Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

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Overview

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 ...
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Pine Plains, New York, U.S.A. 2003 Audio CD Good Audio Book 4 AUDIO CDs withdrawn from the library collection. Each CD is polished for your satisfaction for worthwhile set. Some ... library marking, sticker and stamp to the clamshell case. Enjoy this reliable Audio CD performance. Read more Show Less

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Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

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Overview

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.

Wendelin Van Draanen is the winner of the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery Book for Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief and lives with her husband and two sons in California.

Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sammy, an intrepid girl detective, discovers a number of secrets about the hotel across the street from her home. "The solution will likely come as a surprise, and the sleuth delights from start to finish," said PW. Ages 10-13. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Jackie Hechtkopf
Sammy lives with her grandmother in a seniors only building. That means she sleeps on the couch and all her things must stay tucked away in one bottom drawer. It also means she has to sneak in and out of the building to avoid a nosy neighbor. Sammy doesn't let these inconveniences stop her. Nothing stops Sammy Keyes. She lives an action-packed life of excitement she either finds or creates. In this mystery series debut, Sammy witnesses a robbery while spying with binoculars. Realizing that the thief looks oddly familiar, she waves, and the chase begins. The fast-paced mystery and its resolution are peppered with funny interactions with friends, suspects, and an ongoing conflict with a girl named Heather. Sammy's snappy voice is distinctive throughout. This quick-witted girl has an assertive personality kids will love but teachers may question. Sammy is so feisty, she thinks hitting another girl in the nose is a stupid reason to be suspended. At the end of the book, she engineers a public humiliation of her enemy and the vice-principal that is so complete, other students congratulate her for punching Heather out. A fun book for individual pleasure but not a classroom reader.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-In this recording of the first Sammy Keyes mystery by Wendelin Van Draanen (Knopf, 1998), actress Tara Sands brings the irrepressible Sammy to life. She gets the phrasing and timing just right, and manages to sound like a 13-year-old girl without overdoing it. She conveys the other characters' voices well, too, especially the flamboyant Gina, a.k.a. "Madame Nashira," victim of the hotel burglary Sammy witnesses in the first chapter. Sammy careens from one adventure to another--getting suspended from school on the first day of seventh grade, nearly getting her grandmother kicked out of a seniors-only apartment building, and sneaking onto the roof of the mall--all the while pursuing clues to the identity of the hotel thief. Fans of the series will enjoy this recording, and it is likely to create new fans as well.-Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, Morgan Hill, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Horn Book Magazine
Samantha Keyes is one tough, smart, resourceful seventh grader-capable of holding her own against Mrs. Graybill, her nosy, suspicious neighbor (Sammy lives, surreptitiously, with her grandmother in a seniors-only complex); her nasty nemesis-classmate, Heather Acosta; the condescending policeman who heads the investigation into the theft Sammy witnesses; and, of course, the thief himself. Sammy is also pretty impetuous (there's a lot of "what I should have done was...but..."), which Van Draanen makes clear from the opening scene: as Sammy trains her Gram's binoculars on the burglary-in-progress at the hotel across the street, the thief looks up and sees her through the window; rather than call the police, Sammy waves. Events snowball from there as Sammy bests horrible Heather by uncovering the scam she is trying to pull at Sammy's expense, and deduces (through Van Draanen's clever and uncondescending clues) the surprising identity of the thief -- all while trying to avoid getting caught by Mrs. Graybill, suspended from school, or yelled at by Gram. Sammy, with her self-reliant personality and breezy first-person narration, is clearly the literary by-product of the better sort of fast-food adult mysteries such as Sue Grafton's . . .series, and Van Draanen has captured the adult-mystery knack of making the investigator's character and private life at least as interesting and complex as the plot. This may be light fare, but it's the kind you want to gobble up quickly-and in quantities.
Kirkus Reviews
Van Draanen (How I Survived Being a Girl, 1997) debuts a live-wire young sleuth in this nonstop whodunit. The day before starting seventh grade, Samantha peers through her grandmother's binoculars and spots the latest in a rash of burglaries. The burglar spots her right back, setting in motion a headlong chain of events that, over the next few days, takes Sammy and her rich but loyal friend Marissa from back alleys to the roof of the local mall in an effort to finger the crook while escaping his clutches. Meanwhile, Sammy also has to cope with a hostile police officer, a new school, malicious classmate Heather, and in the seniors-only high-rise where she lives with Grams while her own mother pursues a Hollywood career, a suspicious neighbor. Heather's villainy and subsequent public humiliation may be overdone, but Van Draanen expertly keeps all the subplots at a rolling boil while strewing the tale with red herrings, suspects, and clever clues. Children will admire Sammy's inadvertent genius for ruffling feathers as much as they'll like her sharp powers of observation and deduction; she is a tough new gumshoe with another caper scheduled for fall.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874998757
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Series: Sammy Keyes Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Wendelin Van Draanen is the winner of the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery Book for Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief and lives with her husband and two sons in California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wendelin Van Draanen's best work.

    As you know there are many Sammy Keyes books out now, the most recent one being Sammy Keyes and Cold Hard Cash
    ...
    Anyone who has heard of this book but still hasn't read it, well read it now. I promise you that you will be begging for more and thats alright because there are a lot of books but REMEMBER this book is good for everyone, even adults.

    Happy Reading

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    A suspenseful mystery!

    SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF Sammy Keyes is a typical 7th grader. She just entered a new school with lots of people in it. Helen just happens to be one of them. Helen is a snooty mean girl, and it just so happens that Helen hates Sammy. Sammy has to stay inside because she is living in the old people¿s home with her grandmother. She is not supposed living there, because there is a nasty old neighbor who wants to catch them in the act of living there. Sammy wants to go outside because she starts school tomorrow. So Sammy is bored and she takes out her binoculars to look outside. There is a thief or what looks like it across the street in the hotel¿ I liked the book because the author was really good at making you feel like you were there. I also think that the book was a little too long, because I wanted the plot to happen a little faster. It made me want to keep reading it to find out who the thief was. Most of the feelings that Sammy feels I can relate to. Over all I think it was ok.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    This Book was Great!!!

    I loved this book! It was great! And the other books are awesome, too Sammy is feisty, fearless, determined, and is an avid high-top fan!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Totally awesome!

    I really liked this book and thought it was good. Again it's not one of my favorites but I think the author did a good job writing it. Always put in ad least one decent compliment.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2005

    GREATEST BOOK

    this book is really really good i liked it alot and i would recommend it to anybody

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    It was so good!

    My mom and i were at the Barnes and Noble and she said 'How about this book?' And pointed to the Sammy Keys book. So we bought it. I read it and i thought it was SO good!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Hum...

    I have the book already in real life. Dont want to pay again! Love the book. Should have a way to convert it, like with a code

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    I loved this book!

    Sammy Keyes is sooooo amazing! She does some things i could never do she is so talented and spirited. Wendilan Van Draanen is an amazing author. Flipped is a really good book too:)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2004

    Totally rad book!!!!

    We read this book during our oral read time at school. We thought this book deserved to be read and read again. We thought this book was exciting and thrilling. We think this book prepares us to handle some situations we will face in junior high. We are reading the other books as well and think they are great too.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    I loved this book!!!!

    This book rocked! I did it for a book report and first I thought it was stupid but know that I read it it's great! It is suspensful, has lots of action, and is funny all at the same time!!!! This book ROCKS!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    Awesome!

    I read the whole book in one afternoon because it was so good. Fantastic!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Never stop reading!

    I absolutely luv this series! Right now im reading the night of skulls and cant wait to read the rest of the series! Wendelin van draanen keep on making more books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    Good book

    I have no read all of the sammy keys but I have read som eif them They are the best book you can read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    A great read!

    A terrific choice for both reluctant and eager readers. Sammy is an engaging character with a lively, engaging voice. The identity of the mystery kept me guessing until nearly the end. A slim book, it will not put off children who might be intimidated by a fatter volume, and it is very likely to whet the appetite for more books about Sammy. Happily, there are many.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Anoynomous

    I love love love this story so much I almost fainted!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was on my daughter¿s summer reading list between 4th a

    This book was on my daughter’s summer reading list between 4th and 5th
    grade. We read it together and loved it. Inquisitive and resourceful,
    Samantha (Sammy) Keyes makes a great tween protagonist. We decided to
    read the second book in the series (The Curse of Moustache Mary) as a
    family, including my husband in the fun. Then we listened to the next
    two (Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things and Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard
    Cash) on CD in the car as we travelled for our summer vacation. Because
    the characters and relationships develop through the series, it’s best
    to take the books in order.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Eh

    Ok kinda dorky though

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Read this

    Best ever

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2004

    I'm so glad i finally read it!!!

    This book sat on my shelf in my bedroom for about three years. then one day after finnishing the book flipped there was nothing to read, so realizing the books had the same author I thought i'd give it a try. it ended up being a really good book so now i'm glad i finally read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2004

    Funny and Suspenseful

    While living with her grandmother in a nursing home, as in The Mixed up Files, Sammy is not allowed to live in the facility (museum) and must sneak in and out. The rest home is across the street from a ¿seedy¿ hotel, where Sammy Keyes discovers a secret while spying on the questionable characters coming and going from the hotel. Sammy is a very likable and funny character and she often finds herself in trouble. This book has a surprising ending, which makes Sammy an intriguing character and prompts young readers to continue reading the Sammy Keyes series. This book also won the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children¿s Mystery Book. Other books suitable for the same age range are listed below.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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