Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage

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 own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. 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.

Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.

Sometimes I lose track of time. Other times, I fear I'm simply lost in time as we know it. When it comes to Sheila Turnage's new middle grade novel, Three Times Lucky, I've been both early and late in my timeliness. Early, because I had the enormous pleasure of getting to read Sheila's utterly delightful debut last August (was that really when it was?) when I received it before it was even an ARC. Late, because the book was released weeks ago (with three starred reviews!) and I'm only now coming out of my hermit-writer cave to sing its praises.

When Three Times Lucky arrived for me to read and blurb, it came as a fully edited and formatted story, but one printed on loose sheets of letter sized paper bound together with a rubber band. But those lovely white pages were filled with the most delicious arrangements of words, describing a bevy of quirky characters--led by the hysterical and stout-hearted Mo LoBeau...


To be unabashedly honest, my personal collection of loose Three Times Lucky pages still decorates my bedroom floor, where I left it in a heap of rapidly-turned-and-flung-over-the-arm-of-my-chair papers... and yes, it now becomes painfully obvious that I need a housekeeper--badly--but I prefer to think that I simply love knowing that the story is still right where I left it, in the same whirlwind-jumble of affectionately tossed pages.

In closing, all I have to say is: If the fate of the world rested on a single jaw-slacking simile, I would want Sheila Turnage to craft it.



For more about Sheila and her book, check out Katherine Erskine's interview with this talented new voice in children's literature.


Or, head on over to Sheila's website: www.sheilaturnage.com