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Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man

( 19 )

Overview

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

After the skeleton plows them over, Sammy and her friends look to see what he was running from. That's when they find Frankenstein tied to a chair. Someone's taking "trick or treat" way too far!

When Sammy starts to dig into what really happened Halloween night, she's amazed at how many people have ...

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Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man

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Overview

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

After the skeleton plows them over, Sammy and her friends look to see what he was running from. That's when they find Frankenstein tied to a chair. Someone's taking "trick or treat" way too far!

When Sammy starts to dig into what really happened Halloween night, she's amazed at how many people have something to hide. Of course, Sammy's got a few secrets herself. And more than a few tricks up her sleeve.

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.

On Halloween night, seventh grader Sammy stumbles onto a mystery involving a twenty-year-old family feud and some heirlooms stolen by a man in a skeleton costume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Artfully throwing in clues, red herrings, and well-timed revelations, Van Draanen keeps her heroine on the hop...Sammy is as resourceful and tough as ever, and the breathless pace of this adventure will rivet readers from page one."—Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Ru Story-Huffman
Sammy is a seventh grader who loves to solve mysteries. Twenty years ago, a family had its heirlooms stolen by a man in a skeleton costume. Now, Sammy is the one who may be able to solve that crime. The fast-paced and well-written story of Sammy Keyes is one that will delight and entrance those who read it. Of special note is the interest that will be generated by middle school readers, because Sammy is actually Samantha Keyes, who lives with her grandmother and is intelligent, fun loving and willing to try anything to solve a mystery. Fun for all who like a mystery, and a great choice for Halloween.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-While living a surreptitious life sneaking in and out of Gram's adults-only apartment complex, Sammy observes the unusual in the usual world. Halloween finds her and her friends mustering nerve to wend their way through dense shrubbery to the front door of scary Bush House to trick-or-treat when they are nearly knocked down by a "skeleton man" scurrying away with his loot in a pillow case. Sammy peers into the house to discover it's on fire, rescues its owner, and becomes embroiled in his family history. Her quick switches between adult intuitiveness and childish pranks are in keeping with a personality that neither thinks twice about rushing into a burning house nor about exposing the misdemeanors of a classmate via the school's public-address system. Only Sammy and a few other characters are developed to any extent. The nosy neighbor, the weak grandmother, and the cantankerous cops are examples of stereotyped adults. Sammy's classmates run the gamut of sweet and naive friends to snide and snotty enemies. However, readers will enjoy the mystery, hijinks, plotting, and adult comeuppance. Occasional black-and-white drawings illustrate the book. A fun read, particularly for fans of the previous book about this young sleuth.-Lynda Short, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, KY
Kirkus Reviews
The live-wire young sleuth who debuted in Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief (p. 502) catapults into another headlong caper after scotching a murder attempt on Halloween. Nerving themselves to approach a spooky house while out trick-or-treating, Sammy and her friends find the door open, a fire set on the floor and reclusive old Chauncey LeBard tied to a chair. A robbery, it seemsþbut what's missing? Books, as it turns out: a collection of high-spot first editions. Being incurably nosy, Sammy commences to pry with a will, meanwhile countering hateful classmate Heather's latest sly attempt at character assassination by setting up a devastating public denouement. As readers of the first book know, it's not as if Sammy's life isn't already complicated; she lives illegally with her grandmother in modest seniors-only housing while her mother is pursuing Hollywood dreams, has to fend off a suspicious neighbor, and keep up with her schoolwork in the face of multiple distractions. Artfully throwing in clues, red herrings, and well-timed revelations, Van Draanen keeps her heroine on the hop, surrounding her with typecast age mates but distinctly drawn, individual adults, most of whom were introduced in the previous book. Sammy is as resourceful and tough as ever, and the breathless pace of this adventure will rivet readers from page one. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375800542
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Sammy Keyes Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 103,482
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.49 (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
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2005

    Sammy Keyes Has Done It Again

    Wow, just fantastic. This story brings drama, mystery, revenge and suspence into one must read book that will litterally have you hooked for days. Sammy Keyes, keep doing what you do best.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2005

    Sammy Keys is fantastic

    This book is great! It makes you feel like you want to jump right in to the story with them. The drama almost kills you. It is a nail biter to the end!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 30, 2001

    a book you would love to get your hands on

    Sammy Keyes is the kind of girl you DON'T want to mess with!She's smart and witty and when she says she's going to get revenge,step back 'cause she means it!Van Draanen has showed us how to write a REAL mystery book.Sammy's always in other people's business which,in some cases,gets her in real big trouble!She always has another trick up her sleeve to get her out of things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2001

    Very good

    Sammy Keys And The Skeleton man is a great book. It will get you hooked! I read it in one day because i didn't want to stop!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    Sammy is a fearless hero

    Sammy is a fearless detective who doesn't mean to, but gets in a heap of trouble. This book will have you sitting on the egde of your seat. The whole time! I'm not kidding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    A Must Read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is an awesome book!!It takes you on a wild ride:Sammy,Marissa,and their new friend,Dot,dare eachother to go up to a mysterious house. So,Sammy walks up to the door,and knocks,the door opens all by itself,but does Sammy Keyes leave??Oh,no not her!!She finds a fire burning under a mini-table,and next to it is a chair with a guy sitting in it with his hands tied behind his back,and a mask over his face!!!!!!!Wow!!!!That is where you will be HOOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    Wonderful!!

    This yet is another great book in the series. It is my favorite one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Amazing

    I really like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Oh yeah!

    I would say one word to describe sammy would be swawesome. You know sweet and awesome! I love sammy! She actually saves a life in this one! (No surprise there!) Anyways thank you wendelin van draanen for giving us this wonderful cazing series!

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

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Fuck

    Cc.tmn

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    Definately Original

    A seventh grade girl can really relate to this book. This mystery keeps you guessing 'till the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 30, 2011

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    Posted October 30, 2012

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted June 15, 2009

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    Posted May 10, 2011

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    Posted July 22, 2010

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    Posted July 28, 2013

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