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Three Times Lucky (Mo & Dale Mysteries) Paperback – December 31, 2013
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Praise for Three Times Lucky
* “A wickedly awesome tale…Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children’s fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “Turnage’s lively novel features a distinctive voice and a community of idiosyncratic characters.”—Booklist, starred review
* "Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn't put to good use."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Spunky and hilarious, eleven-year-old Mo LoBeau is one of my newest favorite heroines. Three Times Lucky will make everyone want to ride his or her own hurricane all the way to Tupelo Landing, just to join the fun.”—Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor-winning author of Savvy
"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 or Klise's Grounded will definitely want to set a spell with Mo."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The heroine of Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky is so plucky that young readers may wish she lived next door."—Wall Street Journal
"An irresistible Southern narrator—a literary descendant of Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird."—Top 12 Children's books of 2012, Newsday
"This book will leave readers hoping for more books about Mo and her gang."—School Library Journal
About the Author
Sheila Turnage grew up on a farm in eastern North Carolina. A graduate of East Carolina University, she authored two nonfiction books and one picture book before she started writing about Mo LoBeau and Dale. Three Times Lucky is a Newbery Honor book, a New York Times bestseller, an Edgar Award Finalist, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor book, and was included on seven Best Book of the Year lists. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, the follow-up to Three Times Lucky, has so far garnered five starred reviews. Today Sheila lives on a farm with her husband, a smart dog, a dozen chickens, and a flock of guineas.
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"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.
Winner of the Newbery Honor Book, a New York Times Bestseller, an Edgar Award Finalist, and an E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book, my eyeballs were drooling at the thought of cracking open this book.
Immediately confronted with colorful characters such as the Colonel and Miss Lana as well as characters which will melt your heart as in protagonist Mo who gives vinegar bottles, full of notes addressed to her unknown mother, to the local townspeople who gladly throw them over bridges for her in the hopes they may find their way to her mother.
In fact, my hub was wearing a Heisenberg t-shirt the other day, the one with Walter White's face on the front, and my daughter proclaimed, "That man looks just like Detective Joe Starr!" Starr, a man main character Mo didn't like due to the "hook of his nose, or the plane of his cheekbones . . . [and] the way he didn't smile" (13). Of course, I had to quickly turn my back to disguise the tears of joy running down my face at this unfolding, before those same eyeballs (mine), of literacy in action.
Three Times Lucky, while containing some heavy themes (domestic violence, alcoholism, murder), does so in a manner which is not only digestible for the young reader but also educational.
With my oldest looking forward to discussion of Turnage's book at an actual cafe, Sgt. Pepper's Cafe in Edwardsville, I am looking forward to witnessing firsthand the love of reading at this young age.
This book was a great read and I would highly recommend it to upper elementary and middle school aged children. It kept me hooked and on the edge of my seat with an easy to follow mystery plot. Sheila Turnage does a great job at introducing different family backgrounds such as adoption, abusive parents, and even parents who don't accept anything less than perfect. Each character brings their own baggage and troubles that can be relative to any reader. With the small-town feel of this book as well as the southern vocabulary, Three Times Lucky is a great humorous mystery that is a must read.