By Sheila Turnage
AR Level 5.2
AR Pts: 4.0.
Word count: 62,217
I recommend 3rd through 6th grade.
This is truly one of my favorite books: quirky characters oozing with unique personality; a quaint setting that is a character in itself; and a mystery that breathes you in. While that’s plenty, my favorite thing about this book is the humor. Now, what one reader finds funny may not appeal to another, so I’ll be specific. The laugh-out-loud lines and scenes in Three Times Lucky are rural in nature, understated, and even dry. (Right up the alley of this country-raised, British-TV-loving boy.)
Description from B/N:
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.
Again, I loved everything about this book. The setting (!), the characters (!!), the humor (!!!), and the incredibly touching story of a young girl who struggles to solve both the mystery of her past and a community crime. Similar reads include The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (for dealing with family and friendship conflicts), Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens (for mystery and quirky friendships), and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (for rural mystery and family discovery).