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Wendelin VanDraanen

Born: 1965 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Van Draanen was born Chicago.

Biography: 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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Confessions of a serial kisser
ISBN: 9780375842498 OCLC: 166873958

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.

Flipped /
ISBN: 0375825444 OCLC: 46472269

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.

Hope in the mail :
ISBN: 1984894668 OCLC: 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: 52998490

HarperTrophy, New York : 2003.

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: 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: 430044327

Dell Yearling, New York : ©2003.

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

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

Alfred A. Knopf, New York : 2008.

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: 430046734

Dell Yearling, New York : ©2000.

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: 58536637

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 Hollywood mummy
ISBN: 9780307545176 OCLC: 430047767

Dell Yearling, New York : ©2001.

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: 37748527

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.

Sammy Keyes and the killer cruise /
ISBN: 0307930629 OCLC: 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: 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: 960021535

Live Oak Media 2014.

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: 907144329

Live Oak Media, [Somers, N.Y.] : ℗2015.

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: 430047809

Yearling, New York : ©2004.

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: 40489335

Alfred Knopf : New York : 1999.

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: 430048671

Dell Yearling, New York : ©2002.

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: 974699549

Live Oak Media 2017.

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

Dell Yearling, New York : ©1999.

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: 38061528

Knopf : New York : ©1998.

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: 502029827

Alfred A. Knopf, New York : 2010.

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: 430050577

Yearling, 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.

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

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.

Shredderman: Enemy Spy
ISBN: 9780307559661 OCLC: 747248975

Yearling : New York : 2005.

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: 57004083

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.

Shredderman: Secret Identity
ISBN: 0440419123 OCLC: 52930023

Knopf : New York : 2004.

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

Swear to howdy /
ISBN: 0440419433 OCLC: 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: 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: 722851068

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: 9780375896798 OCLC: 607573655

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.

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