Now with a bright new paperback look, the fifth book in the middle-grade mystery series starring the Edgar Award-winning Sammy Keyes!
What's supposed to be a quiet weekend in the country turns into a crossroads adventure when Sammy and her friends meet Lucinda Huntley walking her 200-pound pig down the middle of the road. She tells them a true tale of the Wild West, a story of tough times, wagon trains, her great-grandma Moustache Mary, and a century-old family feud.
But this feud is hardly ancient history. Past and present collide -- and combust! -- when Mary's pioneer cabin burns to the ground. Sammy thinks the cause of the fire may be a hundred years old, but still, the gas can she finds near the scene of the crime is shiny and new. . . .
Gr 6-8-Another whirlwind adventure for the amateur sleuth. While biking out to Dot's house for New Year's weekend, Sammy and her friends literally run into a boy on a skateboard that looks suspiciously like the one that was stolen from Sammy. Taylor lures the girls to a party with the promise of getting the skateboard back, but he is really interested in seeing Marissa. Before they can leave, however, Sammy shares a few exciting and confusing moments with Casey, a boy who holds her hand and promises to help her retrieve her board. Meanwhile, a fire has destroyed the cabin of Moustache Mary, a pioneer woman who was one of the area's original settlers. Her descendant Lucinda Huntley is convinced that it was set by the neighbors with whom her family has feuded for generations. Sammy puts the clues together and finds the real culprit. Van Draanen deals with some serious issues here. The New Year's party is unchaperoned and there are several young people drinking and smoking marijuana. The girls eventually learn that one of Lucinda's hired hands is operating an underground meth lab. The writing is realistic and effective with these scenarios- Sammy is afraid and confused in situations involving drugs and alcohol. This is an exciting story with some quick-witted comebacks and a great friendship shared by the girls. It will be appreciated most by readers who are already familiar with the earlier titles.-Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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February 12, 2001
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