Three Times Lucky

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Three Times Lucky (paperback)

by Sheila Turnage

AR Level 3.9, 9 points

Have you ever read a book and though, “This would be a great movie!”?  Well that’s Three Times Lucky.  I could see the scenes in my head, and I started casting the movie as I read.  It opens up showing the workings of a small Southern town: kids riding bikes to the local creek (or crick), old pick up trucks being worked on, women in big hats drinking iced tea… and after the credits, you hear the dinging of the door chime in the small local cafe.  It may catch you off guard that a smart-mouthed, quick-witted child is running this cafe.

Mo is the protagonist of the story.  She is the smart-mouthed, quick-witted incoming sixth grader, and her “adoptive” parents, Miss Lana and The Colonel, run the local small-town cafe.  She was found as a newborn afloat in a creek after a hurricane, apparently wrapped and placed on a board during the storm by her “Up Stream Mother.”  Hence her name, Moses.  Mo writes letters to her mother in a series of books, her autobiography.  She has a best friend named Dale (after the race car driver), and he is also a detective in their agency.  There is a murder in their community, and a detective from a bigger neighboring town comes in to solve the case.  Mo and Dale do their part, but things start to go sour for Mo, and she needs to use her intelligence and cleverness to save her family and friends.

What I liked about this book was the quirkiness and humor that Mo brought to the story.  I would classify her as GATE just based on her creative thinking and use of vocabulary.  In fact, most of the characters in this story are quirky in some way, some more than others.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their antics, as well as the sense of community in their town of Tupelo Landing.  I look forward to reading The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, the companion novel.

What I didn’t like about this book was that for me, it got off to a slow start.  It took me a few days to get into the book.  It shouldn’t have taken me two weeks to read, but it did, partly because I was so busy, and partly because I couldn’t get into it right away.  I read more than half the book last night and today, and was able to finish.  My advice is to keep going, and don’t get sidetracked by the first few chapters, which are full of character development, but still kind of slow.

Book 1 of 40 (Year 2)

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