Title: Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash
Author: Wendelin van Draanen
Ideal Audience: Girls, 10-14
Summary: When a dying man hands thirteen-year-old Sammy three thousand dollars and begs her to throw it away, Sammy is torn. She doesn't want to go against his wishes, but... three thousand dollars? Wouldn't it be better if she just... spent it away?
So Sammy decides not to tell the police, nor her grandmother, nor any of her friends, about the little money issue, and keeps the bills hidden in her backpack. All of a sudden, she has spending money, and it feels so good! She can buy whatever she wants, and can even buy things as a favor for her friends!
But soon Sammy realizes that she's involved in a lot more than just a little white lie. Strange men seem to be investigating the missing money, and now Sammy can't help but wonder... is keeping the money not just wrong, but also dangerous? Can she solve the mystery before it's too late?
My thoughts: Sammy Keyes is a strong, fun character that will appeal to all middle school girls. Although Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash did not play out like the average mystery novel (Sammy Keyes was to blame for lying about the money, and the ending wasn't completely black-and-white), this made it more realistic and original.
Wendelin van Draanen has scored again with this installment in her series, and hopefully Sammy Keyes will continue with as much fun as ever!
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