Friday, March 1, 2013

2013 Newbery Honor Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage

I couldn’t have chosen a better book to begin my Newbery Challenge.  First off, I’ll say that this was on my TBR list for months before it was chosen as a Newbery Honor.  I was thrilled to receive it as a Christmas gift from my sister, but my TBR stack was as huge as a Christmas tree.  I finally had the chance to read it in February.  As a life-long North Carolinian, I was destined to love this book.  I was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the “big city” that was the hometown of Detective Joe Starr.  There is just something about reading a novel set in your home state.
Even at thirty-five years old, I would love to hang out with Mo LeBeau, and while reading this book, it felt like I was with her every step of the way, investigating crimes and serving up peanut butter sandwiches and Mountain Dew.  To me the distinguished part of this book is obviously its characterization.  From the Colonel to Miss Lana to Dale’s mother, each character comes alive on the page.
Mystery has never been my favorite genre, but I remained pretty intrigued throughout the story and didn’t solve the mystery before it was solved in the book.
How does it compare to the other 2013 Newbery books?
I think it is a nice addition and rounds out (in terms of genres) of this year’s winners.  I loved Ivan and Bomb so if I enjoy Splendors and Glooms even half as much, I’ll be able to rank 2013 as being one of my favorite Newbery years.