Do you like curling up in front of the fire with a good book? How about following clues and solving a juicy mystery?
Well, gather some kindling, because Sheila Turnage's Three Times Lucky is here to keep you company. Published in 2013, Three Times Lucky is the first of two books by Sheila Turnage that feature a scrappy girl named Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale, two kids from a small town in North Carolina who tackle crimes and creepy things that happen in their community.
Turnage is a little obsessed with North Carolina—some of her other books include Haunted Inns of the Southeast and Compass American Guide: North Carolina. This is because she was born in (you guessed it) Jacksonville, North Carolina, and went to college at East Carolina University. She's a Carolina girl through and through, and her love and familiarity with the area make the setting come alive in Three Times Lucky. The tight-knit community, small businesses, houses by the creek, and kooky townspeople are all completely believable.
Which is good, since Three Times Lucky is above all a story about community, and particularly family and the people who love you. Mo sets out to find a murderer in her community because it's exciting, but when her guardians go missing, the quest becomes personal. Through it all, she comes to find that it doesn't matter if she doesn't know who her biological parents are. She's completely loved and cared for by the people around her—her neighbors, her friends (like Dale), and Miss Lana and the Colonel.
So build a cozy fire then get ready to take a trip down south with Mo and her friends by cracking open the spine of Three Times Lucky today.
Ever felt like you just don't fit in with the people around you, no matter how hard you try? Do you ever feel like you were dropped into your family by aliens and you don't have anything in common with them at all? The details of Mo's life may not match yours exactly, but her search for belonging is something that everyone can relate to.
Because Mo doesn't know her biological parents (she floated into Tupelo Landing via the creek when she was a baby, after all), she often feels like she doesn't belong in the tight-knit community she calls home. Sure, she's grown up among these people and they know her by name, but Mo worries that they don't actually see her as one of them. Her fear is only compounded by the fact that some people, like Anna Celeste and her family, refuse to associate with Mo because they consider her an outsider. Ugh, right?
Without giving too much away, we'll say that Mo ultimately comes to realize that she actually has a bounty of support around her. She has Miss Lana, the Colonel, Dale and his family… and that's just to name just a few. Mo just has to open her eyes a bit in order to see this. So if you've ever felt like an outlier in your community, get excited to find a friend in Mo—and hey, maybe she'll even open your eyes to some of the love coming your way in the world, too.
Read All About It
Learn all about Sheila Turnage, Three Times Lucky, and her other books (including the sequel to this one).
Liked this book? Click on through for a brief review and some insights into its sequel, Ghosts of Tupelo Landing.
Apparently the first draft of Three Times Lucky was 750 pages long. Holy smokes, that's a long book.
What's in a Name?
Turnage says that if she could name herself something a little outrageous, it would be "Tupelo Turnage." That seems about right, don't you think?
Check out this cool book trailer for Three Times Lucky to get a glimpse of what the story's all about.
Presenting Miss Sheila Turnage
Turnage talks at the Gaithersburg Book Festival about the similarities she has with her character Mo LoBeau.
If you'd rather hear Three Times Lucky as if Mo were telling the story to a friend, then you can pick up the audio version.
Message in a Bottle
The cover of Three Times Lucky shows one of Mo's little bottles floating down the creek, just like she did all those years ago.
Meet and Greet
Doesn't author Sheila Turnage look like she's standing on the banks of the creek in Tupelo Landing?
The sequel to Three Times Lucky looks like it's full of mystery and intrigue, too. Instead of chasing a murderer, though, it appears that Mo will be dealing with a ghost. Spooky.