Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy
By Wendelin Van Draanen
(Yearling, Paperback, 9780375801839, 240pp.)
Publication Date: October 12, 1999
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"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review
Sammy was working off some junior high detention time by helping out at St. Mary's, but now she's the prime suspect in a robbery! The more she pokes around searching for the real culprit, the more amazed Sammy is by all the gossip and petty jealousies bubbling beneath the church's serene surface. This is just like junior high!
Caught up in the mystery are a homeless girl in hightops, a trio of singing nuns, two angry Sisters, and one bumbling Brother. With a crazy cast like this, it's not easy to tell the saints from the sinners. . . .
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.
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.
"Artfully throwing in clues, red herrings, and well-timed revelations, Van Draanen keeps her heroine on the hop--Sammy is as resourceful as ever, and the breathless pace of this adventure will rivet readers from page one."--Kirkus Reviews
"She's feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!"--Sue Grafton
"The kind [of mystery] you want to gobble up quickly--and in quantities. Samantha Keyes is one tough, smart, resourceful seventh grader."--The Horn Book