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Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception

The Sammy Keyes Series
Wendelin Van Draanen

Random House (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-440-41992-1 (0440419921)
ISBN-13: 978-0-440-41992-1 (9780440419921)
Publication Date: May 2005
List Price: $6.50

Review: Wendelin Van Draanen adds the eighth installment to her already amazing series with Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception. Sammy Keyes, a 13-year old sassy girl with a good sense for mysteries, get herself wrapped into a mystery, again. This is nothing new for Sammy who always seems to have a mystery on her shoulders. Well this time it all starts out with an art project that Sammy’s odd-ball art teacher assigns her …

Like every normal day Sammy is at school with her best friend, Marisa. But today her wacky out-of-the-normal art teacher assigns her art class a project but, before she can tell them what it is they have to take a “walk” with art. The teacher advises the art class to got to the Renaissance Faire, but Hudson, Sammy’s 72-year old friend wont have it. Instead she winds up going to the Vault, a local art gallery down-town, with her Grams and Hudson. What she sees at the Vault doesn’t impress her much; in fact she actually thinks its worthless art. One artist whose paintings look like big splats of paint in Sammy’s book fills her with disappointment until she walks past this Diane Rejiden’s painting which inspires her so much its overwhelming. Hudson also likes Diane’s paintings but Hudson likes her looks even more. There is a news reporter at the time too, who will write an article on one of the artists paintings. But then trouble comes … a robbery! A robber comes in and tries to rob Diane’s paintings. Fortunately her paintings are saved. The other painters think she set up the robbery so the reporter would write an article on her so she’d get fame. Sammy ends up trying to unwind he mystery. Even working vigorously, Sammy is stumped, but she also gains an unlikely ally, her grams. Her grandma is eager to help because Hudson, who is momentarily in love with Diane at the moment, needs to know Diane is guilty. Sammy does go to the Renaissance Faire where her own romance story with Casey (an 8th grade boy who supposedly has a crush on her and is also her worst enemy, Heather’s half brother) brews up.

I would recommend this book for middle school readers, only because there is some content that younger readers might not be able to understand. The book is very skillfully put together flowing easily from page to page, but at the same time very suspenseful, keeping you gripping the book until the very last page. The book is excellent and has unpredictable events; such as the gun the robber is holding is only a water gun. The book is enjoyable with an odd spiral of romance going on. The romance in the book going on also juices up the whole story. Wendelin Van Draanen does an excellent job of keeping the book together.

This book is highly enjoyable book and is perfect to just sit back relax and read.

Review written by Asheena, Grade 6. Date of review: February 2009.