Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Wendelin Van Draanen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1965 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Van Draanen was born Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Wendelin Van Draanen's family moved to California when she was very young and still resides there today. A former high-school math and computer science teacher, she has written ore than thirty novels for young readers and teens including her Edgar-winning ''Sammy Keyes'' series. Her book, ''Flipped'', was named a Top 100 Children's Novel for the 21st Century and became a Warner Brothers feature film in 2010. Besides being a prolific writer, Wendelin also coordinates the ''Exercise the Right to Read'' campaign with her husband, Mark Parsons.

Published Works

    Shredderman Series
  • Shredderman: Secret Identity, Yearling, 2004
  • Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger, Yearling, 2005
  • Shredderman: Meet the Gecko, Yearling, 2005
  • Shredderman: Enemy Spy, Yearling, 2006Sammy Keyes Series
  • Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, Knopf, 1998
  • Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, Knopf, 1998
  • Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, Knopf, 1999
  • Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf, Knopf, 2000
  • Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary, Knopf, 2001
  • Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy, Knopf, 2002
  • Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, Knopf, 2003
  • Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Knopf, 2003
  • Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Knopf, 2006
  • Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway, Knopf, 2005
  • Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things, Knopf, 2007
  • Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash, Knopf, 2008
  • Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher, Knopf, 2010
  • Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls, Knopf, 2011
  • Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack, Knopf, 2012
  • Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City, Knopf, 2013
  • Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise, Knopf, 2013
  • Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, Knopf, 2014The Gecko & Sticky Series
  • The Gecko & Sticky: Villain's Lair, Yearling, 2010
  • The Gecko & Sticky: The Greatest Power, Yearling, 2010
  • The Gecko & Sticky: Sinister Substitute, Yearling, 2010
  • The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion, Yearling, 2010Individual Books
  • How I Survived Being a Girl, Scholastic, 1997
  • Flipped, Knopf, 2001
  • Swear to Howdy, Knopf, 2003
  • Runaway, Knopf, 2006
  • Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Knopf, 2008
  • The Running Dream, Knopf, 2011
  • The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones, Knopf, 2016
  • Wild Bird, Knopf, 2017

Selected Titles At Your Library

Sammy Keyes and the dead giveaway /
ISBN: 0375823506. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf :. New York :. 2005.

While investigating why someone is trying to force people from their homes to expand a recreation center, Sammy is distracted by the lies she must tell to cover an accident she caused, but which was blamed on her nemesis, Heather.

Sammy Keyes and the hotel thief /
ISBN: 0679892648. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. ©1998.

Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

Last shot :
ISBN: 0375823530. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 2005.

After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.

Runaway /
ISBN: 0375835229. OCLC Number:

. .

After running away from her fifth foster home, Holly, a twelve-year-old orphan, travels across the country, keeping a journal of her experiences and struggle to survive.

Sammy Keyes and the wild things /
ISBN: 0375835253. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. ©2007.

While on her first hiking and camping trip, thirteen-year-old Sammy tries to solve a mystery involving endangered condors while avoiding scorpions, ticks, and embarrassment.

Flipped /
ISBN: 0375825444. OCLC Number:

Knopf,. New York :. ©2001.

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

Secret identity /
ISBN: 0440419123. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 2004.

Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity--Shredderman!

Attack of the tagger /
ISBN: 0440419131. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 2004.

Someone is spray-painting graffiti all over Cedar Valley and it is up to fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, also known as Shredderman, to expose the vandal.

The Gecko & Sticky :
ISBN: 0440422434. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. ©2011.

When the diabolical Damien Black robs a bank and steals a tiger-eye of great sentimental value, he is pursued by thirteen-year-old Dave Sanchez and his sidekick, a talking gecko named Sticky, who are armed with a magical Aztec armband.

The running dream /
ISBN: 0375866280. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. ©2011.

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Confessions of a serial kisser /
ISBN: 0375842497. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. ©2008.

After reading her mother's secret collection of romance novels during her parent's difficult separation, seventeen-year-old Evangeline Logan begins a quest for the perfect kiss.

Swear to howdy /
ISBN: 0440419433. OCLC Number:

. .

Two thirteen-year-old boys share neighborhood adventures, complaints about their older sisters, family secrets, and even guilt that bind them together in a special friendship.

Sammy Keyes and the kiss goodbye /
ISBN: 0375870555. OCLC Number:

. .

"Sammy Keyes has spent the last few years solving other people's mysteries; now her friends (and some foes) come together to unmask the fiend who has put Sammy in a coma"--

Sammy Keyes and the killer cruise /
ISBN: 0307930629. OCLC Number:

. .

"Teen sleuth Sammy Keyes solves a classic locked-room mystery aboard a cruise ship"--Provided by publisher.

The secret life of Lincoln Jones /
ISBN: 1101940409. OCLC Number:

. .

Lincoln Jones is always working on the latest story he's got going in his notebook. Those stories are his refuge. A place where the hero always prevails and the bad guy goes to jail. Real life is messy and complicated, so Lincoln sticks to fiction and keeps to himself. Which works fine until a nosy girl at his new school starts prying into his private business. She wants to know what he's writing, where he disappears to after school, and why he never talks to anybody.

Wild bird /
ISBN: 1101940441. OCLC Number:

. .

When her behavior escalates out of control, fourteen-year-old Wren is taken away to a wilderness therapy camp where she is forced to develop new skills, including the courage to ask for help.


Shredderman: Secret Identity

  • Christopher Medal for "affirming the highest values of the human spirit."
  • Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education
  • Editors Choice, Booklist
  • Cuffie for Best New Series
  • Best Book of the Year, Child Magazine
  • Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

  • Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children's Mystery
  • Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Mustache Mary

  • Quick Pick title, YALSA
  • Sammy Keys and the Hollywood Mummy

  • Quick Pick title, YALSA
  • Sammy Keys and the Art of Deception

  • Mystery Book of the Year, Disney Adventures
  • Flipped

  • Top 100 Children's Novel for the 21st Century, School Library Journal
  • Children's Choice Book, IRA/CBC
  • Teacher's Choice Book, IRA/CBC
  • Young Reader Medal Winner in the states of California, Nevada and Virginia
  • Swear to Howdy

  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Parent's Guide
  • The Running Dream

  • Master List, Rebecca Caudill, 2014
  • Schneider Family Award, ALA
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014
  • Top 10 BFYA Book, YALSA
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Top Ten Books, Amazon, 2011
  • Bank Street Best Book
  • Young Reader Medal Winner, in the states of Vermont, Utah, South Carolina and Nebraska

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

    Please see her website for additional information.