Dracula Madness (Sam and Friends Series #1)

Overview

In the first book in the Sam and Friends Mystery graphic novel series, Dracula Madness, Jennie meets Samantha, the sheepdog belonging to her new next-door neighbors. No ordinary dog, Sam is a detective with a nose for sniffing out a mystery even in a small town as uneventful as Woodford. No ordinary girl, Jennie has a special connection with this dog -- Jennie can read Sam's thoughts. After Jennie and her friend Beth show Sam the creepiest house in town, the dog detective is on the case. The weird owner of the ...
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Overview

In the first book in the Sam and Friends Mystery graphic novel series, Dracula Madness, Jennie meets Samantha, the sheepdog belonging to her new next-door neighbors. No ordinary dog, Sam is a detective with a nose for sniffing out a mystery even in a small town as uneventful as Woodford. No ordinary girl, Jennie has a special connection with this dog -- Jennie can read Sam's thoughts. After Jennie and her friend Beth show Sam the creepiest house in town, the dog detective is on the case. The weird owner of the house, McIver, must be ? Dracula. Who else would never go outside and never turn the lights on? Why else would bats be flying around his yard? This McIver definitely has something to hide. But is he really a vampire? Fueled by odd combinations of junk food, Sam's boundless energy and fertile imagination sometimes lead everyone a little astray. But even if the mystery turns out to be something less than mysterious, when Sam and friends are on the case, adventure is never far behind.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
A nice choice for young mystery fans looking for graphic-novel options.
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Sam is a special dog who loves really weird food like ketchup on popcorn and chocolate pudding with ketchup. Yuck! As the story opens, Sam is upset because she has had to move to a new neighborhood, and she is afraid she will not like it. When Jennie, the girl next door, meets the new family, arrangements are made for her to take Sam on walks. During one of the walks, Jennie and her friend Beth take Sam to a scary place with bats and a big, old house owned by Mr. MacIver. This is not a good place to be. The next time they go out, Jennie realizes that she is one of the few people on earth that can hear Sam's thoughts, and Sam can understand everything Jennie is saying. The three of them decide that the owner of the old house might be Dracula. After all, who never goes outside and never turns lights on? While the trio is "casing the place," a large box is delivered to Mr. MacIver, and the three of them decide to investigate when it is dark. When Jenny looks through the basement window, she see something inside the box that has a lot of hair, a nose and mouth that stick out like a long hose, and eyes that looked directly at her. The reader must finish the book find out what happens next. This is a great addition for a young mystery lover, and the black and white graphics add much to the enjoyment of the story. This is Book 1 in this graphic novel series. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5

This entertaining story, based on Labatt's Spying on Dracula (Kids Can, 1999), blends mystery with gentle spookiness to create a satisfying whole. Samantha is a charmingly self-centered sheepdog who fancies herself a detective. After moving to the small town of Woodford with her owners, she quickly bonds with Jennie, the 10-year-old next door, who has the unique ability to hear Sam's thoughts. When Jennie and her friend Beth take Sam to the scariest house in town, inhabited by the reclusive McIver, the trio begins to investigate the man's odd behavior. It isn't long before his actions, and Beth's imagination, lead them to believe that he's Dracula. As is often the case with childhood fears, the facts are not as mysterious, or as spooky, as they appear. The black-and-white artwork is anime-inspired. While not remarkable, the crisp, effective illustrations pair nicely with the well-paced writing, giving the story a smooth flow. The presence of three intelligent, brave female characters will make this title appealing to girls.-Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Samantha's no ordinary sheepdog; she has a nose for a mystery. When her people move her to boring old Woodford, she's sure nothing exciting will ever happen to her again. However, when Jennie, the girl next door, is hired to walk Sam, the two find out that Jennie can hear Sam's thoughts. Joined by Jennie's friend Beth, they investigate the reclusive Mr. McIver, who never leaves his spooky house. Imaginations kick into overdrive when Jennie sees what looks like a monster through Mr. McIver's window. Based on Spying on Dracula (2000), the first of an eight-book series of mysteries featuring former early-reader star Sam the puppy, Sam and Jennie's graphic adventures have likely only just begun. Canadian Labatt's story adapts well to the graphic form. Rioux's manga-influenced black-and-white illustrations will engage reluctant readers and graphic fans alike, and readers of Elizabeth Levy's Something Queer and Fletcher Mysteries series will eat this up. With only the mildest of chills and a thoroughly endearing protagonist, this is recommended for most graphic-fiction collections serving active young readers. (Graphic fiction. 7-11)
From the Publisher
A nice choice for young mystery fans looking for graphic-novel options.

A nice choice for young mystery fans looking for graphic-novel options.

The presence of three intelligent, brave female characters will make this title appealing to girls.

The presence of three intelligent, brave female characters will make this title appealing to girls.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553373032
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Series: Sam and Friends Series, #1
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Labatt is an editor and writer. She is the author of the Dog Detective Sam mystery series, the Sam and Friends graphic mystery novels, the Puppy Sam level one early readers and a novel called A Puppy is for Loving. With all these dog books you can guess what Mary does on her Clear Creek, Ontario farm. She breeds and raises Rough Collies and Welsh Springer Spaniels. In the picture you can see Mary with two of her collie mothers, Annabel and Chloe.

Jo Rioux previously illustrated the Sam & Friends Mysteries. Her love for the graphic novel medium led her to start writing her own series, Cat's Cradle. When she is not at her drawing desk, Jo can be found nestled in a pile of books. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

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