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1 Beaverton Children's- Newbery Award Winners

Three Times Lucky


Three Times Lucky Cover

ISBN13: 9780803736702
ISBN10: 0803736703
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Chapter 1: Welcome to Nowhere

You ain't gonna believe this, but its true. Were the last two kids in town. In fact, were the only two kids in town. And whats more, since were twins, its almost like there aint even two of us, even though there is. One of us is Jimmy and the other one is Stella, and we dont look too much alike, like some twins do.1.


   We live in the town of Wymore, and Wymore is so small you might as well not even try to find it on a map. The official population is only fifty-one, and that number drops down to forty-nine in the summertime when Pops is on the road and Mom is working what she calls the graveyard shift far off in another county, and were left here to live with our remaining forty-seven grandmas and grandpas.2

   Now a long time back, Wymore had lots more people in it and a real train station where ladies in funny hats and gentlemen with long curly mustaches got off. There was also real stores where you could buy stuff, and even a shoe factory were gonna tell you about real soon. For now, well just tell you that people used to travel right far to buy Gottfried Schuhs Everlasting Shoes. And on account of how far they had to go to get here, some of them folks would stay overnight at the one hotel in town. Back then it was glamorous and shiny as spit and called the Stanley Hotel, until over time the S, the T, the L, and the E on the sign rusted and fell off. Then it became the Any Hotel.3 Thats where everybody in Wymore lives now, and seeing that there aint but 25 rooms, weve all got to squeeze together some and double up and just plain make do.

Last summer we lived in Room #9 because we were nine years old back then. Meanwhile weve moved across the hall to Room #10, and you can probably guess how come. The mattresses are worse there, and the pillows are harder, and the floor squeaks more, and theres no picture in the picture frame up between our two beds, but the screen in the window dont let in no bugs, and now we can overlook the whole town square. Not that much ever happens down there, but if it does, we aint gonna miss it.

The hotel has three floors, and were on the middle floor. And when its not too hot and muggy at night, we sometimes climb up on the roof and pitch a tent. The roofs so flat that there aint no chance of us rolling off it in our sleep. But for the longest time, Mom used to get the all-overs4 about it because of how she was so scared of heights.5 And so we just didnt bother to tell her when we went up there.

Except for the hotel, there aint really anyplace left to go to in Wymore outside of Mabels Café. All the other places that used to be in Wymore are all closed down now. Like there used to be an appliance store and a flower shop and a bank, but theyre gone. And there used to be an auto parts store and a hardware store and a beauty salon, but theyre gone. And there used to be a furniture store and a drugstore and a haberdashery,6 but theyre gone. And there used to  be a  barbershop, but  thats gone  too, although Grandpa Homer and Grandpa Virgil still have their barber-shop duet.

Sometimes we go and play in them old stores, though, especially in summer when days go by slower than a snail riding a turtle. The old furniture store is good for playing tag in on account of all the old busted tables and chairs you can jump over, and theres a rusty stove at the appliance store that we can bake a dust and pebble pie in if we feel like. Sometimes we go to the old drugstore and cough and sneeze and take our temperature with a twig under our armpit and swallow medicine we make ourselves by rolling up little balls of yellow newspaper.7

Robbing the old bank is another way to pass the time around here, but our play money is running low and there aint many grandmas and grandpas left who can stick em up, on account of how their arms just dont move easy anymore. Sometimes we go to the haberdashery and dress up in old, too big, ugly clothes if Grandpa Bert lets us. And sometimes we just think about how nice itd be to go swimming, but Wymore aint got a swimming pool. There aint even a swimming hole somewhere. The town is all dirt and dust and wind and no water.

That leaves Mabels. The café is named after Grandma Mabel, and there aint no one around who can swing a wood spoon like her. And alls you gotta do is taste her checkerboards8 or her Bossy in a bowl9 or a slice of her Eve with a lid on,10 and youll be a customer for life, if not longer.

Now, you mightve noticed we aint said nothing about there being a school in Wymore. Well, you wouldve noticed right, because there aint one. There is an old school building one block off the town square, right next to the old oak tree everybody around here refers to as Old Tom Wood, but there just aint enough kids around here to fill up a school, and so it long since closed its doors. Think about it. How would you like having just two kids in your class and one of them being your sister and the other one being your brother?

But that doesnt mean we get to not go to school. We go five long days a week, nine long months a year, just like you do. In fact, this summer we even got homework. And pretty soon Mr. Buzzard will be coming through town every morning bright and early in his yellow pickup11 to collect us in front of Mabels. We sit out back in a wore-out tire with our bait cans12  in our laps, and he drives us over nine miles of back roads that give our bones a good rattling. Schools up in a place called McFall. Thats the big city around here, with the one traffic light and a general store.

   But we still got some time left to laze about up in Old Tom Wood and ruminate over all that happened this summer. We know our teacher is gonna be asking us what we did, and we wanna be good and ready when she does. Because a summer like ours dont happen but once in a blue moon, especially them six days that changed the course of our lives and the lives of everyone else here in Wymore on account of something called a hippomobile. And heres the story the two of us wanna tell.


1 Even though we got the same bowl cuts.

2 Well explain that one later.

3 Which today has another new name youll learn about soon enough.

4 That means she got nervous.

5 Thats one of the things that was gonna change over the course of this summer.

6 Thats what they used to call a mens clothing store.

7 Weve found out theres only so much old newspaper medicine you can swallow before you get a stomachache.

8 Thats what we call waffles.

9 and thats beef stew.

10 Thats apple pie with a top crust. We aint sure exactly how all these foods got named, but its just one thing youre gonna have to get used to.

11 it used to be red, but we got to help him paint it yellow because everybody knows thats the color of a school bus.

12 Thats what we call lunch boxes. Which is pretty weird on account of that nobody in Wymore has ever gone fishing since there aint no water to fish in.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Beverly B, January 14, 2013 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Mo LoBeau may be my new favorite protagonist, and her best bud, Dale Earnhardt Johnson, may be my new favorite secondary character. Every reader from 10-100 will want to hang with them in their normally sleepy small southern town and join Mo's and Dale's Desperado Dective Agency formed after Mr. Jesse, the town's anti-social curdmudgeon is murdered. Three Times Lucky is a mystery, but it is also a great coming of age story and a heartwarming tale of the eccentric rural south we all know and love from classic southern writers. Mo is an outsider because she "doesn't know who her people are". Dale is an outsider because of his people's history and reputations. What neither of them realizes until the murder, is that the townspeople of Tupelo Landing are a family, and you don't mess with family in Tupelo. Mo is smart, sassy and tenacious. Dale is loyal, hard-working and pragmatic. Together they help, and hinder, the official investigation into the murder, solve some long-held town mysteries, and bring the whole town together. Three Times Lucky is a great book everyone will love.
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bookwoman51, May 9, 2012 (view all comments by bookwoman51)
This is a real page turner. Although it is promoted as a middle reader, the audience appeal will be much wider. There is adventure, southern charm, mysterious goings on and a couple of kids who kept me thoroughly entertained. Take a small town cafe in a place in North Carolina where everybody knows everybody's name and their business, add in a lawman and his female deputy, an unexpected murder, a race car driver named Lavender, an Upstream mother and messages in bottles, the crochety yet beloved Colonel, and a strong smart girl who calls herself Mo LoBeau; mix it up in a great big pottery bowl, throw it is Miss Lana's oven and you've got a story that practically tells itself. Three Times Lucky is a terrific summer read; quite simply, a winner!
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Product Details

Turnage, Sheila
Dial Books for Young Readers
Tapia, Jeff
Sheila Turna
Friedman, Michal
Mysteries & Detective Stories
Children s Middle Readers-General
Situations / Friendship
Humorous Stories
Children s humor
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 5
7.75 x 5.06 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 10

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Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners

Three Times Lucky Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Dial Books for Young Readers - English 9780803736702 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Eleven years ago, Mo LoBeau arrived in Tupelo Landing, N.C., a newborn baby girl washed downstream during a hurricane and rescued by 'the Colonel,' a stranger who can't remember anything about his own past. Both are taken in by Miss Lana, owner of the Tupelo Cafe. Mo (short for Moses) loves the Colonel and Lana, but she can't curb her curiosity: isn't anybody missing a lucky newborn? Mo scratches this itch by sending messages in bottles to her 'Upstream Mother.' Into this implausible but hilarious premise arrives an out-of-town detective, a dead body (cafe customer Mr. Jesse), a long-forgotten bank robbery, and a kidnapping. This much plot might sink a story, but Turnage makes it work. Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn't put to good use. Miss Lana's voice is 'the color of sunlight in maple syrup,' while 'umors swirl around the Colonel like ink around an octopus.' But it's Mo's wry humor that makes this first novel completely memorable. 'Boredom kills,' she suggests as Mr. Jesse's cause of death. 'I've had close brushes myself, during math.' Ages 10 — up. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski, the Knight Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A hilarious, eccentric young middle-grade novel narrated by twins Jimmy and Stella about their campaign to save the town of Wymore (pop. 49) by restoring the amazing Hippomobile. Comic flourishes include far-out diner slang, with explanatory footnotes.
"Synopsis" by ,
There are many stories about kid crusaders who save something, but none like this one. With steampunk, tall tale, and just plain silly elements, the story of how ten-year-old twins Jimmy and Stella found out about the unique vehicle called the hippomobile, learned its history, and then used it to rescue their beloved town of Wymore is an original variant on a tried and true theme. A cast of wildly eccentric characters, most of whom are the twins' forty-seven grandmas and grandpas; a liberal sprinkling of diner slang and odd colloquial phrases, many explained in footnotes; and a sense that the events described never took place but could have are among the surprising ingredients of this unconventional creation. The fact that there really was a hippomobile with its own history doesn't interfere with the fun.
"Synopsis" by ,
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 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.

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