Book Review – Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

“Three Times Lucky” is the fun and quirky tale of want to be detective Mo LoBeau.  Mo who’s real name is Moses, is set for a summer of adventure with her friend Dale.  Things change real quick in the tiny town of Tupelo Landing when the law shows up and someone is murdered.  Mo is determined to solve the crime.  Soon things turn topsy-turvy when Dale is suspected as the murderer, the Colonel leave town, and then Miss Lana goes missing.

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During all the investigations and helping Dale stay out of jail, we learn about Mo and how she was found by the Colonel during a hurricane.  Mo searches for her mother by throwing notes in a bottle, upstream of course.  The close-knit community always makes sure to take on of Mo’s bottles when they venture out of Tupelo Landing.

Three Times Lucky will appeal to any adventure lover and amateur detective.   Sheila has packed her novel full of characters you’d expect to meet if you ever travel to Tupelo Landing.  There’s suspense, a treasure,  fear, sadness, joy, and justice.  Mo is truly three times lucky.

Buy a copy here:  Amazon, Barnes and Nobel or ask for it at your local bookstore.

 

 

 

Middle Grade Reader Scary Bedtime Stories – If You Dare

In a follow up to last week’s post “Scary Bedtime Stories – If You Dare” which was geared toward younger readers,  this  week’s scary bedtime stories are for middle grade readers.  These are spooky, scary, magical and mysterious – your middle grader may want to sleep with the lights on.

Again, jump up on a comfy mattress, get a blanket to cover yourself up, a flashlight and maybe a teddy bear or something else to cuddle, and start reading.

Wait Till Helen Comes 

by Helen Downing Hahn

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This book is a little older, written in 1986 but it still packs a punch for scary.  Molly and her brother Michael have a step-sister, Heather, that they don’t really like and with good reason.  She has made their lives miserable ever since their parents got married.  And, to make life worse for Molly and Michael, they’ve moved to a new house in the country.  The new house, just happens to be an old church and has a cemetery in the back yard. Spooky enough already.  But, the story really gets creepy when Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and she starts warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them.  Dark secrets, ghosts, graves and a creepy step-sister will keep you scared through-out the entire book.

 

The Mostly True Story of Jack

by Kelly Barnhill

 

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One of my favorites!   Jack is sent away to live in Hazelwood, Iowa with his aunt and uncle, who are very STRANGE.  Jack doesn’t expect much for his summer, except a boredom because usually he goes unnoticed, like he’s invisible.   Little does he know, the town of Hazelwood has been waiting for him for a long time. Creeped out yet?   Almost immediately upon arrival he makes three new friends, who just happen to be imaginary.  Jack also becomes the the center of attention to the town bully and the richest man in town who want Jack gone.   Don’t be fooled,  this book is chocked full of  suspense, twists and turns, magic and deeply rooted secrets.  I don’t want to give too much away, but look close at the cover, the creepy house, the tentacle like roots and Jack’s three friends following him on bikes.

 

Long Lankin

by Lindsey  Barraclough

 

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This one comes from the other side of the pond, Great Britain,  and takes place during WWII.  I like to call this a good old fashioned horror tale, it will keep you up at night.  Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdo.  Auntie Ida is rigid and unfriendly.  The girls want nothing to do with Auntie Ida and the village, they want to go home  to London.   The reason they were sent to live with Aunt Ida to live, is to keep them safe from the bombs being dropped all over London.  But living in the isolated village with Aunt Ida is a fate which is worse than being back in London.  The sisters soon discover the evil curse and that their aunt’s life which was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall.   Cora makes friends with Roger and Peter, two village boys, and together they uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries.   Little do they know the curse is about to come full circle and it’s up to the group of friends to put a stop to it.

I think these three selections are enough to keep any middle grader scared and riveted at the same time.  Just make sure you have plenty of room in your bed when they come running from the nightmares.

 

Book Review: Frankie Dupont and the Lemon Festival Fiasco

Frankie is at it again in Frankie Dupont and the The Lemon Festival Fiasco. Quick paced story jumps right into the action. The author, Julie Anne Grasso has crafted clever and quirky characters that kids will enjoy. In this episode Frankie starts by trying to find out who put poison in the lemon pie after the head master is unknowing given a piece of  the pie. Then, the lemon trees at Enderby Manor begin to die right before the Lemon Festival, putting the festival at risk.

Ebook Lemon Festival Fiasco cover final Low Res 14 March 2015

 

Frankie with the help of his friends, Kat, Lachy and Frankie’s faithful dog gets  to the bottom of the mystery. Frankie uses clues, his investigative tools and skills he learned from his parents to find out who done it. Although, he does jump to a few wrong conclusions, the mystery keeps moving forward and keeps the young reader engaged. I’m not a fan of the artwork inside, but I think any middle grade reader (boy or girl) will enjoy this book.

To purchase a Kindle copy click here.

To find out more about the author Julie Anne Grosso and her other books click here.

 

Book Review: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Not really sure Walk Two Moon  needs a review, it’s a Newbery Medal winner.

But, I will continue since I found this book captivating.  Sharon weaves several stories into one and keeps the middle grade reader captivated.

The story starts out with Sal on a road trip with her Grandparents, which the destination and purpose of is discovered as the story moves along. Sal keeps her forever in love grandparents entertained with her story of Pheobe and her story with her strange neighbor Mrs. Cadaver, mysterious, a stranger who may be a maniac, mysterious notes and a missing mother.  Sal soon learns as she travels with her grandparents and  tells her stories about the strange parallel between Pheobe’s life and hers.   I can’t say too much with out giving away the plot but here are a few quotes:

“Huzza, huzza.”  One of Gramps favorite lines

“Everyone has his own agenda.” Mysterious Message

“Sometimes you know in your heart you love someone, but you have to go away before your head can figure it out.” Sal

Available at Barnes and Nobel: click here

Book Review: Destiny, Rewritten

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathyrn Fitzmaurice is wonderfully written story set in Berkeley CA, about a Emily, a young girl who’s mother has decided her destiny is to become a poet.  Having been named Emily, after Emily Dickenson, her destiny is to become a poet, or so her mother thinks.  Emily tries to figure out if a person can change or rewrite their destiny.  I was enthralled with the story, as it became more of a mystery to me as Emily attempted to locate a book of poetry that was lost.  During her search for the book she discovers a lot about herself, her friends and family.  Chapters are short, so if you have a reluctant reader they will enjoy.  The back stories are interesting too.  I thought it clever of the author to have Emily write letters to her favorite romance novelist, Danielle Steele. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but it’s a happy ending.