Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Wendelin VanDraanen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

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.


'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.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Confessions of a serial kisser
ISBN: 9780375842498. OCLC Number: 166873958

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

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.

Flipped /
ISBN: 0375825444. OCLC Number: 46472269

Knopf,. .

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

Hope in the mail :
ISBN: 1984894668. OCLC Number: 1135487622

. .

"Wendelin Van Draanen didn't grow up wanting to be a writer, but thirty books later, she's convinced that writing saved her life. Or, at least, saved her from a life of bitterness and despair. Writing helped her sort out what she thought and felt and wanted. And digging deep into fictional characters helped her understand the real people in her life better as well"

How I survived being a girl
ISBN: 9780060540739. OCLC Number: 52998490

HarperTrophy,. .

Stuck with two brothers, Carolyn has learned a thing or two about how to survive. She keeps her hair too short and wears boys' clothes whenever possible. But when her new sister is born, things change.

Runaway /
ISBN: 0375835229. OCLC Number: 62895767

. .

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 art of deception
ISBN: 9780307544988. OCLC Number: 430044327

Dell Yearling,. .

Seventh-grade sleuth Sammy Keyes investigates mysterious happenings at a local art gallery.

Sammy Keyes and the cold hard cash
ISBN: 9780375835261. OCLC Number: 216937383

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

Thirteen-year-old Sammy meets a mysterious man who dies of a heart attack after telling her to get rid of the large amount of money he is carrying, leading her to investigate who the man was and how he came to be carrying so much cash.

Sammy Keyes and the curse of Moustache Mary
ISBN: 9780307544971. OCLC Number: 430046734

Dell Yearling,. .

While celebrating the New Year with a friend, Sammy encounters a mystery involving an elderly neighbor, a pioneer cabin, and a century-old family feud.

Sammy Keyes and the dead giveaway /
ISBN: 0375823506. OCLC Number: 58536637

Alfred A. Knopf :. .

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 Hollywood mummy
ISBN: 9780307545176. OCLC Number: 430047767

Dell Yearling,. .

A Hollywood actress, who had been competing with Sammy's mother for an important role, is murdered, but thirteen-year-old Sammy and her friend Marissa are on the case.

Sammy Keyes and the hotel thief /
ISBN: 0679892648. OCLC Number: 37748527

Knopf :. .

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.

Sammy Keyes and the killer cruise /
ISBN: 0307930629. OCLC Number: 820349465

. .

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

Sammy Keyes and the kiss goodbye
ISBN: 0307930637. OCLC Number: 862041472

. .

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 night of the skulls.
ISBN: 9781430117513. OCLC Number: 960021535

Live Oak Media. .

Read by Tara Sands. In this fourteenth title in the popular series, Sammy is hoping for a fun Halloween for a change. But dressing up as zombies and cutting through the cemetery assures that the teenage sleuth and her pals are soon immersed in a satisfyingly suspenseful adventure full of secrets and surprises not the least of which is a trick-or-treat bag with human skulls!

Sammy Keyes and the power of Justice Jack
ISBN: 9781430119951. OCLC Number: 907144329

Live Oak Media,. .

In this fifteenth book about the irrepressible Sammy Keyes, she deals with the zaniest character to come out of her town yet Justice Jack, Santa Martinas very own superhero. Dressed in spandex and a mask, he drives around on a dirt bike hoping to fight crime. Though everyone else seems taken with Jack, Sammys not so sure and now that she has a real mystery to solve her detective skills are pushed to the limits by Jack.

Sammy Keyes and the psycho Kitty Queen
ISBN: 9780307545183. OCLC Number: 430047809

Yearling,. .

When cats begin to mysteriously disappear in Santa Martina, thirteen-year-old friends Sammy and Holly start snooping around town to find out what is happening.

Sammy Keyes and the runaway elf
ISBN: 9780375802553. OCLC Number: 40489335

Alfred Knopf :. .

After a dog she is watching disappears from a city parade and the owner receives a ransom note, thirteen-year-old Sammy must use her detective skills to solve the mystery.

Sammy Keyes and the search for Snake Eyes
ISBN: 9780307545299. OCLC Number: 430048671

Dell Yearling,. .

When thirteen-year-old Sammy finds herself with an abandoned baby on her hands, she sets out to find the young mother, who may belong to a gang, and accidentally jeopardizes her position on the softball team.

Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City.
ISBN: 9781430126997. OCLC Number: 974699549

Live Oak Media. .

Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy
ISBN: 9780307545404. OCLC Number: 430048838

Dell Yearling,. .

Sammy continues to make life with her grandmother interesting as she tries to discover who is stealing from St. Mary's church, befriends a homeless girl, and plays in a softball tournament against a bitter rival.

Sammy Keyes and the skeleton man
ISBN: 0375800549. OCLC Number: 38061528

Knopf :. .

On Halloween night, seventh grader Sammy stumbles onto a mystery involving a twenty-year-old family feud and some heirlooms stolen by a man in a skeleton costume.

Sammy Keyes and the wedding crasher
ISBN: 9780375897344. OCLC Number: 502029827

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

When her history teacher begins receiving death threats and her own name is near the top of the suspect list, eighth-grader Sammy is determined to find the real perpetrator, but she is distracted by her mother's relationship problems, her almost-boyfriend inexplicably avoiding her, and her duties as a reluctant bridesmaid.

Sammy Keyes and the wild things
ISBN: 9780375892196. OCLC Number: 430050577

Yearling,. .

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.

Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger
ISBN: 0375823522. OCLC Number: 54012974

Knopf :. .

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.

Shredderman: Enemy Spy
ISBN: 9780307559661. OCLC Number: 747248975

Yearling :. .

When Nolan witnesses a serious crime, he realizes he may not be able to hide behind his Shredderman identity this time.

Shredderman: Meet the Gecko
ISBN: 0375823530. OCLC Number: 57004083

Knopf :. .

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.

Shredderman: Secret Identity
ISBN: 0440419123. OCLC Number: 52930023

Knopf :. .

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

Swear to howdy /
ISBN: 0440419433. OCLC Number: 51893141

. .

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.

The Gecko & Sticky :
ISBN: 0440422442. OCLC Number: 694394378

. .

Seventh-grader Dave Sanchez and his talking gecko sidekick Sticky decide they must rescue an odious science teacher who has been kidnapped by the even more villanous Damien Black, who is masquerading as a substitute teacher in order to steal Dave's magic Aztec armband.

The Gecko & Sticky: The Power Potion
ISBN: 0440422434. OCLC Number: 722851068

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

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: 9780375896798. OCLC Number: 607573655

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

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.

The secret life of Lincoln Jones /
ISBN: 1101940409. OCLC Number: 957640693

. .

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: 970022948

. .

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.