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Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City Library Binding – January 8, 2013

Book 16 of 18 in the Sammy Keyes Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The detective work gets very personal in the sixteenth story in the popular series about smart, junior-high sleuth Samantha (“Sammy”) Keyes. Here the setting moves to Las Vegas, where Sammy tracks down her diva mother, who is secretly marrying Sammy’s boyfriend’s dad, who is also the father of Sammy’s worst enemy. Packed with angry spats and surprises, including Sammy’s discovery of her own dad, and set against the wild background of casinos, malls, hotels, and Elvis wannabes, the young teen’s angry, wry account will grab new readers as well as series fans. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN was a teacher for many years before turning to writing full-time. Her first Sammy Keyes mystery, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She lives in Central California with her husband and two sons. 
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Sammy Keyes
  • Library Binding: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375970533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375970535
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,483,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
83%
4 star
13%
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4%
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See all 23 customer reviews
The perfect ending to a perfectly written book.
chatterbox
I could see Wendelin Van Draanen starting wrap up some loose ends and bring together some pieces of Sammy's story that have been waiting to be revealed.
Marti
I truly can't wait for the next one after everything that has happened.
AE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bookcrazed on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Professional reviews and book summaries refer to The Showdown in Sin City as the pivotal book in the Sammy Keyes series, and the story certainly lives up to that description.

In the sixteenth book in the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy is on a quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding her own life in this nonstop adventure. The journey begins as Sammy stows away, with backpack and skateboard in hand, in the back of Marissa's car. She takes Las Vegas by storm in search of her mom with the entertaining assistance of a variety of Elvis impersonators.

The humor, mystery, plot intrigue, emotional roller coaster ride, and plethora of zany, lovable characters are true to classic Sammy Keyes...Wendelin Van Draanen style. Van Draanen gives her readers an action-packed, poignant story that brings resolution to many of the unanswered questions concerning Sammy's relationships with the major players in her life. This book is so much more than the reveal of Sammy's dad. Van Draanen beautifully brings the major characters together and allows them to experience transformations in their lives and interact with each other in very real, touching ways. She reaches deep down into the heart and soul of each character and brings forth an amazingly powerful, rich story for her readers.

Once again, the author mixes laugh-out-loud humor, drama, and suspense to weave an unforgettable, magical story that will delight devoted Sammy Keyes fans and capture first-time readers. She cleverly and meticulously fits all the pieces together to cleverly and powerfully bring a wonderful resolution to the ongoing conflicts and tumultuous relationships in Sammy's world. Put this one at the top of your 2013 reading list!! You'll be glad you did!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chatterbox on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I finished Showdown in Sin City the day I got it. IT IS ONE AMAZING BOOK. I have been reading the series for several years, and each book keeps me coming back for more adventure and fun in the next story. Sammy hits the streets of Las Vegas in typical Sammy sleuth style. Only this time the mystery revolves around her...finding her mom and discovering the answers to questions about her own life. The author does an incredible job of unraveling the mystery of who Sammy's dad is--holding her readers in suspense until the very end. Speaking of endings...this one is perfect. The perfect ending to a perfectly written book. Thanks Wendelin Van Draanen for respecting your readers by writing great books with smart, interesting, realistic characters we can relate to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George on January 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this series and the characters, especially Sammy - she is spunky and smart, never lets her situation get her down. She really shines in this one, and everyone finally learns who her father is. The other series characters also have lots going on and changing in their lives, including Marissa, Heather, Grams, Hudson, and Lana, Sammy's mom. With this book almost everything changes, but Sammy remains true to herself. I can't wait for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mama Mary on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been reading this book series since the fifth grade. And since this is the second or third to last book in the series, I loved how everything was tied together. It was perfect!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Prince on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I haven't cried so much reading a Sammy Keyes book since Psycho Kitty Queen. But I have never laughed harder throughout the series (I laughed uncontrollably at least 6 different times), and I was left with such a sense of happiness when I finished that I'm still grinning nearly an hour later.

Wendelin Van Draanen masterfully weaves several story arcs into a wild but totally believable caper that plucks Sammy out of Santa Martina and sets her loose on Vegas. Van Draanen's rich, three-dimensional, dynamic characters drive the plot, so that no matter how ridiculous the situation Sammy ends up in, you know exactly how she got there, and it's utterly believable. The themes of family and trust shine through without being pounded to death. Some of the other Sammy Keyes books have ended with a short "I learned something today" reflection that others might have found a bit preachy (though I never found them to be), but there's none of that here.

Sammy Keyes is primarily a mystery series, but the mystery always goes hand in hand with the events of Sammy's life. Sammy spends most of this book in crisis mode, so she's not actively trying to figure out mysteries most of the time (she's focused on finding her mom, which *is* a mystery, but not one she or we can really solve). But as a reader, you know the main mystery's there, and you *can* solve it, even though Sammy is not (until the last moment). And there are actually at least two sub-mysteries for which there were ample clues sprinkled so that a fan of the series could solve them just before Sammy did. And while the mystery may not be the best *mystery* of the series, the plot more than makes up for it. (My favorite mystery of recent books was Wedding Crasher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gaimanite.pkat on December 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a huge fan of the original Sammy Keyes books (with the exception of Moustache Mary) I find these books increasingly bad as they go along. I think it was at Night of Skulls that it started going downhill, really.
What I originally loved about Sammy was that she was a strong, girl-powery type who didn't care about other people's opinions of her and always had a snappy retort. This has gone away considerably and I blame Casey. His transformation from sort-of-crush to full-out boyfriend took a lot from her character, in my opinion. She just doesn't seem like the type to have one at such a young age. I realize that without Casey being her boyfriend, Sammy cannot have as much beef with her mother about marrying Mr. Acosta, but the fact that he is still the father of her sworn enemy remains. Perhaps they could extend that.
In this book specifically, Sammy teams up with the Heather and Candi Acosta to stop her mother marrying Casey and Heather's dad. The fact that she would even need to, instead of figuring it out herself, is a step backwards for her. And in fact, without them, she just wanders around Las Vegas going "Aw man" a lot, feeling sorry for herself and missing her beloved boyfriend. Where is the spunky, kick-ass Sammy I've known before?
This is just a pet peeve, but the addition of cell phones also detracts a bit from the books. Without mentioning modern technology, the books seemed timeless. They could have happened in the nineties; they could have happened yesterday. I forget which book exactly, but there was one that focused a whole side story on how kids have cell phones but Sammy doesn't. I get how this is supposed to make her look cool and strong, not having one, but her constantly telling people in this book how she doesn't have one just gets on my nerves.
If you love Sammy, be smart and stop at Cold Hard Cash.
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