Turtle's mama is a housekeeper, and the house she's currently keeping is owned by a lady who isn't so keen on children. Hates them, actually, but it's the Great Depression, and Mama needs the job, so Turtle gets sent south to live with her mama's sister and her family in Key West. Only, Mama never told her that Turtle was coming, so when she gets there, no one's expecting her. Still, her aunt gives her her cousin Beans's room, and Turtle starts to make herself at home. Beans and Kermit (another cousin) are part of this weird gang, The Diaper Gang, and they get paid in candy to babysit. Turtle hates babies, but what else is she going to do? So she hangs out with the Diaper Gang and gets to know the neighborhood. Sure, she misses her mama, but Turtle's smart, and Turtle's tough, and Turtle doesn't cry. Florida's a whole different kind of world, with a whole different kind of people, and there's plenty to do to keep Turtle busy. After all, there's a whole family down here that she didn't know she had.
You know, I loved this book. Really. The setting is great, the characters are freaking fantastic. It's short, and for a lot of the book, nothing in particular is going on. But it all changes Turtle's life, changes Turtle, and I--oh, Slowpoke! How I loved Slowpoke! Excellent. I wouldn't mind a sequel. With more Slowpoke.