4th Grade and Up
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.
This prequel takes place a year before Turtle moves to Key West. It’s basically the origin story of everything that happens in the first book. I liked it more than I thought I would, but I still would have preferred a sequel.
It was kind of odd having Beans as the main character. His narrative is humorous, and he’s less rotten than Turtle makes him out to be.
Like in Turtle in Paradise, this story transports you to life during the Great Depression. I liked learning about President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and how the federal government sent in people to turn Key West into a tourist destination. I don’t understand who had the time and the money to go on vacation during the Depression? I know that not everyone lost their money, but it still seems like a weird time to go on vacation.
Once again, Holm’s adds an Author’s Note about the remaking of Key West and more black-and-white pictures.
And last but not least, the award for best (or worst depending on how you see it) nickname goes to ‘Bring Back My Hammer.’ He got his nickname because someone was always borrowing his hammer, and he was always yelling at them to bring it back. I think he should stop lending people his hammer.