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Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls Hardcover – October 11, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 14 of 18 in the Sammy Keyes Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—When Sammy and her friends cut through the graveyard on Halloween, they encounter a boy running away from a mustard-colored car. In the excitement, they wind up with the boy's bag, which has two skulls in it. As they begin to investigate, the friends come face to face with knife-wielding maniacs, corrupt morticians, grave robbers, missing people, and a caretaker who's vanished. What's going on in Santa Martina? Are the disappearances and the skulls linked? Narrator Tara Sands's distinct intonations are engaging. Her unique narrative style complements the author's humorous writing style. The interwoven plotlines are brought together expertly to create a fun page turner. VERDICT This is a terrific listen for avid and reluctant readers who enjoy humorous mystery and adventure.—Jessica Moody, Olympus Jr. High, Holladay, UT --This text refers to the Paperback 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: 0770 (What's this?)
  • Series: Sammy Keyes
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375861084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375861086
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,933,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wendelin Van Draanen's spunky Sammy Keyes character returns in a humorous, suspenseful tale featuring the irascible, lovable sleuth and her cast of faithful friends and foes, a haunted graveyard, suspicious gravediggers, spooky embalmers, and ruthless undertakers.

The story entertains its readers with quirky, relatable characters the reader cares about; quick-paced plot; witty language, and believable dialogue. The author deals with death and the beliefs and traditions of different cultures toward it in a sensitive, informative manner.

Van Draanen has served up another winner with this latest ghoulish adventure in her Sammy Keyes series.
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Format: Hardcover
As yet another stellar Sammy Keyes adventure begins (is it my imagination, or do these already excellent mysteries just keep getting better and better?), it's October 31st. Sammy is determined that this Halloween will be all about fun and have nothing to do with villainous deeds. And that possibly might have come to be...except she and her friends make the mistake of cutting through the graveyard on Halloween night, all disguised as zombies. They're meandering through the old portion of the cemetery, where it's very dark and the paths are not straight. Since it's taking them a while to make their way through, they begin to talk about death, but Casey and Billy lighten the mood with puns and funny stories.

Sammy and the gang stop short when they spot a beast-like creature dashing through the gravestones. The creepy figure turns and starts racing right at them, so they hide behind tombstones. When it sees the "zombies" behind the gravestones, the intruder tries to run away. Instead, he trips over Billy. Now Sammy can see that, instead of a beast with wings, it's a man wearing a poncho, and there's another man with a shovel chasing him. The man in the poncho (Sammy dubs him El Zarape in honor of his serape) drops his trick-or-treat sack and runs away. Billy, claiming he's not too proud to keep El Zarape's candy if he doesn't want it, carries the stranger's bag as they head for the nearest gate.

However, their cemetery adventures are not at an end. They see an old car driving through the graveyard. Sammy voices her fears that it's the ominous "Shovel Man," unleashing many bad (yet hilarious) jokes and puns from Casey and Billy. In order to get out of the cemetery, the group must climb over the vehicle while it's rolling through the gate.
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Format: Kindle Edition
One of the best books I have read! Perfect for ages 8 to about 15. A definite must read. I love the Sammy Keyes series!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great story in the Sammy Keyes series. We read the books aloud as a family.
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