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Three Times Lucky Hardcover


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Best Books of the Month for Kids
This book has been selected by our editors as one of the best middle grade books of May, 2012. Read an excerpt for a sneak peek of Three Times Lucky [PDF].

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (May 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780803736702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803736702
  • ASIN: 0803736703
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review:

"Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn't put to good use. Miss Lana's voice is 'the color of sunlight in maple syrup,' while '[r]umors swirl around the Colonel like ink around an octopus.' But it's Mo's wry humor that makes this first novel completely memorable."

FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS, Starred Review:

"...Turnage achieves a wickedly awesome tale of an 11-year-old girl with more spirit and gumption than folks twice her age. Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children's fiction."

"The heroine of Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky is so plucky that young readers may wish she lived next door."
(Wall Street Journal, Best Chapter Books of 2012)

"An irresistible Southern narrator--a literary descendant of Scout Finch of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'"
(Newsday, Top 12 Children���������s books of 2012)

"Turnage's lively novel features a distinctive voice and a community of idiosyncratic characters."
(Booklist, starred review)

"Quick-thinking and precocious Mo LoBeau is hilarious in this modern-day mystery...this book will leave readers hoping for more books about Mo and her gang."
(School Library Journal)

"A dandy mystery...Humor sweetens the mix, making Tupelo Landing a pleasant place to stay for a spell."
(Horn Book)

"Mo's deadpan colloquial narration is robust and often humorous...Mystery lovers and fans of titles like Di Camillo's Because of Winn-Dixie (BCCB 6/00) or Klise's Grounded (BCCB 1/11) will definitely want to set a spell with Mo."
(Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)

"A vivid, multilayered story which will appeal to both skilled and reluctant readers of either gender. Elements of mystery, romance, secret identities, and long-unspoken small-town secrets blend into a literary stew that becomes compulsively readable as so many tales alternately unravel and combine."
(VOYA)

"What do you get when you combine Because of Winn-Dixie's heart with the mystery and action of Holes?...a wickedly awesome tale of an 11-year-old girl with more spirit and gumption than folks twice her age. Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children's fiction."
(Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn't put to good use...But it's Mo's wry humor that makes this first novel completely memorable."
(Publishers Weekly, starred review)

About the Author

Sheila Turnage lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, a blind dog and an ill-tempered cat.

A native North Carolinian, she's spent most of her life surrounded by the poetry and humor of rural NC. She writes books, articles and poems, and enjoys writing about the South in general and NC in particular. Her books include Compass American Guides: North Carolina and Haunted Inns of the Southeast.

Three Times Lucky is her first novel for kids. It's set in the fictitious town of Tupelo Landing, NC - population 148 minus one (murder).

More About the Author

Sheila Turnage lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, a blind dog and an ill-tempered cat.

A native North Carolinian, she's spent most of her life surrounded by the poetry and humor of rural NC. She writes books, articles and poems, and enjoys writing about the South in general and NC in particular. Her books include Compass American Guides: North Carolina and Haunted Inns of the Southeast.

Three Times Lucky is her first novel for kids. It's set in the fictitious town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina - population 148 minus one (murder).

Customer Reviews

I read the book in one day, because I wouldn't put it down.
Kitty Boyd
It was well written with good characters plus the plot had a few twists.
Mary
We enjoyed this book and we would recommend this book(and we have!
Mom of two

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

284 of 291 people found the following review helpful By JK on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As the 5 star reviews state, this is a well-written and exciting story. For the sake of other parents who might give this book to their kids without reading it first, here is a warning. I found the description of the drunken Dad beating up his wife way too terrifying for the Nancy Drew crowd. She had gotten a restraining order forbidding him to come to their house but he showed up anyway. Here are some excerpts of that incident.

"Shut up, Mo," he growled, keeping his eyes on Miss Rose. "You talk too much. If you were my kid I'd knock some sense into you, wouldn't I, Dale? Go ahead, Rose, call for help." When she didn't move, he sneered, "What's the matter? Phone out?"

"His hand snaked out. He grabbed the front of her blouse and yanked her forward, onto her toes. "You'll what?" he growled. "Get me thrown out of my own house?"
"Daddy!" Dale cried. "Let her go!"
Time shifted into slow motion. Mr. Macon's hand swooped down in a clean, vicious arc, slamming Miss Rose's face, snapping her head back. She staggered sideways, her knees buckling as she crashed to the floor.

I darted forward to elbow his chin, but she grabbed my arm. "Stop," she gasped. "He'll kill you. Macon, please. She's a child. Just ... just sit down. I'm sorry, I'll get you something to eat."
His laugh came jagged as broken glass, and he stepped closer, fist raised.

So parents, read the book yourselves (I think you will enjoy it) and decide which of your kids are old enough to read it too.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Padgett Gerler on May 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
by Padgett Gerler, author of GETTING THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT

Eleven years ago a raging hurricane deposited a newborn girl on the riverbank at Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. Colonel LoBeau rescued her, named her Moses (after the Biblical character discovered in the bulrushes), and, along with his girlfriend, Miss Lana, is raising Mo as his own.

Welcome to the South, where we name our youngins first and think about it later.

Mo LoBeau, sassy, charming, and wise beyond her years, careens through life and Tupelo Landing in her plaid sneakers, accompanied by her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III. Now, Dale isn't really a third of anything; his daddy just tacked III to the end of his name because his hero, race car driver Dale Earnhardt, drove car #3. So I guess you'd say Dale was named after a race car driver and his car.

Mo is working the counter in the Colonel's cafe, perched atop her Pepsi crate, Dale pestering her to skip work and go fishing with him, when the two of them learn that cantankerous Jesse Tatum has been murdered. Mo and Dale jump right into the middle of the investigation, creating an impromptu detective agency, Desperado Detectives, and set out to solve the mystery of Jesse's murder.

Sheila Turnage, in her debut novel, THREE TIMES LUCKY, has created a world of eccentric characters, humidity-dripping scenes, and quaint intrigue as only a southern writer can. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD came to mind as I read about Mo, a charming, motherless little girl who is being raised by a wise (surrogate) father and a town of colorful friends and neighbors who love her, abide her sassiness, and are amused by her antics. And just as the world loves Scout Finch, I can't imagine the world not adoring Mo LoBeau.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. H. REumann on February 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Three Times Lucky is a mystery written for MG readers. The narrator, Mo, is an 11-year-old girl, and a rising sixth grader. She was lost 11 years ago by her Upstream Mother during a hurricane. This creates a giant mystery for Mo, because she doesn't know who her real mother is. She lives with her adoptive mother, Miss Lana, and her adoptive father, the Colonel, who found her in the middle of the hurricane she was lost in. In the summer, a detective, Joe Starr, comes to her town, investigating a murder. The murderer must have taken some cars, and the Colonel has a new "Underbird," so Starr wants to investigate the Colonel. Suddenly, Mo and her best friend Dale find out that Mr. Jesse, a stingy customer at the Colonel's cafe, was killed, and his body left in his rowboat, which Dale had "strongly borrowed" and returned. The two launch the Desperado Detectives to solve the murder, and the story unfolds.

This is a pretty good book, because it has so many good mysteries and characters. There are three main mysteries interwoven in the story. They are: The case of the Upstream Mother, who the Colonel really is, and who murdered Mr. Jesse. We agree that the mystery of the Colonel is the most exciting mystery. We both like the Colonel, because he is strict and sweet at the same time. He also has a funny touch on the story, with his military antics.

The reason we gave it only three stars is that at times the story is not very believable. For example, the way that Mo runs a cafe by herself, and people actually pay when she offers cold peanut butter and cucumber sandwiches is strange. Also, Mo sometimes says things very abruptly and without thinking, which is immature for her age. Believe us, we know. For instance, Mo has to pick someone to compliment Mr. Jesse at his funeral.
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