Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbyeby Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy doesn’t go looking for trouble, but she seems to find it everywhere. She’s forever sniffing out clues and chasing down bad guys—and/b>/i>
The final mystery starring Sammy Keyes: “the most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review
Sammy doesn’t go looking for trouble, but she seems to find it everywhere. She’s forever sniffing out clues and chasing down bad guys—and driving her friends a little nuts. She’s gone up against thieves and counterfeiters and gangsters and blackmailers and murderers, and always stayed one step ahead.
Last night, one of the bad guys caught up.
Last night, someone followed Sammy up the fire escape and pushed her from the third story.
Now she’s in the hospital, out cold. And her friends are left with the questions Sammy’s always been so good at answering: Why? How? But most of all . . . WHO?
In this emotional conclusion to her beloved long-running series, Wendelin Van Draanen shows just how many lives one nosy girl can touch and pays tribute to a life well sleuthed.
Praise for Sammy Keyes:
“If Kinsey Millhone ever hires a junior partner, Sammy Keyes will be the first candidate on the list. She’s feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!” —Sue Grafton
“Sammy’s brave, resourceful, observant and a loyal friend, but this girl sleuth is no well-mannered Nancy Drew. She’s endearingly hot-tempered, nosy, and not always obedient—in short, she’s someone I want to read about again.” —Margaret Maron
Sammy Keyes has helped to put countless bad guys away during her short sleuthing career. Now, one of those bad guys wants revenge in this 18th and final story.When 14-year-old Sammy sneaks into the Senior Highrise in an attempt to catch the long-elusive Nightie-Napper, someone pushes her from the third-floor fire escape. Fortunately, she lands in the bushes; unfortunately, she's unconscious and unable to tell what happened. The author inserts herself as narrator in Sammy's stead, directly addressing readers through a mobile point of view that flows easily from character to character, with bits of back story woven seamlessly throughout. Snappy dialogue, fast-paced narration and glimpses inside the minds of major secondary characters like best friend Marissa McKenze, former nemesis Heather Acosta, and Sammy's melodramatic and self-absorbed mother keep readers glued to the action as friends, family and a mob of high-top-wearing teens band together to solve the biggest mystery of all: Who tried to kill Sammy Keyes? It's bad enough that this is Sammy's last outing; Van Draanen's departure from her proven, winning formula backfires. Without Sammy's endearingly wisecracking personality leading the way, the series' end falls flat.Fans may be better served by stopping with the penultimate installment, Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise (2013). (Mystery. 10-14)
“Van Draanen offers such an explosive combination of high-stakes sleuthing, hilarity, and breathlessly paced action that it’s impossible to turn the pages fast enough.” —Kirkus Reviews
“There’s no stopping Sammy.”—Publishers Weekly
“An intelligent, gutsy, flawed, and utterly likable heroine.”—Booklist
"Move over, Nancy Drew—a new sleuth is on the scene.”—Girls’ Life
"Think a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and you’ll be right on target.” —School Library Journal
“A high-quality, high-amp mystery series.” —The Horn Book
“This funny, clever series is NOT for kids only. I challenge the most seasoned mystery reader to guess ‘who done it.’” —Cozies, Capers, and Crimes
“Sammy Keyes comes armed with attitude.” —Orlando Sentinel
“Sammy doesn’t find mysteries to solve—they find her.” —Arizona Republic
“Humor, romance and adventure; this story is an absolute blast.” —Chicago Tribune
“If you haven’t met Sammy Keyes yet, now is the time.” —Children’s Literature
Gr 5–8—Sammy Keyes has faced her share of criminals—murderers, thieves, a meth dealer, a gang leader, and so many more—but it's here, in the final book of the series, that she may have met her match. That's right: this one opens with an author's note explaining that something happened to Sammy. Something bad. Kiss Goodbye isn't told from Sammy's perspective, unlike the rest of the series, but Van Draanen's narrative keeps pages turning. Readers soon learn that the middle-schooler is in a coma after being thrown three stories from the fire escape of the seniors-only building that, for the entire series, she illegally lived in with her Grams. Who would have it out for the skateboard-riding sleuth? She's bested many a foe, any one of whom might want revenge, and it's up to the Santa Martina community, from the formerly cantankerous Officer Borsch to her loyal friends old and new, to solve this one. Longtime fans will especially appreciate the references to past books and characters reflecting on their own lives and Sammy's impact. Van Draanen presents a fitting tribute to Sammy, who is as much a heroine for always staying true to herself and striving to do the right thing as she is for any crimes she solved. Series regulars will want to lace up their high-tops and jump right in.—Amanda Mastrull, Library Journal
Meet the Author
WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN was a classroom teacher for many years before becoming a full-time writer. The books in the Sammy Keyes mystery series have been embraced by critics and readers alike, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best children’s mystery. Wendelin is also the author of many award-winning novels, including Flipped, The Running Dream, Runaway, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Swear to Howdy, The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones, and Wild Bird. You can find her online at WendelinVanDraanen.com and @WendelinVanD, and you can follow Sammy Keyes on Facebook.
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