In The Turtle Boy, eleven-year-old Timmy Quinn is beginning his summer vacation in small town Ohio, where he is struggling with finding things to do. Everything for him changes, when he and his best friend, Pete, find a strange boy at Myers Pond, whose ankle is badly mangled and claims he is feeding the turtles. This image haunts Timmy and he can’t shake it. It also so infuriates Pete’s dad that he forbids his son to play with Timmy and sends his son to summer camp. Timmy befriends Kim and together they explore the pond, only to be intercepted by Pete’s dad, who has a shadowed past involving the Turtle Boy.
Much of what I like about this novel involved the mood and atmosphere that the author created in this story. There is a strong sense of foreboding and unreality in the novel, as well as an intriguing mystery. The story is well-developed and gripping from beginning to end. Although I thought overall the characterization was strong, Timmy did read younger than his age of eleven. He struck me more as a boy of eight or nine. The story finishes with an explosive conclusion, one that involves Timmy’s dad and his shadowy past with the Turtle Boy. This was an enjoyable novel that fans of horror and mystery will want to read.