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Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

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Overview

"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

When Sammy finds out that her mother has changed her name, dyed her hair, and shaved ten years off her age, she knows it's time for Lady Lana to get reacquainted with reality.

Sammy hops a bus to Hollywood and finds her mother in deeper trouble than she imagined. Lana's phony persona is crumbling just as she is being considered for the...

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Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

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Overview

"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

When Sammy finds out that her mother has changed her name, dyed her hair, and shaved ten years off her age, she knows it's time for Lady Lana to get reacquainted with reality.

Sammy hops a bus to Hollywood and finds her mother in deeper trouble than she imagined. Lana's phony persona is crumbling just as she is being considered for the part of a lifetime. So when one of Lana's competitors for the big role is found dead in the room next door, Sammy can't help wondering: Is her mother the next likely victim . . . or the prime suspect?

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it's the drama in Sammy's personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.

A Hollywood actress, who had been competing with Sammy's mother for an important role, is murdered, but thirteen-year-old Sammy and her friend Marissa are on the case.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
She's feisty, fearless, and funny -- and she's back for her sixth exciting mystery. This time, Sammy Keyes, the savvy seventh-grade sleuth, and her best friend Marissa head to Hollywood to tackle the biggest mystery of Sammy's life -- her mother. Not only is Sammy shocked to learn that she's changed her name, dyed her hair, and created a life for herself where Sammy doesn't even exist, there's also the matter of an unsolved murder -- and Sammy's determined to get to the bottom of it.
KLIATT
This book in the popular series takes Sammy to Hollywood to be with her mother, an aspiring film actress. It feels like a real shift, with Sammy in a whole new place and surrounded by many new characters. The mystery involves murder this time, and Sammy's mother is in a bad position. Readers of the series will be glad to know more about Sammy's mother, and many may welcome the change of pace and more complex plot. Others may miss the old familiar setting. But never fear, at the end, Sammy is heading back home to her grandmother. Category: Paperback Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Random House, Dell Yearling, 256p.,
— Claire Rosser; KLIATT
Children's Literature
In the sixth book in the "Sammy Keyes Mystery Series," thirteen-year-old Sammy and her friend Marissa hop a Greyhound to Hollywood and begin a search for Sammy's mother who recently moved there to become a star. When the two sleuths find her, they learn that she has changed her name to Dominique Windsor, shaved ten years off her age and transformed herself into a glamorous creature barely recognizable to her daughter. She is living in something akin to a sorority house for movie-star wannabes, run by a domineering man named Max. When a housemate, a rival aspiring actress, is murdered, Sammy's mother becomes the suspect. It is up to Sammy to untangle this web of increasingly disturbing and seedy events. Could her mother be the murderer or the next victim? Sammy, who has the hardened, smart voice of a young girl who has seen more than her share of emotional turmoil, deals with plenty of disturbing themes in the course of this fast-paced read. Abandonment is one theme, of a girl who deserves far better than her mother seems able to give her. Not your average mystery series heroine, Sammy Keyes gives us something to chew on, and something to be thankful for¾substance. 2001, Borzoi Books/Alfred A. Knopf, . Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Karen Deans
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Fans of the Sammy Keyes mysteries will enjoy Tara Sands' spirited telling of Wendelin van Draanen's melodramatic tale of mystery and abandonment (Random, 2001). She does a fine job of bringing the feisty Sammy to life, capturing the heroine's sense of adventure and her longing to connect with her estranged mother. Sammy's mom decided to go to Hollywood to become a star and left Sammy with Gram. Sammy and her friend Marissa take a bus to Hollywood to find her mom. Hoping to find glamour and beauty, the girls encounter a world filled with seedy characters and harsh realities. Sammy's mother, who now calls herself Dominique and wants to pass herself off as a 25-year-old starlet, is not thrilled when Sammy appears. The story offers a satirical look at what it takes for a woman to make it in Hollywood. When one of Dominique's rivals ends up dead, Sammy thinks her mom may have murdered the woman. Many twists and turns follow, keeping listeners hooked. Although the author overplays the message that Hollywood is filled with duplicitous people who should learn to be themselves, fans of the series and of mysteries in general will enjoy this energetic tale.-Brian E. Wilson, Evanston Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440418665
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: Sammy Keyes Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 201,758
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.57 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen actually hopped a bus to Hollywood and climbed out a window on a rope made of clothes to make sure she got all the details right for this book.

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Read an Excerpt

One

I couldn't exactly walk from Santa Martina to Hollywood. Couldn't fly, either—not with the amount of money I had jingling in my jeans, anyway. And since I'm not old enough to drive and didn't want to jump a freight train or hitchhike, there was really only one way out of Santa Martina—the bus.

I'd never been on the bus before. Neither had Marissa. Me, I'd never even been out of Santa Martina. Sure, when Lady Lana was still around, she'd drive me up to Santa Luisa once in a while, but I'm talking out of town. Really out of town. I'd never been.

Marissa McKenze, on the other hand, has been everywhere. From Honolulu to Hoover Dam, she's seen it all. And even though she's been on buses before, they've always been youth-group buses or double-decker tour buses. She'd never actually been on the real bus. That's right, she'd never ridden the Big Dog.

Getting to the Greyhound station wasn't the hard part. Shoot, it's only a few blocks up from the Heavenly Hotel, so it's practically right across the street from Grams'. Well, almost.

The hard part was catching the bus without cutting school. That, and not spilling the beans to Grams. And even though I tried to pack light, my backpack still looked like a laundry duffel, and my lunch sack was so stuffed with peanut butter and jelly, I was afraid it would rip before I made it out the door.

Grams didn't seem to notice, though. She was in the middle of brushing her teeth when I gave her a quick kiss good-bye, so all she could do was say, "Hrmm grumm!" and smile at me through foam.

I hurried to school and found Marissa sneaking into homeroom early with a suitcase.

A pink suitcase.

Now, there are pinks and then there are pinks. Marissa's suitcase was of the flashy flamingo variety. And it wasn't your average snap-close rectangular model, either. It was a big three-foot tube with a handle on top and fat black zippers everywhere. It looked like something out of CeCe's Thrift Store, except that CeCe would never have stocked it. One side was bashed in, and there was a skid mark right across the middle.

Pink or not, zippers or not, this was a problem. "Marissa! You promised me you'd pack light!"

Marissa did a bit of the McKenze dance, squirming from side to side as she whispered, "It wouldn't all fit. What was I supposed to do?"

"But...Marissa, it's pink! And what did you do? Run over the thing on the way to school?"

I might as well have caught her in the act. She blushed. "Well, it was hard to balance. I tried holding it with my legs, but then I couldn't pedal...."

"So you balanced it on your handlebars?"

She shrugged and nodded and blushed some more.

I've been on Marissa's handlebars. It is one wobbly ride, let me tell you. And every time I do it, I wind up looking about as tattered as her suitcase and I swear I'll never do it again.

"Besides, we're going to Hollywood." She checks around to make sure nobody's listening, then sings, "Hol-ly-wood!"

I whisper, "Marissa! We're not going there to get discovered! We're going there to shake some bubbles out of the GasAway Lady's head!"

"Who said anything about getting discovered? People down there are just different. You know, fancy. Didn't you say your mom's staying in some ritzy villa? I don't want to get kicked out for looking like a bum, that's all!"

I look from her to the bulging zippers and back again. "Don't tell me you brought a...a dress!"

She starts dancing a little faster. "As a matter of fact, I've got two."

"Two?"

"One for me and one for you."

I threw my hands up. "Marissa!"

"Well...! I just thought we should be prepared."

"Whatever. Just don't ask me to carry that thing. It makes you look like you're running away from home."

She stashed the suitcase behind the coat rack and threw some lost-and-found clothes on top of it, and that's where it stayed until everyone had filed out after the end-of-school dismissal bell rang. But when Mrs. Ambler saw her digging it out, she did a double take, then asked, "Going away for your three-day weekend?"

Marissa says, "Um, yeah."

"Oh?"

Now, when a teacher says Oh? to you like Mrs. Ambler was saying Oh? to Marissa, you can't just pretend you didn't hear. Or nod and smile and leave it at that. You have to say something. And the longer a teacher stands there with that Oh? lingering in the air, the harder it is to snow her with something less than the truth.

Sure enough, Marissa stammers, "Yeah...we're going to Holly—" She glances at me for help, but it's too late to bail us out. So she finishes, "—wood."

Up went an eyebrow and out came another "Oh?" And then, "You're both going?"

It seemed to me that Mrs. Ambler was going from curious to nosy in an awful hurry, so I started nudging Marissa toward the door, saying, "Yeah, and if we don't get moving, we're going to miss our ride. Have a nice weekend, Mrs. Ambler. See you on Tuesday!"

But she hurried to follow us, locking up the classroom and falling in step beside us. Suddenly she whips around and blocks our path, whispering, "You girls aren't running away, are you?"

I laugh. "Mrs. Ambler! No! We're just going to visit relatives."

She searches my eyes. "Really?"

I say, "Really," and since I'm not lying, there's not much she can do but believe me.

She lets out a big sigh and says, "For a minute there..."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    G

    G

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    PSYCHO!!!

    This is by far, the craziest, willdest, most obscure book in the series so far!!! Murders, hollywood drama, mumies, and sammy keyes

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Thrilling

    This book is so thrilling! I totaly loved it! If you haven't read it, you must!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Sammy is awesome!

    Awesome! Thats the first word l think of when anyone says sammy keyes. This book was lets say a bit creepy in that one scene with the sarcophogus... l think l spelled that wrong but what ever. Sammy really is amazing because well first she saved her moms life!? Hello... that is amazing right there! Actually in almost every book she saves someones life! I also like that sammy brought along with her marissa. But l was hoping that the next book after the curse of mustache mary would be another story with you know casey in it? Im pretty sure lm not the only one that was thinking that... But it was way worth it to read this awesome mystery and to learn more about sammys mysterious mother, her life now and you will see how much sammy really loves her!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    ?

    How many pages is the sample?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Good read

    Awesome book! One of my favorites

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Great book

    She has so many suspects and ends with what you wouldn't suspect. I had to read the book for school and now going to read another.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my fav books

    This is on my top three list of my fav book. It has an absouloutley thrilling plot and Sammy's dialoge has a feisty bite like no other!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing! I love all of the Sammy Keyes books, but this one is a definite keeper!

    Sooooooo good. It was really gripping; I never wanted to put it down. It keeps you alert to what funny thing will happen next. You will never believe how it ends!!! I LOVED IT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    A BRILLIANT page-turner!

    This book was great! Beyond expectations! Blew me away! Better than the Runaway Elf! You just gotta read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    Fantastic Mystery!

    A wonderful page-turner with a thickening plot by the minute.Read Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy and try to figure out the ever- increasing mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    my favorite one in the series

    i read this book first in the series, so that might be why i think it's the best.... but whatever, it's still really really good! actually, all of van draanen's books are super super awesome. i especially enjoyed thinking about who was the murderer as i read this book, and i really couldn't put it down! you'll just LOVE the humor in this book and also the character Sammy Keyes. She's the coolest mystery solver ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    GREAT MYSTERY

    Sammy keyes is reallllly cool. She is like a real 13 year old in real life. I also like how this isnt a little kid book. It is for kids but it is not afriad to add some great drama that older kids enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    This book was great!

    I really enjoyed Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy. It had action and suspense. It is one of my favorite mysteries. I love the way the author writes and is clever in writing mysteries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2005

    Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved this book!It has such a clever ending and is really interesting!Sammy Keyes is fun and sassy.All of her characters are very developed and you can really tell what they are like. you really need to read this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

    this book is good. the mystery never gets boring when Sammy Keys is invloved! this book has so many susp[ects and is a great book evryone in the world should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

    this book throws you off and it has so many twist and turns that even I coulnd't figure it out till the very end of the book. If you are intrested in the ancient Egypt this is the best sammy keys book to read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2004

    This is one of the best books I have read so far

    I so love this book, its so funny and at the same time gets you thinking like a detective.This book will keep you up all night reading until you finish it, thats what happened to me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

    Sammy Keyes is a great mystery book for kids of the ages 10 and up. I'd recommend this book to anyone because it leaves you thinking 'what will happened next'. It is very unpredictable because you'd never guess that Max was bad, and that LeBrandi was ed.I hope you like it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

    Sammy Keyes is a great mystery book for kids of ages 10 and up. I'd recomend this book to anyone because it leaves you thinking 'what will happen next'. It is a very unpredictable book because you'd never guess that Max was bad, and that LeBrandi died. I hope you like it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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