Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

4.2 24
by Wendelin Van Draanen

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

The Christmas parade gets furry in a hurry when three pranksters dressed as wise men toss some cats onto Sammy's float. Dogs shoot off in all directions, and the prize Pomeranian Sammy's supposed to be watching

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

The Christmas parade gets furry in a hurry when three pranksters dressed as wise men toss some cats onto Sammy's float. Dogs shoot off in all directions, and the prize Pomeranian Sammy's supposed to be watching disappears. Turns out the darn fuzzball's been kidnapped. The owner is demanding that Sammy find her doggone dog . . . and she's a woman who knows how to get what she wants.

But Sammy's a pretty tough cookie herself. Dognappers, blackmailers, and wise men be warned!

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sammy Keyes is the mystery sensation of the year."—Buffalo News

"A high-quality, high-amp mystery series."—The Horn Book

"The sleuth delights from start to finish."—Publishers Weekly

To quote KLIATT's Jan. 2000 review of the hardcover edition: More Sammy Keyes! Her intelligence and courage continue in this fourth book in the series. Sammy is in the eighth grade, struggling to hide her presence in the senior housing where she lives illegally with her grandmother. In fact, someone is blackmailing her in this mystery, with the threat of exposure and the eviction of her grandmother. So, she is forced to take on the case here: recovering a dog that has been abducted from its owner, an especially obnoxious wealthy woman. The kidnappers are asking for $50,000 or they will kill the beloved pet. The same wonderful supporting cast is here for Sammy, truly memorable people. Her enemies are here as well, especially mean Heather from Sammy's class. And Sammy's mother plans to return home from her quest for success in L.A. in time for Christmas, which makes Sammy feel quite confused. There is an overall theme of the importance of forgiveness in this particular book, as Sammy faces the reality that she isn't ready to forgive her mother. Editor's note: the first three Sammy Keyes mysteries have also just been reissued in paperback. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Random House/Knopf, 188p, 20cm, 98-54641, $4.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Children's Literature - Karen Porter
This fourth book in the Sammy Keyes series is a charming mystery for children approaching their teens. Set in the Christmas season, it tells the story of Sammy as she is pressed into service on a float in the Christmas parade and is then blackmailed into solving the mystery of a missing dog. As she searches for Marique, Sammy makes a new friend, uncovers several blackmail plots and comes to terms with the conflicts in her own family. The book combines a fast moving, entertaining plot with lessons about friendship and forgiveness that will speak to any child approaching his or her teenage years. Written from Sammy's perspective in a fun, casual style, this book is a pleasure to read.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Sammy Keyes is the newest mystery solver for middle schoolers, and the author Wendelin Van Draanen, has proven her skill by winning an Edgar award. Sammy is a tough, funny, and very smart girl who is bound to grow up to be a parboiled detective like Kinsey Milhone. Van Draanen's mysteries function in much the same way, a number of plots threading through the book, all come together at the end. In this adventure, Sammy faces an ugly gossipy woman who's blackmailing her, holds the hand of her hated adversary Mrs. Graybill as she dies, comforts a little girl who's still traumatized by her father's death, and tries to make peace with the fact that her flighty mother is starring in a commercial about having gas.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Sammy Keyes, that savvy seventh-grade sleuth, is back in another whodunit adventure. It may be Christmas, but that doesn't mean everybody in Santa Martina plans to be nice. The minute Sammy gets roped into working on the Canine Calendar float in the holiday parade, trouble erupts. The famous calendar cover dog, Marique, is dognapped, and the animal's owner holds the amateur detective responsible for finding her pet before the $50,000 ransom comes due. However, the teen can't find the creature or many clues. The only thing that turns up is a young elflike girl named Elyssa, who has big problems of her own. Possible suspects and evil motivations abound as the story moves into overdrive. Sammy carefully closes in on the dognappers while at the same time strengthening her newly formed friendships with Elyssa and her grandmother's cranky neighbor. It's not often that 13-year-olds hang around with younger children or visit with senior citizens, and Van Draanen handles the relationships with style and sensitivity. A refreshing, well-rounded character in every sense of the word, Sammy is great fun to spend time with, and her newest adventure is a roller-coaster ride full of twists aplenty.-Linda Bindner, formerly at Athens Clarke County Library, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sammy Keyes Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.50(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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