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Three Times Lucky (Tupelo Landing, #1)
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Three Times Lucky (Tupelo Landing #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  12,598 ratings  ·  1,609 reviews
Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau 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. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a café owner with a forgotten past of his ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Dial Books (first published May 1st 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
9th out of 119 books — 1,171 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenHigh in School by Salman AdityaThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Middle Grade Novels of 2012
24th out of 337 books — 632 voters

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Community Reviews

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There are things precocious children say, there are things quaint children say, and then there are things that children's literature authors make up which even the quaintest and most precocious child would not say, and this book's full of them. Children's literature protagonists seem to have remarkable abilities to say full (and highly quotable) sentences to all and sundry. They do not um, err, quote from pop culture, swear, or get tongue-tied, like the children I know in real life. This makes t ...more
I loved, loved, LOVED this book. It's a sensational, highly memorable debut novel -- one I enjoyed so much that I didn't want the book to end! I can't WAIT to see what Sheila Turnage writes next.
The Southern Girl Novel. It’s pretty much a genre in and of itself in the children’s literary world. Some years produce more of them than others but they all tend to follow the same format. Sleepy town plus spunky girl equals mild hijinks, kooky townspeople, self-awakening, etc. After a while they all start to blend together, their details merging and meshing and utterly impossible to separate. I’m just mentioning all this as a kind of preface to Three Times Lucky. Sure, you can slap a Gilbert F ...more
It's got drinking and cussing and bad parenting and neglect and murder and child labor. It's also perfect. Every word counts. We need more books like this.
April Franklin
Well, I should start right out saying this is not my kind of book, and honestly I knew that going in. I read it for the middle school book club at work and never would have picked it up otherwise. It just strikes me as being the kind of children's book written for nostalgic adults, not children. I did give the book two stars rather than one solely because the murder mystery was kind of interesting. Other than that, well, I'm just glad I'm done with it now.
At 10am I opened “Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage, and by 4pm that same day I closed “Three Times Lucky”. And this may sound bad that I am closing the book so soon, but it’s not. I couldn’t put it down for the life of me! Turnage created a town and family of sorts in Tupela Landing, a town only 2 blocks long, but with a story a nations worth.

I’m not sure were to start with this review. The story goes through sort of a maze of side stories to come up with it’s final resting place. Each pe
Destinee Sutton
Mo LoBeau is a rising sixth-grader in the tiny town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. She's a slick talking girl whose best friend is a boy named Dale Earnhardt Johnson III. Mo lives with adoptive parents: Miss Lana, a wig-wearing eccentric cafe owner, and the Colonel, a man with no memory of his past who calls Mo "soldier" (affectionately) and hates lawyers. Mo and Dale decide to become detectives when a local man is murdered and the only suspects seem to be Dale and the Colonel.

Sheila Turnag
No one could be more surprised at how much I liked this book than me. As a rule I loathe folksy narrators and down-home settings and quirky casts of characters. When I saw this book listed on a Newbery-possibility list, I cringed and hoped no one else would recommend it. Eventually I saw it in too many places and had to put it on hold.

This book is the real deal. Is it folksy and quirky? Does it have a lot of country/Southern speech? Yes. But it is never, ever cloying or irritating, because it se
Trouble drove into Tupelo Landing in the form of a Chevy Impala and a man named Detective Starr. Mo Lebeau's own detective skills and power of deduction know that car and it's driver are trouble the moment it pulls up to cafe that she works at with her adoptive mother, Miss Lana, and the mysterious "Colonel". Shortly after the car arrives, there is a murder, and Mo sets out with her friend Dale to try to solve the mystery before Detective Starr can.
I found this book to be a little scatterbrained
Lori Redman
Three Times Lucky tells the story of Mo LoBeau, a sixth grader with no biological mother in sight. She was sent downstream on a raft during a hurricane and adopted by amnesiac Colonel and his girlfriend Miss Lana. Although she spends most of her time thinking about her "Upstream Mother", Mo finds herself with another mystery at hand when local man Mr. Jesse is murdered. Mo and her best friend Dale act as Detectives to try to solve the mystery of the murder, and encounter a hurricane and a kidnap ...more
This book has garnered so many accolades that I feel confused by how mediocre I thought it was. It's true that I have a chip on my shoulder about portrayals of Southerners as ignorant, poor hicks, but I just didn't think the writing was that great.

There were many moments when the book didn't feel like it was written for its intended audience-- like Dale's remark that his brother said he was too pretty to do hard time in prison.

I did like the characters and the sense of community and caring rang
Evelyn Ink
Mo LaBeau might be the funniest MG character I’ve read about in a long time. Her Southern know-it-all, talk first–think later, point of view will give you a side ache from laughing so hard:
“They found Mr. Jesse in a boat?" I asked. "I'm wondering if maybe he just up and died. Maybe there ain't no murder. Like the fish weren't biting and he died of boredom. It happens. Boredom kills. I've had close brushes myself, during math.”
Turnage takes a few pages from Mark Twain while writing this utterly
Mo (short for Moses) lives with the Colonel and Miss Lana and is very lucky. She washed up during a hurricane when she was a baby and was discovered by the Colonel. Mo has her best friend Dale and the Cafe her family runs in Tupelo Landing, NC and life is pretty good. That is until a lawman comes to town and Mr. Jesse ends up murdered. Suddenly Dale is a suspect, the Colonel and Lana are missing and Mo has to solve the mystery of what is happening around her.

This was a delightful story. Mo is a
Meet the latest member of juvenile fiction's Feisty Females Hall of Fame: Mo LoBeau, an eleven-year-old cafe manager, martial arts expert, detective, and "goddess of free enterprise." Her adoptive dad is The Colonel, a man who lost his memory and found Baby Mo in the course of a single hurricane. Mom is Miss Lana, a free spirit who daily gives the family's cafe a new theme according to her whims. While Mo attempts to locate her birth mother, she eventually discovers that it's love that makes a f ...more
I guess I'll be going against the crowd on this one--possibly because I have a lot/hate relationship with how writers often depict the South and the quaint Southern towns in which so many eccentric characters with odd names live--names like Dale Earnhardt Johnson III and Lavender Shade. While I liked a lot of things about Moses including her created family of the Colonel and Miss Lana and her constant search for her mother by sending off messages in bottles, I also disliked the haste with which ...more
Let me preface this commentary by stating that I love Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. There is a reason Miss Lee's only novel leads all others in voting for the Best Novel of the 20th Century on It speaks to readers. It resonates with them. Scout's voice rings true, and Atticus Finch is the ideal Southern gentleman father. That said, Sheila Turnage's debut novel could be sub-titled To Kill a Mockingbird for Pre-teens. Before you cry, "Sacrilege!" let me explain. Plop Miss Jean ...more
Gwen the Librarian
For the first time ever, in my opinion, a children's novel has capitalized on the stereotypical quirkiness of the South and made it work. It glows! Moses LoBeau (a girl) is growing up behind the busy cafe in a tiny North Carolina town. Miss Lana and the Colonel are her stand-in parents because when Mo was an infant she washed ashore during a hurricane and the Colonel caught her. Mo spends much of the book writing letters and notes to her unknown "upstream mother" and sending them off in bottles. ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Aryan added it
“We arent always as we seem” is a theme that keeps on coming up in almost every book I read but even more so in the book “Three Times Lucky”, This book has this theme coming up every 50 pages for this is a very big part of the story. This book also has a sense/saying that says Let go of the past, this is the sentence that holds the evidence to my claim: “Dear Upstream mother, I wrote. I crossed out the words. Dear Miss Lana, Hold on. we’ll find you.Mo”.

Throughout the book the Colonel has been a
Valerie Barnhart
Amazing book! I could not put it down. This would be an excellent selection for a read aloud. It is geared to a higher grade level like grades 4-7. I view Natalie as an advanced reader for her grade, so she may be ready for this book.

Natalie would like this book because it has many different animals including Dale's dog named Queen Elizabeth. The book uses onomatopoeia and detailed descriptions. The references made to the French language and Miss Lana's many costumes of famous people from motio
Jean Jambas
I was impressed by this first novel. Although it was written for children, it could be equally enjoyed by adults. Truly, this was a surprise gem and I look forward to more by this author.
Monica Edinger
Completely and utterly charming!

Many lovely bits, but my favorite has to be the line, "I'm a lawyer." Read the book to find out why.
Okay, I have outgrown books for younger kids a long time ago, and honestly, because of that I didn't expect this to be that exciting for me...However, I was totally wrong! This book was amazing, I love all the characters and the plot! I also love how original the café in the book is. I wish there was a café like that nearby me. My favorite character was Lavender, (I LOVE HIS NAME!!!!!) This book was so good, I want it to become a movie SO BAD!!!!! This book was SO GOOD, that right after I finish ...more
This has been on my "to-read" list ever since it won a Newbery Honor. Fate kept intervening -- first the copy I ordered for school didn't come. (Backordered.) Then it was checked out at our local libraries. Finally read it yesterday -- what a delight! (I started it in the morning and was finished by dinner time -- nice to have a holiday for reading!)

It's a mystery set in a small town in rural NC. The characters are quirky and likable. They speak in the way small-town characters speak, and the na
Kids still like an old-fashioned yarn.

I was tempted to not take this one out to the elementary schools on my pre-summer reading program visits this year. It's much thicker than I usually shoot for, and it's already getting attention since it won a bunch of honors during book award season.

But the kids really responded to this bright cover and old-fashioned story.

Mo lives in a tiny town in the south. She and her parents (nontraditional though they might be) run the local diner where everyone in
Linda Lipko
Well deserving of the 2013 Newbery honor, I loved this laugh-out-loud creative book.

During a hurricane, baby Mo (Moses) LoBeau was found floating in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina by a quirky man named The Colonel. From henceforth she was raised and loved by The Colonel and Miss Lana.

Now at eleven years of age, she renders all tempest tossed should they cross her path. She is witty, intelligent, snarky and down right loveable.

When a body is found, she and her friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III,
Oh my gosh, I loved it. If this book doesn’t charm your socks off, I don’t know what will.

Three Times Lucky is a hilariously wry, marvelously eccentric little mystery that overflows with pure southern charm. Now let’s face it, when it comes to southern-isms, nine times out of ten they fall flat, ring false, or just feel hokey and overblown, like the author is trying to muscle a y’all into place – but this book, this wonderful little gem, is definitely the exception. Turnage just nails it, dancin
Three Times Lucky is one of the quirkiest, well-written novels for middle school students written this year. Mo LoBeau, of Tupelo Landing, NC, is a rising sixth grader who writes to her "Upstream Mother", sends messages in a bottle, and on the side loathes Anna "Attila" Celeste. That is until Detective Joe Starr comes to Tupelo Landing and upsets the day-to-day of this small community. Now Mo must protect the Colonel, run the cafe until Miss Lana returns from Charleston, and solve the murder of ...more
Em (Love YA Lit)
Em's Review: Miss Moses LoBeau, rising sixth grader, lives in Tupelo Landing NC (population: 148) with the Colonel and Miss Lana, owner and hostess of the local cafe. Like her namesake, Mo was separated from her mother as a baby and sent downstream during a hurricane. Mo hopes to someday solve the mystery of just who her “upstream mother” is, but this summer she has another mystery to solve: a murder mystery. When a lawman comes to town on a murder investigation, and a local man turns up dead in ...more
Elizabeth K.
I was amazed I liked this book as much as I did. At the beginning, I was suspicious it was going to be too Southern/quirky/cloying for my taste, the protagonist is a sixth grader who was orphaned in a hurricane, raised in a small town by an eccentric couple, and is one of those children's literature kids who is always saying sassy things.

But pretty soon into it, I was thinking this could be a three star book, because while it WAS quirky, it wasn't so much so that it got in the way of the story,
I have seen every element in this novel in some other book I've read off the Newbery list. If you've read Walk Two Moons, The Higher Power of Lucky, Savvy, Dead End in Norvelt, and even The Westing Game (for the mystery component), you have already read this book. I'm getting rather tired of the same sassy 11(ish)-year-old protagonist who is smarter than all the adults in the story, who is too precocious and fiesty for his/her own good. In this story, the main character, Mo, fits so may overused ...more
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How well did you enjoy this book? 3 6 Jun 16, 2015 03:43PM  
Voice and Word Choice 1 3 Feb 11, 2015 05:56AM  
BCMS Reader's Rally: Three Times Lucky 10 6 Jan 03, 2015 03:22PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Tupelo Landing (3 books)
  • The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Tupelo Landing, #2)
  • The Odds of Getting Even
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Tupelo Landing, #2) Haunted Inns of the Southeast Trout the Magnificent Compass American Guides: North Carolina The Odds of Getting Even

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