Wendalin Van Draanen's teenage sleuth, Sammy Keyes, is up to her crackerjack detective work again, but this time, she's taken her investigation to life-threatening levels. When another teenager frantically hands Sammy her baby at the mall and then vanishes, the young gumshoe gets a quick lesson in motherhood and takes up the challenge of finding the mother. The trouble? A menacing creep Sammy's dubbed Snake Eyes, who was trailing the girl and who has all the markings of a gangster. Along with looking at possible suspension because of Heather Acosta's softball team sabotaging, Sammy realizes that in order to save the unknown girl's life, she must travel into gang territory and go eyeball-to-eyeball with the man who could determine her own fate.
In the seventh addition to the popular Sammy Keyes series, the intrepid detective lays her life on the line when she hunts down her latest suspect, a reptilian-looking fellow. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
While at the arcade, a woman leaves a bag at the feet of Sammy Keyes, starting her on yet another mystery. This time, Sammy finds herself not only trying to crack the case but also trying to care for a baby. Her foe is a gangster named Snake Eyes, whose eyes are indeed as cold as ice. To make matters worse, a new neighbor has discovered that she is living with her grandmother, some girls at school are scheming to get her kicked out of the softball finals, and she just might have a crush on her archrival's brother. It is a lot for one girl to take on, but Sammy handles it with the help of her best friend, her grandmother, and a local police officer, although not without occasionally straining a relationship here and there. Sammy is a flawed but likeable heroine who finds herself in a lot of trouble while learning about serious issues, such as local gang culture. Although there are several subplots to keep track of, they are handled with style and some humor while managing to keep readers turning the pages. Readers will be engaged by Sammy and relate to her struggles in school. Although part of a series, this novel can stand on its own. Nevertheless it might take readers a while to figure out the living situation between Sammy and her grandmother, but all is made clear in the end. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Knopf, 192p,
Sammy Keyes' previous escapades haven't prepared her for this! There she is, at the mall with her friend Marissa, a place she doesn't even want to be, and some girl hands her a shopping bag with a towel covering the contents. The girl is being stalked by a guy with "hatred for eyes" and "steel for a mouth." When the girl slips away, the man comes right up to Sammy and she notices his tattoo of a cobra with eyes like dice. Sammy is afraid to look in the bag until after he leaves and then she and Marissa are astounded to find a baby hidden under the towel. Sammy has a complicated life already because she lives in a senior residence where kids aren't allowed, so she has to sneak in and out of her grandmother's apartment. Now she has to sneak a baby in until she can figure out what to do. Sammy becomes embroiled in a plot with the abandoned baby, the teenaged mom and a vicious gang leader. Although it's difficult to believe that her grandmother would let her keep a stranger's baby, even for a short time, the story will keep kids turning the pages as Sammy rushes from one adventure to the next at breakneck speed. 2002, Alfred A. Knopf/Random House,
Carolyn Mott Ford
Mystery lovers will enjoy this new episode in the Sammy Keyes series. Sammy gets into trouble once again when she accepts a package from a girl in danger. In the package is a baby! When mom doesn't come back like she promised, Sammy has to figure out what to do. This is one mystery that may cost Sammy her life; she is not the only one looking for mom. A gang member is also looking for her and finds Sammy instead. Sammy calls him Snake Eyes because of the tattoo he has on his arm. The secondary story line continues the rivalry with Heather. The softball championship game is coming up and Sammy is framed for defacing the other school's property. Taken off the team unfairly, Sammy needs to prove her innocence. She won't get it done in time to play in the game, but Heather finally gets her comeuppance. Finding the baby's mother is harder and more dangerous because after Sammy finds Lela, Snake Eyes finds Sammy and locks her up with Lela. They manage to escape through an ingenious plan involving a water heater and Quikcrete. While Sammy is not my favorite kind of heroine; she gets herself into trouble, all the while telling you she knows she shouldn't be doing what she's doing; my students love her. KLIATT Codes: J; Recommended for junior high school students. 2002, Random House, Dell, Yearling, 277p.,
Gr 5-8-The unconventional girl detective is back in her seventh adventure. The upcoming Junior Sluggers' Cup tournament is all Sammy's friend Marissa will talk about, so Sammy suggests they go to the arcade to take her mind off it. While there, Sammy is literally left holding the bag as a stranger, who is frantically trying to hide from a scary-looking man, asks her to watch a bundle. Inside, the junior sleuth finds a baby. After a difficult night, she turns the infant over to her friend Officer Borsch. However, she now feels that she must find out who and where the baby's mother is before she is hurt (or worse) by the man with "hatred for eyes" and "steel for a mouth." The search takes Sammy and Marissa into the gang-infested parts of Santa Martina. In addition to this problem, Sammy's nemesis, Heather Acosta, is pulling her usual nasty tricks while at home trouble is brewing in the form of Mrs. Wedgewood, Sammy's grandmother's new neighbor. Sammy's search for the baby's mother rises to a frantic pace as she and Marissa risk their lives and the tournament to solve this latest case. A must for all Sammy Keyes fans, this book also stands alone and will make readers dash back to the library to read the first six.-Yapha Nussbaum Mason, Brentwood Lower School, Los Angeles Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The navel-ring generation's Nancy Drew gears up for another all-out dash into peril that begins at a video arcade in the mall, and almost ends in a boarded-up basement, looking down the barrel of a gun. There's not a dull moment to be found here. A new neighbor noses out Sammy's illegal residence in her grandma's seniors-only apartment, old adversary Heather Acosta gets her and her friends kicked off the softball team just before a major tournament, a frantic teenager passes her a bag with a baby hidden inside. Moreover, a chilling punk "hatred for eyes. Steel for a mouth," and a snake tattoo is relentlessly stalking her. Thanks to some sturdy friends, and a winning combination of guile and good intentions, Sammy ultimately comes out on top. But first she learns more than she ever wanted to know about baby care in one endless overnight, and then drags reluctant but doughty sidekick Marissa into gang territory for a series of scary encounters that lead to a wild, daring rescue. Readers unfamiliar with Sammy's earlier escapades may stumble over some continuing plot threads, but along with a cast of thoroughly likable, or thoroughly despicable, characters, each of whom gets exactly what he or she merits, 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. (Fiction. 12-15)
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
“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