Thursday, November 06, 2008

First Clues Review: Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

Sammy Keyes and The Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen

Random House (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-375-80255-X (037580255X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-80255-3 (9780375802553)
Publication Date: May 2000
List Price: $5.99

Review written by Tiffany, Age 12, Grade 6. Date of review: November 2008.

Review: Want a book full of pranksters, dog-nappers, men with guns, police officers, and one cranky lady? Meet the crew. Heather Ascota: commonly known for mean streaks, violence, pranks, and all things that bug Sammy! Sammy Keyes: the sassy girl we all know and love. Crocodile Lady: Mrs. Landvogt of course. And Eylssa the Runaway Elf: A lonely little girl who really needs a friend. This wonderful book Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf by Wendelin Van Draanen is book #4 in the series.

There is a dog-napper on the loose and Sammy knows she has to set things straight, and fast because there are high stakes at risk; Grams, Sammy and the Highrise! But would Mrs. Landvogt really get Grams and Sammy kicked out of their home? Should she pay the 50,000 dollar ransom instead? Should she call the police and risk them killing her dog? Sammy doesn't want to wait around and find out! Sammy sets to work on this case, but has nothing to start with! She looks at photographs, videos, and even breaks into a mansion to get the job done! Creepy men dressed as cats and dogs dodge through alleys, and leave her threatening phone messages! Nonetheless, Sammy will try to put forth her best effort, but she only has 6 days to do it! Can she do it? Find out as you read this bone-chilling and heart-felt book!

I really did like this book, but if I had written it, I would have changed a few things. For example there is a lot of violence, guns and tears in this book. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying emotions are bad, just maybe not so many. I believe that all readers that do love a good book should read this book, or the rest of the series. You can relate, cry and jump with each twist in the story! For example, deaths of people who begin to feel like long lost friends, a runaway girl, and Sammy's up and downs with the crocodile lady. Since this book does contain a lot of violence I would suggest it for only older and more mature readers, ages 9-13.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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