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Three Times Lucky

(Mo & Dale Mysteries #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  23,079 ratings  ·  2,821 reviews
Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book.

A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime

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 ele
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Dial Books
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Myles Vanover Bruh Moe never found that deadbeat momma mayne. Stop lyin mayne
Ellie:) Mo- Does anything she wants, Careless
Dale- Cautious, Careful, not normal (he thinks sideways)…more
Mo- Does anything she wants, Careless
Dale- Cautious, Careful, not normal (he thinks sideways)(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  23,079 ratings  ·  2,821 reviews

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Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to carol. by: Fran
Occasionally I dip my toe into the waters of middle-grade fiction, hoping for that playful feeling of reading The Size of the Truth the first time, or perhaps even recapturing the glow of The Westing Game back in the day. Three Times had an enthusiastic review by a friend, cover art that reminded me of Castle Hangnail, was available as a download from my library, and --this cannot be underestimated--recent events led me needing something fun.

Ex-orphan Moses LoBeau, from Tupelo Landing, NC, is do
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this one!

Mo, named Mosses because the Colonel—something like Mo's adoptive father—thought she was a boy when he first found her as a baby in the middle of a flood, is the fantastic protagonist of this Southern Girl Middle Grade Cozy Murder Mystery (what a mouthful of a description, I know).

Dale—Mo's best friend and a boy from a family where men all have really good hair but are jail-prone—is about the best side-kick I'd have the pleasure to meet in a long time. And Miss Lana, owner
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. ...more
"Never underestimate the power of stupid, Dale."

Finding a new favorite book from a random peruse of my library's audiobook offerings is one of my favorite things to do. I never know what I'm going to find. Middle-grade murder mystery wasn't on my list, but gosh I adored this soooo much. I haven't so desperately wanted a book to be adapted into a movie in a while.

Things I loved:

- The way the town just goes with Mo and Dale being in charge of the diner like it's no big deal.

- Just how the who
When I am reading a first person narrative piece of literature (and in particular, when I am reading prose), first and foremost and with neither exceptions nor ifs, ands or buts generally accepted and allowed, permitted by me, the (and of course usually main) character giving his or her personal (I-pronoun) account of the story at hand absolutely must be talking according to the proper envisioned age group (in other words, in a novel or a short story with a first person narrator, if said charact ...more
Jonathan Peto
Somehow the story did not come together for me, despite many strengths. I’m not even sure I want to speculate what went wrong because it may just come down to individual tastes, individual reactions to the particular mix.

I’ll spare a little time though, describing it, in case you can ascertain where you’d stand. Many people seem to love this book, though a sizable few appear more ambivalent, like me.

Good things include a strong, active main character, Mo LoBeau. There is also a murder, and the w
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those series where I feel slightly apprehensive calling it one of my favorites of all time. I adore it so much, but it’s somewhat silly and young and so much more optimistic than the books I normally fall head over heels for.

But y’know what? I love these stupid, amazing books with my entire heart.

“Except for that, everything is going great. Well," I added. “There’s been a murder and we’re out of soup."

This middle grade series follows the Desperado Detectives, Mo LoBeau and he
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
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
vic (indefinite hiatus)
let's just say that i didn't enjoy this. honestly, the plot didn't appeal to me, it didn't draw me in. most of the events were pretty out of sync and a bit of a mess for me??? it's probably my brain hungover from cheesecake but i didn't enjoy ...more
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
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was somewhat torn in rating this book. There's a lot of good to it: unexpectedly humorous lines from a variety of sources and delivered in multiple styles, a scene or two of domestic confrontation charged with electric energy, a handful of great characters (Dale and Salamander, especially) I won't soon forget. There's a lot to like about Three Times Lucky, and I would definitely give it one and a half stars. I almost even rounded that up to two stars. So I don't want the apparent one-star rati ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Three Times Lucky reads like a soap opera, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's a novel unafraid to go completely over the top, and one has to admire its courage. An orphan washed up in a hurricane, miraculously unharmed? Check. An eccentric man who can't remember his life before a car crash? Check. Kidnapping, robbery, blackmail, murder? Check, check, check, and check.

The result is a book that's almost compulsively readable. The pacing is excellent, and I found it difficult to put d
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,
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kris Patrick
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-2013
I'm not a fan of romanticized small town living. Or town folk-turned-detective. Especially ones that are twelve.

I know that I revisit this often in my shouty reviews... If me, Kristin Marley Patrick, who has been working in children's books for 15+ yrs with a graduate degree in library services for children...who has taught children's literature at the graduate level, teacher of reading and writing... has difficulty following the narrative in a novel written for kids, how in the h e double hock
Nolan Mitchell
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Three Times Lucky is about a girl named Mo who figures out that she was found drifting down stream on a make shift raft during a hurricane. Throughout the book she sends bottles with letters in them addressing her ''Up Stream Mother''. The book started off slow but towards the end it started to get more interesting. I won't tell you the important parts of the story, but there is a criminal on the loose named Slate who later kidnaps the Colonel and Miss Lana, Mo's care takers. Mo and her friend D ...more
This is very much a traditional children’s mystery. It’s got the spunky protagonist, the limited parental oversight, your world where the internet and computers and screens don’t exist, the amusingly named and eccentric minor characters, and of course the child nemesis. But what I found myself noticing is what it doesn’t have: any characters of color, as far as I could tell, or any queer people at all. Because at the heart of this book is the Small Southern Town with a Heart of Gold, where every ...more
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
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, j, realistic, mystery
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
Monica Edinger
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Mason Sundbom
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so amazing and it is suspending
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Great Middle Grad...: BOTM for September is Three Times Lucky 15 37 Oct 22, 2019 10:23PM  
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Other books in the series

Mo & Dale Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #2)
  • The Odds of Getting Even (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #3)
  • The Law of Finders Keepers (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #4)

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