Books: 'Three Times Lucky': a Southern Mystery for Kids

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"Three Times Lucky," by Sheila Turnage, for ages 10 and up.

Imagine being washed ashore in a hurricane as a baby and never knowing who your mother was.

That's what happened to Mo LoBeau, who as the book starts has just finished fifth grade and is ready to enjoy a wonderful summer in Tupelo Landing, N.C., with her adoptive family, the Colonel and Miss Lana, and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III.

But Mo and Dale's plans for summer fun get derailed by wild events. Author Sheila Turnage says she loved the summer when she was a child, but "it would be hard to have a summer as exciting as Mo's! In 'Three Times Lucky,' Mo's summer includes a murder, a kidnapping, a car crash, a search for her long-lost mother. That's hard to beat!"

Ms. Turnage remembers books being a huge part of her childhood summers.

"I grew up on a farm in eastern North Carolina, where it's super hot in summer -- often too hot to go outside and play in early afternoon. So I'd settle in with library books.

"And occasionally a bookmobile showed up loaded with books! I loved the bookmobile! It was like an ice cream truck, only with books inside. Delicious!"

Turnage says that summer reading is very special even for adults. "In summer I feel like a little kid again, climbing the steps into the bookmobile to see what treats wait inside," she said. "So in summer I say read what excites you! Read something fun!"

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First Published July 2, 2012 12:00 AM


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