THIS IS NOT the summer camping trip of Sammy’s dreams. She imagined shade, streams, a deer or two. But she winds up in a phony forest with scrubby shrubs, blazing sun, rattlesnakes, and scorpions. Her fellow campers are desperate to catch a rare glimpse of an endangered condor in the wild. Sammy’s seen enough—that bird is ugly!
But when she and two other girls find an injured condor, Sammy’s intrigued. The girls stray away from their group to track down a clue, but instead stumble onto two classmates and wind up lost. Which leaves three girls and two boys in the middle of a canyon with one tent and six billion biting flies. Oh—and an armed and dangerous high-stakes poacher.
About Wendelin Van Draanen
Books have always been a part of Wendelin Van Draanen’s life. Her mother taught her to read at an early age, and she has fond memories of story time with her father, when she and her brothers would cuddle up around him and listen to him read stories.
Growing up, Van Draanen was a tomboy who loved to be outside chasing down adventure. She did not decide that she wanted to be an author until she was an adult. When she tried her hand at writing a screenplay about a family tragedy, she found the process quite cathartic and from that experience, turned to writing novels for adults. She soon stumbled upon the joys of writing for children.
Feedback from her readers is Van Draanen’s greatest reward for writing. “One girl came up to me and told me I changed her life. It doesn't get any better than that,” she said. Van Draanen hopes to leave her readers with a sense that they have the ability to steer their own destiny—that individuality is a strength, and that where there's a will, there's most certainly a way.
Her first book was published in 1997, and since then her titles have won many awards. Now in its sixteenth installment, the Sammy Keyes Mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery five times, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief bringing home the statue. Additionally, she has won the Christopher medal for Shredderman: Secret Identity, the California Young Reader Medal for Flipped, and the Schneider Family Book Award for The Running Dream. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, Shredderman became a Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie, and Flipped was released as a feature film, directed by Rob Reiner. She lives in California with her husband and two sons. Her hobbies include the “Three R’s”: Reading, Running and Rock ’n’ Roll.
Born January 6 in Chicago, IL
Forklift driver, coach (sports), musician, high school math and computer science teacher
Inspiration for writing
The past, the future, and the struggle for a happy ending!
. . . food: sushi
. . . clothes to wear: Sneakers, shorts, and sweatshirts
. . . colors: Emerald green with a splash of midnight blue
“Quick-witted banter makes this a fast-paced joyride of a read. Think a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and you’ll be right on target.”—School Library Journal
“A winning series about a smart, brave young sleuth.”—Booklist
NOMINEE 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel