Sammy Keyes and
the Power of Justice Jack.
I'm Wendelin, author of the Sammy Keyes mysteries. Sammy's story starts
with Hotel Thief, then winds through Halloween and the holidays
in Skeleton Man, Sisters of Mercy (you've gotta sing that title!)
and Runaway Elf. Then comes The Curse of Moustache Mary,
a sort of Wild West story which twists and turns around the Edge of the
World. Next is Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy, where Sammy
and Marissa hop the Greyhound to Los Angeles to shake some bubbles out
of the Gas-Away Lady's head (you know who I'm talking about, right? Her
mom!) and come face to face with a real live mummy! In Sammy Keyes
and the Search for Snake Eyes, Sammy's got a new neighbor (who falls
off toilets) to deal with, the Junior Sluggers' Cup tournament to compete
in (with Heather!), and Gangster Girls to avoid. You won't believe what
Sammy gets into!
The next book is Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception. Think bad
art, a renaissance faire, and (back by popular demand) Casey. Which, of
course, is gonna fry that vicious Heather to a crisp! But fish are flying
(right into Ms. Acosta), bandits are hiding, and Grams is teaming up with
Sammy to dig up clues.
The ninth book is Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen. It’s
Sammy’s birthday book, but gee, what a birthday—Dorito (Sammy’s
cat) goes missing, Sammy discovers dead cats in Dumpsters around town,
and Sammy’s mother returns to break some very bad news. Add a pro-wrestling
school (where Sammy learns moves that she can use on You-Know-Who!) a
good-luck charm from Heather’s brother, and you’ve got non-stop
The tenth in the series (and the half-way point!) is Sammy
Keyes and the Dead Giveaway. It’s the end of 7th grade, and
for once Heather gets blamed for something Sammy did. Will Sammy confess?
Or let Heather stew in the sweet juices of revenge? Add to this moral
dilemma an end-of-the-year dance which Casey asks Sammy to, a band of
teen-pirates, eminent domain (of all things) and a mystery so deadly
and, uh, stinky, that even Sammy’s never uncovered anything like
it. A real page-turner!
The eleventh book released, is Sammy
Keyes and the Wild Things. In this backpacking adventure, Sammy’s
first mistake is trading in her high-tops for hiking boots, but blisters
become the least of her worries as she and a friend get lost in the woods
and have to face rattlesnakes, ticks, scorpions, killer trees, boys,
oh, yeah…a dangerous condor poacher.
The latest book is Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash. Sammy has three wads of cold hard cash in her hot little hands. But the old guy who gave them to her begged her to throw them away. With his last dying breath. Which he was taking because Sammy had just scared the life right out of him. So...she's got to get this man some help. She's got to do it without being seen herself. And she's got to figure out how to stash
Aw, c'mon! You'd keep the money too. . . . right?
If you’ve never tried a Sammy Keyes adventure/mystery—pick
up any one that sounds good to you—you don’t have to read
them in order. And if you’ve already read all of them (wow!)
try my non-Sammy books: There’s Swear to Howdy, a great
choice for middle school boys and a story that’s been called “Tom
Sawyer with consequences”; Flipped, a romantic comedy
with alternating boy/girl chapters that I know will make you laugh (and,
I hope, think), and Runaway, the story
of the homeless girl Sammy befriends in Sammy Keyes and the Sisters
Keep reading, ‘cause readers rock!
Wendelin Van Draanen
(And no, I didn't make that name up. Blame my mom!)
P.S. If you have someone 2nd-5th grade in your life, be a superhero :)
and introduce them to the Shredderman titles!