Turtle on a Fence Post

Turtle on a Fence Post

5.0 4
by June Rae Wood

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A grumpy old veteran with his own history of grief helps fourteen-year-old Delrita release the pent-up emotions she holds following the death of her parents.  See more details below


A grumpy old veteran with his own history of grief helps fourteen-year-old Delrita release the pent-up emotions she holds following the death of her parents.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The story of teenage Delrita and her Down's syndrome uncle, which began in The Man Who Loved Clowns, continues here. Of that first novel, PW wrote, "Wood displays a prodigious writing and storytelling talent." Ages 10-14. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This book follows Delrita through her eighth grade year. Delrita's parents and her favorite uncle are dead, and she's living with her Aunt Queenie and Uncle Bert. She is content until Queenie's cantankerous father moves in. Sergeant Roebuck is a critical old man who resents Delrita and everything about her. He's super-critical of Delrita's Teen Buddy partner, Joey, who is retarded, as well as her friends and their loving family. But when Delrita's class is given an assignment to study World War II and interview a veteran, he seems to be a ready-made answer. Is he willing to relive painful moments from the past as a favor for someone he doesn't really know and doesn't seem to like? A lovely story with terrific intergenerational aspects.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8In The Man Who Loved Clowns (Putnam, 1992), Delrita's world was turned upside down by the death of her parents in a car accident and shortly thereafter by the loss of Punky, her beloved uncle with Down's syndrome. Now, she is beginning to reach up and out. Continuing to live with her Aunt Queenie and Uncle Bert, the young teen wonders if she will ever feel truly loved and part of a family again. In addition, Queenie's cantankerous father has moved in with them and he exasperates his daughter and intimidates Delrita. She slowly reaches out to others, especially Joey, a Down's syndrome adult living in a nursing home with his mother, and becomes his "teen buddy." It's harder to reach out to Queenie's father and to Heidi, the new girl whose family has moved into Delrita's family's old home. There is a lot going on here, including Delrita's suffering from the pangs of puppy love for a neighbor, Tree. Less believable than most of the characters, he is too good to be true. Everything is tied up in the end and the offstage solution to the local robberies plus the revealing of Heidi's secrets just pile on. In spite of having slightly too many threads, this engaging story is one of a very few that shows average kids interacting enjoyably with special-needs adults without that being the focus of the story. This novel is about coping with grief and accepting change, and those readers who became attached to Delitra in the first book will find plenty to enjoy here.Carol A. Edwards, Minneapolis Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Like the turtle of the title, a grieving teenager learns that she's not going to get anywhere without help in this engrossing, energetic sequel to The Man Who Loved Clowns (1992). Still sad and angry at the deaths—all within three months—of her parents and her beloved uncle, Punky, Delrita Jensen feels more comfortable with her friends, or being a Teen Buddy to mentally retarded Joey Marcum, than with her Aunt Queenie and Uncle Bert. She can't shake the niggling doubt that Queenie considers her just another obligation to shoulder. The household becomes even more tense when Queenie's cantankerous father, Orvis, joins it. When a charming classmate moves into Delrita's old house and moves in on Delrita's heartthrob, Tree Shackleford, it is Orvis who unexpectedly gives Delrita the best advice; still hurting from his experiences in WW II, he shows her the value of sharing feelings and memories. Readers don't need to know the first book to understand this one or to appreciate just how far Delrita has come. Wood weaves in a plethora of subplots that never crowd the main story, and Joey is a well-drawn, fully participating member of the large, very active multigenerational cast. An appreciation for those who sacrifice time, effort, money, and even their lives for others infuses this memorable tale of healing.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.94(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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Turtle on a Fence Post 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is by far the best book I have ever read. It's exciting and happy. You can really relate to the characters in the story. as if all of the events happened to you! The book is impossible to put down. You have to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book 'The Man Who Loved Clowns' and that is why i rented 'Turtle On A Fence Post' i enjoyed each book and i even cried at many parts. I hope that there is a third book or a sequal to 'Turtle On A Fence Post' because i want to read what happens next i dont like it when a book leaves me hanging there not knowing what will happen next. I want to find out what happens with Tree and Delrita if they get together or not i hope they do.I will keep looking for the sequal to the second book and i hop i find what i am looking for. i would highly recomend this book to all readers young and old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Turtle on a Fence Post is a wonderful book so far. I am still reading but I am practically finished. It may be helpful to read the first book The Man Who Loved Clowns. It, also, is a wonderful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book even though i am not quiet finished with it. It makes you think of all the good and bad memories.