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Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
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Three Times Lucky (edition 2012)

by Sheila Turnage

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4073825,864 (4.11)13
Member:mcbisek
Title:Three Times Lucky
Authors:Sheila Turnage
Info:Dial (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:children's fiction, mystery, orphans

Work details

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

  1. 10
    Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath (foggidawn)
  2. 00
    The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (C.Vick)
    C.Vick: Very similar stories. Foundlings, spunky heroines, milder mannered best friends...
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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Sheila Turnage has got some pretty amazing word-smithing going on in Three Times Lucky. Miss Mo Lebeau (named after Moses because she was found in the river) is the dynamic heroin of the story. Dale Earnhardt Johnson III (named after Dale Ernhardt Jr. and his car #3) is her adventurous best friend. She lives with the Colonel and Miss Lana. This murder mystery set in Tulepo Landing is so exciting the reader is easily sucked into the action. If ever there were a book driven by character this is it, even Tulepo Landing feels like a character. I think this is a great engaging book for young readers. I would recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries, books with strong characters, or books with a unique voice. ( )
  Anna.Nash | Mar 17, 2014 |
This Newbery Honor book is highly deserving of the accolades thrown its way. Mo (short for Moses, because as a baby she was found floating down a river) learns through the course of an action-packed summer, the true meaning of family. Growing up in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, (pop. 148) Mo has always thought of herself as "three times lucky"--once because her unknown "Upstream Mother" tied her to a raft during a hurricane and sent her downstream, lucky twice because the Colonel crashed his car into a tree and stumbled into the creek just in time to save her, and lucky three times because Miss Lana took her in and raised Mo as her own. Although the language and the story, told in Mo LoBeau's own words, have many elements of a tall tale (and we seldom know if a character is speaking the truth, or just spinning another tale) the excitement of Mo's summer as a "rising sixth grader" is compelling. There are many mysteries to be solved--not the least of which is who is the Colonel? And, who is Mo, for that matter? The language sings of the South. The characters could only exist there--they are all eccentric, and many are fighting battles that Mo is just barely old enough to understand. I read Three Times Lucky a couple weeks ago, and am ready to pick it up and read it again right now. Mo and her Tupelo Landing family and friends are well worth knowing! ( )
  alexann | Mar 13, 2014 |
A combination of original character, unique voice, and engaging mystery propel this book from merely charming to highly recommend status. Mo LoBeau is an orphan who washed down the river after a hurricane and has lived in Tupelo Landing ever since. The Colonel and Miss Lana care for her and she of them, although she never stops thinking about her "upstream mother." When murder comes to town, Mo and her intrepid sidekick Dale Earnhardt Junior Junior take it upon themselves to investigate. Mo's personality may attract boys and girls alike, as she's a smooth talking tomboy with a great sense of humor and justice.
  Megs_Scrambled | Feb 18, 2014 |
I really liked listening to this audiobook, the print version of which nabbed a Newbery Honor this year. Mo LoBeau, rising sixth grader and our narrator, finds herself and her small NC town of Tupelo Landing in the middle of a murder mystery that ends up being years in the making.

We are first treated to a bit of exposition and an introduction to the small, sleepy town and its residents. Mo and her adoptive family, the Colonel and Miss Lana, run the town cafe. We learn about Mo's history, a baby who was washed away from her "upstream mother" (as she calls her) during a hurricane and rescued by the Colonel, who came to town with a "suitcase full of money" (so they say) and without his memory.

Various other townsfolk wander in and out of the narrative, and they are mostly well-rounded characters at that.

Tupelo Landing itself is a charming setting for such a serious event as a murder, and I felt Turnage handled it all incredibly well. The murder itself is not glossed over for the benefit of the children, and Mo's reaction to the news is very believable, as are everyone else's. Yet Mo's quick tongue and humor are enchanting, lifting the mood considerably despite the danger and ugliness. Abuse, abandonment, and poverty are all major themes, but Turnage's prose is delightful and calming, which balances everything out nicely.

I had trouble with the ending of the novel, which felt abrupt to me. Everything was wrapped up very quickly, and I was surprised when I got to the end as I felt like something was missing. But despite this minor quibble, overall I thought it was a well done piece of writing. Deserving of the Newbery Honor it received? Maybe, maybe not. But definitely deserving of your time.

Michal Friedman does an excellent job narrating. She gave Mo a young girl's voice with spunk and a gentle Southern twang, giving every word and phrase just the right amount of emphasis. Her acting was spot on, and it's very disappointing to hear that she's passed on and will be unable to give her voice to any other characters in the future.

This is a lovely, well-done audiobook that I definitely would recommend to fans of middle-grade fiction, Southern fiction, and mysteries. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
This is a book with everything. Lots of laughter, wonderful characters, poignant story and a wildly adventurous page turner at the same time! I loved it. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my parents-Vivian Taylor Turnage and A.C. Turnage, Jr.-who taught me to love books.
First words
Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt.
Quotations
His newt, Sir Isaac, stirred in the terrarium. (p. 209)
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Book description
Mo LeBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. SHe's found a home with the Colonel-a cafe owner with a forgotten past of his own-and Miss Lana, the fabulous cafe hostess, and will protect those she loves with every bit of he strong will. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. (ARC)
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Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a caf‚e and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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