Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

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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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2003-01 Audio CD Fair Ex library copy in a black clam shell. Artwork edge is worn. Discs have surface marks, play fine.

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Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

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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.

After a dog she is watching disappears from a city parade and the owner receives a ransom note, thirteen-year-old Sammy must use her detective skills to solve the mystery.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
KLIATT
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)
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.
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874998573
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media (NY)
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Sammy Keyes Series
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 6.40 (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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2006

    eh...

    eh... this book was alright. The description sounded boring! But the best part was when Sammy snuck into the Lanvogt Manchine. But I would recommend it just don't abandon it in the beggining. Because then you will miss out on a pretty good book. I haven't read any other Sammy Keyes books but I want to try to read Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    THE MOST BORING BOOK EVER!!!

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf had almost no action and the action that it did have was very predictable. Usually Wendelin Van Draanen is a very good writer but she has definitely disappointed her readers this time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Beautiful!

    Do not forget this book. A couple books later you will be thinking hey i remember this from earlier! You will be very glad you read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    I want to read it

    It looks :)

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    love it!

    ive read it more than 100 times.... im in 7th grade, and sammy is my friend thru it all

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Amazing

    I loved this book it was so good. Could not put it down. : )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    dog gone missing

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf By: Wendelin Van Draanen pages:186 Sammy Keyes is young detective that always ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time, she gets stuck into going on a float in Santa Martina, were everything goes horribly wrong. She finds her self getting blackmailed and has to find the dog if she wants to stay with her grandmother. As she goes along the trail she encounters other problems with people like getting guns to her head, her mother, and old Mrs. Graybell. But for Sammy Keyes, everything will soon come together in Santa Martina. I found this book very interesting but it really wasn't what I hoped. djb Miss. Abbott block 1

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    One of the best books!

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen is one of the best books ever! Sammy keyes is the best sleuth ever! Teens can relate to her and stuff. Wendelin van draanen is one of the best authors ever!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    Missing Schnauzer!

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf Author - Wendelin Van Draaven ¿If Kinsey Millhone hires a junior partner, Sammy Keyes will be the first candidate on the list. She¿s feisty, fearless, and funny, a top-notch investigator.¿ This is my favorite quote in the book. I like it because it shows the attitude of the main character and what her actions portray. Sammy is smart-mouthed and hard hitting. Sammy Keyes is a teenage girl who often pries into other people¿s business and takes a lot of risks that often prove to be dangerous. Sammy becomes involved in a difficult situation at Christmas time in her town of Santa Martina. She is asked by a friend to take responsibility for a float where a famous dog is being displayed. Unfortunately, when Sammy takes charge, suddenly the dog runs away! The dog¿s owner, Mrs. Landvogt, a despicable and vengeful old woman, quickly tracks Sammy down and demands results. In desperation, Sammy sets out on her quest to find the mysteriously missing dog. Immediately Sammy asks the furious owner to see a copy of the tape of the parade. As she reviews the video, Sammy zeros in on some suspects. Sammy questions each one but comes up empty handed. This is the turning point where she discovers the key to unlock the secret. I think this book is great for mystery lovers. It keeps you on the edge of you seat, wondering what is going to happen next. I would recommend this book to kids ages 10- 14. I would give this book a four star rating because it is spine-tingling. Another book I would recommend is Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. It has the same style as Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2002

    What a Great Book!

    I thought that Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf was one of the best books I have ever read! Sammy Keyes is just a great sleuth. She makes it so interesting and it makes you feel like you are actually there. She compares people to other things and it makes it easier to understand some of the characters. I would definently reccomend this book to anybody!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2002

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

    Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf was one of the best books I have ever read. It's about Sammy losing a dog in the Christmas Parade and the 'croc lady', Mrs. Lanvogt who threatens to throw Sammy out on the street if she doesn't find her 'baby' dog. It's an awesome story, and you won't believe the ending! Read it now!

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

    Posted December 6, 2000

    BEST BOOK

    This book was great! It was about the wonderful Sammy Keyes who is in the Christmas Parade and is in charge of a dog. She loses it and the owner blackmails her to find it. You wont BELIEVE who it was that stole the dog! Wendelin Van Draanen is one of the best authors! Read all her books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted May 20, 2012

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    Posted December 28, 2011

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    Posted April 14, 2010

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    Posted November 30, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

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    Posted July 22, 2010

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    Posted January 5, 2012

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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