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Three Times Lucky (Mo & Dale Mysteries) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 10, 2012
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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."
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).
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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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.