Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash Hardcover – October 14, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers; X-Library - 1st edition (October 14, 2008)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0375835261
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375835261
- Reading age : 10 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 740L
- Grade level : 5 - 6
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.94 x 1.03 x 8.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,401,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
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As usual, she climbs up the fire escape. Since it's nighttime and she's not worried that someone will see her, she's zoning out as she makes her way up. At the fourth floor landing, the door begins to open, so she hides behind it. An elderly man steps onto the landing; he spots Sammy and is obviously terrified. Suddenly, he chokes and falls onto the fire escape. She realizes he's having a heart attack and tells him she's going to call an ambulance. But the man gestures to his pockets and begs her to "Get rid of it."
Sammy is shocked to discover huge bundles of money in the stranger's pockets. When she asks repeatedly if he means for her to get rid of all his money, he begs her to throw it, so she tosses the bundles into the bushes below the fire escape. Imagine how she feels when the man, whose name is Buck Ritter, actually dies. She has scared a man literally into his grave! And then she remembers about the money.
Amazingly, the bundles of cash are still there in the bushes, just waiting for Sammy to scoop them up, which she does. While she wonders if she's doing the right thing, she keeps remembering how Ritter begged her to get rid of the money. Isn't she just fulfilling a dying man's last wish by hiding it in her backpack? When her friend Marissa's family runs into financial problems, Sammy (for once) can help her out. She can also sneakily ease Grams's money burdens. And how about a nice gift for her lovely friend Hudson? Unfortunately, Sammy's spending must be done covertly since the money really isn't hers to spend. Or is it? After all, Ritter did tell her to get rid of the cash, which is exactly what she's doing.
Of course, the whole time Sammy is sneaking around with her newfound riches, she not only has that moral quandary niggling away at her but she also wonders why a man who seems as poor as Ritter even had that much money to begin with. Naturally she can't resist trying to find out what the real story is. And soon very strange things are happening, all related to her secret stash. Meanwhile, Sammy has other things to think about. There's Marissa's huge crush on Danny, who appears to be unworthy; the big swimming party coming up; and the whole "Are Casey and I ever going to actually kiss?" question.
This is a terrific mystery revolving around a much-appreciated strong young female investigator. The story is realistic, the characters are fully realized and the plot is paced perfectly --- rapid enough to keep readers' interest engaged while allowing thoughtful introspection on Sammy's part. There is also one of the most original fight scenes, with the wildest weapons ever. What seems to be an anti-fat bias strikes the only discordant note in an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable read. While Sammy's attitude toward her obese neighbor and toward a friend's overweight younger brother may well strike some as mean-spirited, others may believe it's just an honest portrayal of her feelings. At the most, it's merely one flaw in yet another truly stellar Sammy Keyes story.
--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yeah, I was just a little excited.
And for good reason-this book, the 12th out of 20 planned books, does not disappoint. Sammy Keyes is just sneaking up the fire escape at the Senior Highrise where she lives-as usual-when an unexpected old guy runs into her. Sammy finds out what scaring someone to death literally means when the guy has a heart attack right on the stairs. To add to this, Sammy's obese neighbor Mrs. Wedgewood has fallen, and oh yeah, the guy told Sammy to throw his bundles of cash into the bushes.
Well, Sammy can't just let bundles of $20 bills be hidden in some bushes. She feels terrible about "killing" the man (even though it wasn't her fault), but when there are hundreds of bucks in her hands where she previously had nothing, well, what can she do! She pockets it, intending on only doing good things-repaying her rich best friend, Marissa, for all the nice things Marissa's done for her; leaving secret gifts for her Grams and Hudson.
Marissa is having problems of her own, too. Her parents are fighting more and more, money is dwindling, and her little brother, Mikey, is uncooperative and acting like a baby. On top of that, she worries she'll never be able to land Danny Urbanski, her crush. Speaking of crushes, what will happen to Sammy and Casey?! Those two are my main reasons for reading this series--they're so cute! Things turn awkward though, when Sammy's mother unexpectedly returns for a few days to Santa Martina-but not to see Sammy. Heather & Officer (I mean, Sergeant) Borsch make a little appearance as well.
Sammy runs into deeper and bigger problems with the money as she encounters a dangerous stranger who visits Mrs. Wedgewood and starts to realize why the old guy she scared to death wanted her to throw the cash away. She decides to go undercover as an old lady as well...which is hilarious, until she's discovered. Will she be able to get out of all this mess?
I really, really enjoyed this installment, and I already can't wait until the next one! Art of Deception & Sisters of Mercy will probably always be my two favorite Sammy Keyes books, but this one comes really close!
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