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Beat the Turtle Drum Paperback – March 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140368507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140368505
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Greene brings her trademark blend of quirky humor and acute perception to this bittersweet tale of two sisters' summer together. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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My 7 year old read this book at school and came home with lots of questions!
Linda F.
Kate and Joss are two very different sisters and when tragedy strikes Kate learns about hope, the power of memory and the strength of her family.
Kimberley Wilson
I can't remember whether I saw the TV movie before I read this book, or vice versa.
MooonChild

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was eleven years old. For some reason, although it saddened me, it didn't seem real: I'd never known anybody my own age who had died, and I couldn't comprehend the grief of the older sister, Kate, when her little sister Joss died suddenly. Last year, however, my 7-year-old son died unexpectedly. The pain of such loss is incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't suffered such a terrible thing. Everything Kate describes in this book is so true: the rage at God, the anger that somebody else who 'deserved' to die didn't die instead, and most of all, the stillness, the emptiness where that little person used to be. When I read Kate's poem about her sister's empty bed, I wept and wept. I'm crying as I write this. Constance Greene has written a small masterpiece about the worst possible thing that life could throw at a person; it is a thing of rare beauty. And it will make you hug your children a little more often.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MooonChild on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't remember whether I saw the TV movie before I read this book, or vice versa. It matters not, because they're both excellent.
I always remembered this book and recently decided to order it from Amazon so I could re-read it. (I found my old childhood copy in my father's basement a month later, so now I have two).
The story is a magificent portrayal of a relationship between two loving, but very different sisters, Kate and Joss. Joss is somewhat of a "free spirit" and Kate clearly envies her that.
It is sweet, soft, gentle and heartbreaking at times, but I highly recommend that this book be in any young girl's (or 36-year-old girl's) book collection.
And, if you ever have the unlikely opportunity to see the TV version starting Melissa Sue Anderson ("Little House on the Prairie" and beautiful Katy Kurtzman (2-time guest-star on "Little House"), you must!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on March 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The title may be somewhat misleading, as this somber story is not about endangered species or a native tribe. Rather, it is the poignant portrait of a family--especially the relationship between two sisters--shattered by sudden, senseless devastation. Almost 11, Joss has longed to have her own horse--a dream about to come true on her birthday. But no one could foresee the disaster as family dynamics are irrevocably severed.

Narrated by 13-year-old Kate, this book reveals sisterly intimacies and suppressed rivalries, while praising the role of devoted friends and kindly adults. Far from saccharine, this book will lead young readers into serious reflection on the fragility of human life; the "personal myth" of teenagers precludes acceptance that tragedy could occur in their own family, or to their close friends or even themselves. Each person must cope with grief in his or her own way, for death is always hardest for those who remain behind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley Wilson on August 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book in the 6th grade. My copy is downright ragged now but I still cherish it because it's a great story. Kate and Joss are two very different sisters and when tragedy strikes Kate learns about hope, the power of memory and the strength of her family.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I remember reading this book in the 6th grade, I was in my bedroom and when it came to the sad part I was crying so uncontrollably that I needed my mom to hold me! I felt like a close friend had died. It touched me so deeply, in fact I think I will purchase it and read it again. I better get a box of tissues, too. I loved this book. I get misty eyed just thinking about it and I read it over 20 years ago! Excellent book for a young person to help them in dealing with the death of a loved one.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amber58 on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm twenty-eight years old and I remember reading this book when I was ten years old. I remember that I was sitting in my mom's car outside the YWCA while she took my younger sister for a swimming lesson. I sat in the car reading and sobbing. As a child this book touched me very deeply, and as I got older and inevitably had to deal with the deaths of people I loved, I thought of this book. I think that this is an incredibly good preparation for that part of life we call death. I would recommend it to anyone.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was published the year I was born and when I was 8 or 9 I remember seeing it in the library and at Fred Meyer's while looking at books. I soon became familiar with the author when I read her book Isabelle The Itch. Although this book seemed good, I didn't get interested in it until much later, in fact I picked up a copy last week at a thrift store for 50 cents and I just finished reading it today. MMM, what a touching story. It reminds me of my childhood, growing up in the suburbs of Seattle in a town called Lynnwood. I wanted a horse bad and me and my sister would play horses all day and pretend to be pioneers. Then we'd sit on the fence outside and watch the sunsets over the Olympic Mountain range; a lot similar to the things Joss and Kate did together. We moved up north east of Lynnwood a few years later and I'd see this book in the school library but I guess I sorta forgot about it until I saw and bought it recently. Anyway it is different from the author's story about her character Isabelle. Isabelle is more comedy-style, whereas this book deals with some serious fact-of-life issues we all need to face sooner or later. So easy to take our loved ones for granted, thinking that they'll always be with us. This book helps you to appreciate what you've got and to spend quality time with the ones you love because you never know; it could all just crumble any time. Before the tragic part in the book, I found a lot of interesting parts and some were even kind of funny. Ms. Greene uses the right blend of comedy and tragedy. Go, Ms. Greene!
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