Last year, I returned from #ALA12 with a book I knew little about, but which looked great while browsing the stacks. That book was great and I wasn't the only one who thought so, it won a Newbery Honor Award. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage is a gem. You can read my reflection here.
This year, at #ALA13, I heard about the early bound manuscripts of The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, the sequel to Three Times Lucky. I hot footed it to the Penguin Booth and got myself a copy.
Yesterday was rainy. Yesterday was a reading day. A full-on - curled-into-the-couch, tea-consuming, cookie-munching - reading day.
I am so glad I had ample time to spend with Mo and Dale, Miss Lacy Thornton, Miss Lana and the Colonel, and many other Tupelo Landing friends and foes alike. I love leaving my New England surroundings behind and spending a little time down south, in Sheila Turnage's wonderfully crafted town of Tupelo Landing. I even picked up a few "social skills" (you will understand this reference when you read the book).
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing feels like picking back up with friends you haven't seen in a while -- not much has changed, but a lot is going on.
Sheila Turnage spins a great yarn. I cannot wait to put this ghost story, which will be sufficiently scary for my, "Do you have an scary books?" readers. The sale of an abandoned inn, along with its resident ghost, stirs up painful memories and buried history. I don't want to give much away, suffice to say, all the characters, living and dead, are equally endearing.
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing reminds me of Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton, a book I read over and over again as a young child. But The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing is not just a ghost story, like Three Times Lucky, it is a story of significance and much more depth. It explores: how truth and rumor impact our lives; the gift of forgiveness (whether it is due or not); the pain and confusion, but also freedom of letting go; and, ultimately, what it means to be part of a community.
This book will satisfy any readers of it's predecessor. I have no doubt there will be a queue forming to the left...