Aldabra, or the Tortoise Who Loved Shakespeare

by Silvana Gandolfi

A story set in contemporary Venice starts out as realistic fiction and slides seamlessly... read more

A story set in contemporary Venice starts out as realistic fiction and slides seamlessly into delightful fantasy. Ten-year-old Elisa has a great relationship with her grandmother, Nonna Eia, with whom she shares a love for Shakespeare and art. She also has a great relationship with her mother. But for some unknown reason, Nonna and her mother do not speak. When Elisa begins to notice subtle changes in Nonna’s habits and behavior, she isn’t sure where to turn. It is not long before Elisa realizes that to thwart death, her grandmother is transforming herself into a tortoise. Specifically, she’s becoming a tortoise indigenous to the remote island of Aldabra. When Elisa learns the reason for the stalemate between her mother and grandmother, she is convinced that she must protect her grandmother in any way she can in a fast-paced novel with a preposterous premise that works. Despite rising tides and a lurking predator or two, feisty Elisa uses her wits and every resource at her disposal—including, with some relief, her mother— to help her grandmother reach her next destination in a wholly satisfying story. (Ages 9–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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