Cover image for Sammy Keyes and the search for Snake Eyes
Title:
Sammy Keyes and the search for Snake Eyes
Author:
Van Draanen, Wendelin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
Physical Description:
277 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
When thirteen-year-old Sammy finds herself with an abandoned baby on her hands, she sets out to find the young mother, who may belong to a gang, and accidentally jeopardizes her position on the softball team.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
650 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 9.0 61273.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.3 15 Quiz: 30610 Guided reading level: W.
ISBN:
9780375811753

9780375911750
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
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Grand Island Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Williamsville Library X Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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East Clinton Branch Library X Juvenile Fiction Reading List
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Sammy's softball team is in contention for the Junior Slugger's Cup, and all she wants to do is hunker down behind home plate and catch strikes. But Heather Acosta brings new meaning to the term "foul ball" as she schemes to get Sammy kicked off the team. And Sammy is thrown a wild pitch by a frantic girl in the mall. She begs Sammy to watch something for her and then dashes off before Sammy realizes that the bag she's left holding contains a baby! Now there are some pitches that you shouldn't even try to catch, but Sammy's a take-it-in-the-chest-protector kind of player. So when the girl doesn't return for her baby, Sammy decides to go find her. And her search leads her into situations that are just not covered in a softball playbook.


Author Notes

Wendelin Van Draanen was born on January 6, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of chemists who emigrated from Holland. She worked as a math teacher and then as a computer science teacher before becoming an author. Wendelin Van Draanen began her writing career with a screenplay and soon switched to adult novels and then children's books. She is best known for her Sammy Keyes series of novels, which she started writing in 1997, featuring a teenage detective named Samantha Keyes. Her popular Sammy Keyes series had been nominated four times for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children's Mystery and won with "Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief". Her Shredderman series also yielded a Christopher Medal for Secret Identity. She has also written several novels such as: How I Survived Being a Girl and Flipped.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The intrepid detective lays her life on the line when she hunts down her latest suspect, a reptilian-looking fellow, in Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, the seventh in the series by Wendelin Van Draanen. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Wendelin Van Draanen's girl detective, Sammy Keyes, is back to solve her seventh mystery (Knopf/Borzoi, 2002). While hanging out at the mall with her best friend Marissa, a young woman hands Sammy a bag as she runs from a dangerous looking man. When Sammy discovers that the bag contains a baby, she begins a search for the young woman that leads her to the scary side of town where gangs rule and drugs and crime are commonplace. At the same time the search is going on, Sammy must also battle against her nemesis, Heather, who is trying to get Sammy kicked off the softball team just before the big tournament. Narrator Tara Sands does an excellent job, giving each character a unique voice and personality. From seventh grader Sammy to gruff Officer Borsch, from gang members to the senior citizens who live in her grandmother's building, Sands skillfully uses her voice to draw listeners into the story. A must for Sammy Keyes fans and an excellent addition to all middle school and public library collections.-Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

ONE I don't generally hang out at the mall. It's full of biting shoes, shrinking clothes, and useless knickknacks. It's also crawling with poseur kids who think it's their private stage for rehearsing public coolness. Please. I get enough of that in junior high. But the Santa Martina mall also has a video arcade, and if you know anything about my best friend, Marissa, you know that video games are the only thing that'll make her quit talking about softball. And since we're in the middle of gearing up for the Junior Sluggers' Cup tournament, softball is all Marissa's had on her mind. For weeks. She's working up plays, she's practicing after practice, she's even talked Coach Rothhammer out of her home phone number so she can run ideas by her in the middle of the night. You have to know Ms. Rothhammer to understand the significance of this--nobody's got her number, and I mean nobody. She teaches P.E. and eighth-grade science, and she's got a reputation for being really strict and really private. Like, is she married? We don't know. Does she have kids? Dogs? Horses? Flower beds? Nobody knows. I'll bet Vice Principal Caan doesn't even know, that's how good she is at being private. What I do know about Ms. Rothhammer is that she's the one person who wants to bring home the Junior Sluggers' Cup as much as Marissa does. Probably for different reasons--like, I know Ms. Rothhammer couldn't care less about us winning the school a party day. More likely it has to do with showing up Mr. Vince, who told her she'd never get her hands on the cup. Of course, that was last November, after our team beat his team in our school's playoffs, so maybe she's forgotten all about that. Then again, maybe not. Anyway, the point is, Marissa McKenze has been the Softball Czar for weeks, and the past few days it's been driving me batty. And maybe I should've just said, "Marissa, enough! There's life beyond softball!" but I do live in Santa Martina, a town where everyone from Heather Acosta, Princess Prevaricator, to Mayor Hibbs, Sultan of City Hall, is into the game. So much so that people play year-round. Rain or shine, mud or flood, people play. So instead of telling Marissa something she'd never buy into anyhow, what I said was "Hey, you want to go to the mall and play some video games?" And since I'm never the one to suggest it, she said, "Are you kidding?" and off we went. Now, I'm not big on playing myself. I don't have the quarters to spare. So while Marissa's seriously invested in the skill of electro-badguy annihilation, I'm more an observer than anything else. Sure, I'll play a few games just to keep her happy, but pretty much I'm a peanut gallery of one. Good as she is, though, I get bored and wind up looking around at other stuff. People, mostly. And let me tell you, there are some pretty strange people in the arcade. I'm not talking about the kids, either. They just strut around, cussing and stuff, acting like they'll take you down if you look at them wrong. Like they could actually catch you with the way they wear their pants halfway down their butts. No, the adults are strange. It's men, mostly, and mostly they look the same--scraggly hair, faded band T-shirts, dirty jeans, and work boots. They come in alone, park themselves at the gun games, and shoot. They don't look at anyone or anything else, they just shoot. And good luck cutting in if you want a turn. I've seen kids try it, and let me tell you, it's dangerous. Anyway, there I was, at four in the afternoon, surrounded by the noise of electro-fire, checking out the arcade clientele, when this girl with a big red-and-white Sears bag backs right into me. Hard. Does she say, Sorry? Or, Excuse me? Or even turn around and look at me? No. She whimpers, "Jesus! Oh, Jesus!" and drags that bag in close, between her feet. Her eyes are glued to the arcade entrance, and she's shaking. First it's just sort of a shiver, then a rumble; then she starts having her very own internal earthquake. "What's the matter?" I ask her, but she still doesn't turn around to look at me. She just paws through her Sears bag and rearranges a yellow towel that's on top, then weaves the bag's cord handles together, shaking the whole time. I look between the two video games we're standing in front of so I can get a clear shot of the entrance, but all I see is a bunch of people milling around outside. This girl is melting down about something, though, so I say to her, "Are you all right?" "No! Oh Jesus, no!" She turns to me, her eyes full of terror. "What am I going to do? He'll kill me! He'll kill us both!" "Who?" And I'm thinking, Whoa, now! Why would he want to kill me? She doesn't answer. She just stays behind cover while she checks out the entrance. "Do you want me to call the police?" "No!" She turns back to me, looking even more scared than she had before. "No!" "But--" "Whatever you do..." Her shaking goes up a notch. "Oh Jesus, there he is!" "Where?" "Right over there!" she says, looking out into the halls of the mall. Only there are about thirty people roaming around out there. "Oh Jesus, what am I going to do? What am I going to do?" "If you're that scared, why don't you let me call the police?" She whirls around and says, "No! You hear me! They mess everything up. They put him away and now he's out! He's gonna kill me!" "But if he's going to kill you..." "Oh Jesus, here he comes." She looks around frantically. "Is there a back door to this place?" I shake my head. "How am I going to get out of here?" She goes back to looking outside, practically shaking herself to death. Then I see him. I can just tell. It's the way he's walking. Slow, but, I don't know...tight. Like every step is for a reason and nothing better get in his way. Excerpted from Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes by Wendelin Van Draanen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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