Get ready for more round-the-world adventure with Samantha Spinner and her brother, Nipper, in the second book in this hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and classics like Holes.
When Samantha Spinner's uncle Paul disappeared, he left presents for his nieces and nephew. Samantha's sister, Buffy, got $2,400,000,000. Her brother, Nipper, got the New York Yankees. Samantha got . . . a rusty old umbrella.
Wow! So unfair, Uncle Paul.
Well, it seemed unfairuntil Samantha discovered that the old umbrella holds the plans for a super-secret network of transit systems that covers the globe. It's the ticket to danger and adventure beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
But Uncle Paul is still missing. And Samantha just received a new gift from him: a pair of strange purple sunglasses. Are they another powerful present? A clue to his whereabouts? Or just a bad fashion choice? Samantha and Nipper need to figure it out fast, because . . . here comes the SUN!
Praise for Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans, Book 1 in the Samantha Spinner series:
"A winning mix of fast-paced action, fascinating facts, bathroom humor, and hidden puzzles . . . [that is] sure to please action-loving middle-grade readers." Kirkus Reviews
"Full of adventure and survival . . . [and with] characters [who] are likable, realistic, and well rounded . . . [Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans is] great for [readers of] series like The 39 Clues." School Library Journal
About the Author
Russell Ginns is a writer and game designer who specializes in puzzles, songs, and smart fun. He has worked on projects for a wide variety of organizations, corporations, and publications, including Sesame Workshop, Girl Scouts of America, Nintendo, and Scientific American. Russell lives and writes in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans and Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs. To learn more about him, visit samanthaspinner.com and follow @rginns on Twitter.
Read an Excerpt
“Look here!” Samantha shouted from under the kitchen table. “Now!”
She shoved a chair out of the way with one foot to make room for her brother.
“What? Where?” said Nipper, bending down quickly.
He misjudged the height of the table and banged his head.
“That hurt,” he said, rubbing his forehead and inching in beside her. “You forgot to say duck.”
“All right,” she replied. “ ‘Duck.’ Now look here.” Samantha removed the purple sunglasses Uncle
Paul had given her. She put them on Nipper’s face and pointed at a table leg.
“PSST?” Nipper asked.
“That’s right,” she answered, taking the glasses from him and putting them on again. Through the octagonal lenses, she saw four yellow letters glowing on the leg:
P S S T
“And watch this,” she told him.
She reached out and grabbed the leg where it met the table.
“Gotcha,” said Samantha.
A section slid downward, revealing an opening. It hissed as a stream of air rushed into the hollow leg.
“Whoa,” said Nipper. “A second secret pneumatic tube.”
Samantha nodded. They had already found one pneumatic tube under the table when she’d gotten the glasses. She pointed at that hissing table leg on her right with one hand.
“Into Seattle,” she said.
She pointed at this new opening with her other hand. “Out of Seattle,” she said, and let out a big, satisfied sigh.
At long last, this was a major breakthrough.
When Samantha’s uncle Paul disappeared, he left presents for his nieces and nephew. Samantha’s sister, Buffy, got $2,400,000,000. Samantha’s brother, Nipper, got the New York Yankees. Samantha got an old rusty umbrella. Of course, it seemed terribly unfair— until Samantha started taking a closer look at things. She discovered that the umbrella was a super-secret map of the world! Samantha and her brother traveled to France, Italy, and Egypt, and defeated the RAIN—the Royal Academy of International Ninjas. They even rescued the Mona Lisa. But Uncle Paul was still missing.
Then a mysterious pair of sunglasses arrived with a note.
Watch out for the SUN.
For Samantha, this was proof that Uncle Paul was alive.
She also had a sketch of an obelisk that she’d copied from a picture she found in the Temple of Horus in Egypt. When she discovered the obelisk was a monument in
New York City called Cleopatra’s Needle, Samantha suspected that Uncle Paul was alive and also in New York.
Then a message came from her older sister. Buffy had written to tell the family that she had moved to Manhattan to work on a play with help from “the famous Broadway producer Horace Temple.”
After that, Samantha knew that Uncle Paul was alive, in New York . . . and with Buffy Spinner.
Unfortunately, Samantha couldn’t get there. The magtrain she’d found with the Super-Secret Plans didn’t go to New York, or anywhere near it. Her parents promised they would visit New York after school ended in a month, and no amount of asking could make them go sooner.
So, since she couldn’t explore New York, she explored Seattle with the purple glasses.
First, she’d used them to inspect her umbrella—the Super-Secret Plans. They didn’t do anything special. She’d searched Uncle Paul’s apartment above the garage, and around the house. Nothing. Everywhere she’d stared, things turned purple, but that was it.
When she went to the mailbox at the end of her street, she’d found her first clue. She stared at the outside of the box through the glasses and saw glowing yellow letters just like the ones on the legs of her kitchen table:
But that was a dead end, too. Next, she’d spent days searching the secret magnetic railway station beneath the mailbox. She’d found nothing. She’d doubled down and explored every wall, floor, and object in their house. Still no clues.
Why did Uncle Paul have to be so mysterious about everything? And why didn’t he just come home?
Which had brought her back to the kitchen table, where she’d received the glasses in the first place.
“We’re going to find Uncle Paul now,” she told Nipper. “I’m sure of it.”
Samantha took out a slip of paper and scrawled a note with a pen.
Paul/Horace: Where are you?
She stuffed the note into the opening in the “out of Seattle” leg. A gust of air caught it, and it shot down and out of sight.
“Where do you think it went, Sam?” Nipper asked. “I’m not positive,” she answered. “But my guess is that—”
Samantha looked over. A plastic sea salt grinder hit the kitchen floor and started to roll across the tiles.
A pepper mill dropped on the floor and shattered.
Samantha looked up. Their pug, Dennis, was walking along the kitchen counter, sniffing everything in his path. “Uh-oh,” said Nipper, pointing at the chair Samantha had shoved across the kitchen so she could inspect the table legs.
She looked at the chair, then back up at Dennis. He approached the open waffle iron.
“Watch out!” Samantha shouted. “What? Duck?” asked Nipper.
“Not you,” she replied, pointing to the counter. “Dennis!” she shouted, even louder. “Get away from that!”
The dog turned quickly, bumping into the hot breakfast appliance.
The waffle iron closed on his tail. Dennis howled in pain.