking up. There


werent many cars in Key West; even the folks who
owned them couldnt afford gas.
The shiny automobile rolled down the dirt road,
hitting every gaping pothole. It looked strange and out
of place, like something from a Hollywood picture.
Kermit gave a low whistle. Thats some ride!
Its a Ford Model 730 Deluxe V-8 sedan, I told
him. Id recognized it immediately from the newsreels.
The same car that Bonnie and Clyde drove.
Everyone knew about the dead outlaws.
Kermit looked at me. You think a criminal is driving that car, Beans?
The car slid to a stop and parked across from us,
and a man climbed out.
I doubt it, I said. I couldnt imagine any criminal
who walked around without trousers.
Kermits eyes bugged out behind his glasses. Is he
just wearing his underpants?
Sure looks that way.
The underpants in question were long; they hit him
just above the knee. They showed off pasty-white, hairy
legs. On top, the portly man sported a long-sleeved suit
6
46

shirt with a bow tie. He finished off the whole ensemble


with a fedora. Maybe he was someones relative who
had just gotten out of the loony bin. Wouldnt be the
first time.
He wrinkled his nose and looked around.
My, that certainly is a powerful smell, he said,
walking over to us. He had a thick mustache, and from
the way he spoke, I could tell he was from off the rock.
A stranger.
You should smell us, mister! Kermit exclaimed.
We been in that garbage all morning!
The fella looked us up and down, from our bare feet
to our patched-up pants. Yes, it seems you have. Who
might you young gentlemen be?
Im Kermit! Kermit was like the mayor of Key
West. Kid would talk to anybody. This is my brother
Beans!
How quaint, he murmured.
I narrowed my eyes at him. Did you just insult us?
Of course not, young fella. Why, Im here to help
you. He held out his hand. Im Julius Stone, Jr. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I stared at the outstretched hand but didnt take it.
7
47

When someone says theyre gonna help you, theyre


just waiting to stick their hand in your pocket and take
your last penny. I should know. I got relatives.
Mister, I said, youre the one that needs help. You
aint got no pants.
He looked offended. Theyre supposed to look like
this! Theyre called Bermuda shorts. Theyre the latest
fashion.
At loony bins, no doubt.
So, tell me, Peas . . . , he began.
Peas? Maybe he was deaf in addition to being crazy.
Is the rest of the town in a similar state? he asked.
He waved his hands at the weathered gray wooden
houses, set close together, that lined the street.
What do you mean? I asked him.
Are all the houses this decrepit?
Huh?
Run-down, he said bluntly. Unpainted. Falling
over. Crumbling. Et cetera.
I guess, I said with a shrug. Most folks in Key
West were on relief. Paint was a luxury. Our town
looked like a tired black-and-white movie.
The man frowned.
Where you from, mister? Kermit asked.
8
48

Why, Ive come all the way from Washington, D.C.


Ive been sent here by President Roosevelt himself !
Yep. Definitely a lunatic.
Sure, the president sent you, I said, and laughed.
Mr. Stone looked offended. You dont believe me?
Course I believe you, mister, I said. Why, we just
had the Queen of England visit here last week.
Im not lying!
But I just shook my head. Whatever you say,
mister.
Like I said: grown-ups are lying liars.

9
49

Key West was lousy with lanes.


There were dozens and dozens of them. Some had
funny names like Stump Lane and Donkey Milk Lane.
Then there were the ones named after the big Conch
families that settled on them when they first came
from the Bahamas: Sawyers Lane and Higgs Lane and
Thompson Lane.
We lived in a little Conch house on Curry Lane.
Where else would we live? We were Currys.
Our place was shotgun-style, one and a half stories.
We rented it from some shirttail cousin on my fathers
10
50

side. My mother said he should have paid us to live in


it, because the place was full of pests. Termites. Ants.
Roaches. Scorpions. But the worst pest in the joint was
still in diapers.
Buddy.
My mother was wrestling my three-year-old baby
brother into the crib in his little bedroom upstairs. He
was squirming and rolling around and rubbing his eyes.
You need to go down for a nap right this instant,
Buddy, my mother told him.
Noooo nap! he howled, red-cheeked. I dont
wanna!
Hiya, Ma, I said.
My mother wore her hair neat and tidy in a bun.
Her dress was always pressed. Sometimes I thought it
was my mothers will alone that kept the house from
collapsing around us.
She took a whiff and wrinkled her nose. What is
that smell? Have you been in the garbage again?
We were getting cans, I said. I held out the penny
I hadnt spent from our nickel.
Her face softened and she shook her head. Youre a
good boy, Beans. But you keep that.
I slipped it back in my pocket.
11
51

Then she sighed and stared at Buddy. What am I


going to do with you, child?
I started to back away slowly. I knew where this
was going, and it was nowhere good.
Beans, she said.
I froze and watched as she plucked a squirming
Buddy out of his crib and held him out to me.
Take Buddy out. I cant get any washing done with
this one in my hair. My mother took in laundry for
other families in town to help pay the bills.
Aw, Ma, do we have to? I asked, eyeing my dangling baby brother with distaste.
She practically threw him at me.
Go, my mother said, adding, Maybe hell nap for
you.
Buddy just howled.
Our bare feet kicked up dirt as Kermit and I walked
down the lane, pulling Buddy in the wagon. We were
shoeless, like every other kid in Key West, and didnt
care.
Kermit looked back and whispered, Hes following
us, Beans!
The dog had been trailing after us for a while. More
of these dogs than ever before were roaming around,
12
52

and they were thin and gaunt and fearless. This one
had a little body and a roundish head and reminded me
of Popeyes girlfriend, Olive Oyl.
Hes probably just hungry, I said.
The dog had a lot of company. All around the country, folks were having hard times. Id heard stories of
people lining up overnight just to get a bowl of soup.
Here in Key West, we had it better than most. There
was a whole ocean with fish and lobsters to catch. Not
to mention all the fruit trees. Just about the only thing
that didnt grow on trees was money.
You think hell eat us? Kermit asked with alarm.
Hed have to be pretty desperate to want to eat
Buddy, I said.
Buddy had been crying since we left. Hed cried
all the way down Curry Lane. Down Frances Street.
Down Fleming Street. Now we were at Grinnell and he
was still howling. He was tired from not napping, and
hed be mean as a mosquito by suppertime if he didnt
sleep. Id had enough.
Go to sleep, Buddy, I told him.
I dont wanna! he howled. Im a big boy!
Youre annoying, is what you are. Now go to sleep
right this minute or Ill box your ears.
13
53

He yelped and covered his ears. He knew I would.


Lie down, I ordered him, and he settled into the
wagon. Before he could protest, I tucked the blanket
around him tight, flipping it over his head.
We started walking, and in no time flat, Buddy was
fast asleep. The lulling movement, combined with the
heat, had knocked him out like a prizefighters punch.
Worked every time.
Kermit shook his head in amazement. Maybe we
should tell Ma about that trick.
Dont be a dummy. Then wed have to watch him
every day.
Fishing boats were pulling in at the waterfront, their
decks flopping with the days catch.
We passed the turtle kraals, the pens at the dock
where they kept giant sea turtles like a herd of cows.
Turtle was good, cheap meat. Specially for stew.
Fishermen caught the turtles out at sea and brought
them turned on their shell. A turned turtle couldnt flip
back over. I always wondered what it felt like for the
turtles to be dropped into those kraals.
Down the way, I recognized one boat in particular: it belonged to Johnny Cakes. Rumor had it that
14
54

he was involved in all sorts of criminal enterprises, although hed never been arrested. People said you could
get away with anything in Key West, even murder. I
thought the rumors were because of Johnny Cakess
flair for fashion. Today he was wearing a white linen
suit and a Panama hat.
His sharp duds werent the only thing that set
Johnny Cakes apart from the other fishermen at the
docks. There was also his cargo. It wasnt exactly flopping.
There were three coffins stacked on the deck.
Who died? Kermit asked.
Johnny Cakes took off his hat and waved it. Terrible
malaria epidemic in Havana. These poor fishermen got
caught up in it, Im afraid, he said. Id just dropped off
my cargo, so I volunteered to bring them home so their
families here can see them on their way.
Golly! You sure are a Good Samaritan! Kermit
said. Youll get into heaven for sure.
Johnny Cakess mouth twitched.
The blanket in the wagon moved as Buddy rolled in
his sleep.
Johnny Cakes cast a curious look at our wagon.
Whatve you kids got in that wagon? Kittens?
15
55

I shook my head. Baby.


Just then, Buddy woke up and whimpered. His
hand knocked off the blanket, so I flipped it back over
his face.
Arent you being kind of hard on the tyke? Johnny
Cakes asked me.
Youve gotta be hard to handle bad babies, I told him.
The best sight in the world greeted us when we returned home: our fathers worn, muddy shoes sitting
on the front porch.
Poppy had been chasing jobs up the Keys for the last
few weeks. He said looking for work was more worry
than a hard days labor. Everything felt wrinkled to us
when he was gone. Ma was crankier and Buddy seemed
to cry more.
Poppy looked tired and dirty, but I didnt care. I
just threw myself in his arms and breathed him in. His
whiskers were long and scraped my cheek.
Poppy!
Did you grow? he teased. It was what he always
asked me.
Just my hair, I said.
Supper was conch chowder. Conch was easy to har16
56

vest from the ocean. Poppys father had been a conch


fisherman, like many others who had left the Bahamas
to settle in the lanes of Key West. Thats why we were
called Conchs. We ate conch chowder all the time, but
for some reason it tasted better than ever. Probably
because Poppy was home.
After supper, we kids washed the dishes while Poppy
tended to my mothers hands. They were red and raw
from the harsh detergent she used to do the laundry.
Poppy mixed some cornstarch and water into
a gluey paste. Then he smeared it gently onto my
mothers hands.
That feels so much better, she said.
He gave her a kiss on the forehead.
Thats why you married a Curry boy, he said.
Humph, Ma replied.
All of a sudden, a loud bell started ringing.
Kermit looked excited. Fire bell!
Most of the houses in Key West were made of wood
and built close together. When a fire spread, it could
take down a whole lane. There was a tall fire bell in the
cemetery, which alerted everyone.
Is it nearby, Poppy? Kermit asked.
Poppy pulled down the fire alarm card. Every house
17
57

had one. The number of rings indicated the location of


the alarm box.
Count it out, Poppy told us.
I listened carefully to the ringing.
Its one-three-four! I looked down at the card.
Eaton and White Streets!
I was gonna say that, too. You always beat me!
Kermit groused.
Beans is just older than you. He knows more, my
father told him.
Someday Ill know more!
I snickered. Not likely.
Thats enough excitement for one night. Off to bed
with you children, Ma said.
Kermit and I shared a tiny, hot bedroom.
Id papered the walls with funny pages from the
newspapers. My favorite was Little Orphan Annie, the
strip about an orphan girl named Annie who gets
adopted by a bald millionaire named Daddy Warbucks.
I didnt care much for Annie. I wanted to be Daddy
Warbucks when I grew up and live in a fancy mansion.
Or at least have my own bedroom. I hated sharing a
room with Kermit. The kid snored.
18
58

After we were settled in bed, I couldnt sleep. The


smell of kerosene lingered in the air. My mother burned
rags soaked in the stuff to smoke out the mosquitoes
when they got thick. They were thick as a rug tonight.
But it wasnt just the smell and the pests. My heart
was still beating fast from the rush of the fire bell. Kermit didnt have any such problem getting to slumber
land. The kid could sleep through a hurricane.
My fathers voice drifted up a crack in the floorboards.
Up north, New Jersey, he said.
Where will you stay? my mother asked.
Mildreds place. Ernest swears he can get me a
steady job at the factory, with good wages.
But its so far, she murmured.
Maybe we can all go? my father said.
How? We dont have the money to make the trip.
Besides, do you really think your sister wants five of us
coming to live with her?
I could almost see her shaking her head.
My father sighed unhappily. All right, then. Ill go
up first. See if I can get work. Then Ill send for you
and the boys. Move the whole family there.
Lets be sure to leave my mother here, she joked.
19
59

But I didnt see anything funny about it. My stomach was churning. Move to New Jersey? I couldnt
imagine living anywhere but Key West! It was the only
home Id ever known. Everythingand everyoneI
knew was here.
Should we tell the children? Ma asked.
Not until I have something sorted out, my father
said.
After that, their voices lowered, and I lay awake in
the dark, worry about the future buzzing like a mosquito in my head.
I didnt fall asleep until the sun was coming up.
Poppy left for New Jersey two days later.
Are we gonna have to move away? I asked him.
He hesitated, then said, Of course not.
But I knew he was lying. Just like every other
grown-up.
As he walked down the steps with his sack thrown
over his shoulder, he ruffled my hair.
Keep an eye on your mother and the little ones, he
told me. Youre the man of the house now.
Buddy started crying before Poppy even reached
the end of the lane.
20
60

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PRAISE FOR
THE FOURTEENTH
GOLDFISH:
Warm, witty and wise.
The New York Times

Awesomely strange and


startlingly true-to-life.

PRAISE FOR
TURTLE IN PARADISE:

Newbery Honor Winner H Holms talent for


historical fiction is
H Sweet, funny and superb. writing
on full display.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

H A hilarious blend of

family drama seasoned with


Rebecca Stead, a dollop of adventure.

Newbery Medalwinning
author of When You Reach Me

H This is top-notch
middle-grade fiction.

PRAISE FOR
FULL OF BEANS:

Booklist, Starred

H Infused with period

pop culture references, a


strong sense of place, and
Publishers Weekly, Starred the unique traditions and
culture of Key West.

Booklist, Starred

H Filled with humor,


heart, and warmth.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Entertaining and
illuminating historical
fiction.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

Publishers Weekly, Starred

THE AWA R D-WINNING


SER IES!

Read
them
all!

Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

Hey! What
about me?

Front cover (left to right): 2016 by Tad Carpenter from The Fourteenth Goldfish; 2016 by The Little Friends of Printmaking from Turtle In Paradise; 2016 by The Little Friends of Printmaking from Full of Beans

Everyone is raving about bestselling author


and three-time Newbery Honor winner