Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None


Born: 1965 in Chicago, Illinois



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 Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''''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