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.