What does Frankenstein have that a skeleton wants Sounds like a bad Halloween joke. But Sammy Keyes isn't laughing. She's the one who collided with the skeleton while he was making his getaway.
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Knopf Books for Young Readers
December 31, 1997
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Draanen
You may think I'm too old to go out trick-or-treating. Grams does. She thinks that after the fourth grade you're too old. Period. And seeing how I'm in the seventh grade, well, according to Grams I'm way too old.
And usually I pay attention to what my grams says. Partly that's because I have to since I'm staying with her while my mom's run off to Hollywood to become a movie star, but mostly it's because I've figured out the hard way that she's usually right about things. What she's definitely not right about though is the cutoff for trick-or-treating. I don't know exactly when it is, but I do know it's sometime after the seventh grade. Period.
Now Grams couldn't exactly make me stay home and pass out candy. Kids aren't even allowed in the Senior Highrise, so how can you pass out candy to them? She couldn't let me transform into the Monster from the Marsh in her apartment, either -- not with Mrs. Graybill waiting for me to slip up and give away the fact that I really do live with Grams. And since I didn't want to haul a bunch of green hair and warts and stuff clear across town to Marissa's, when Dot invited us to get ready over at her house, I jumped up and said, "Great!"
Dot's new at school, and Marissa and I don't know her all that well, but I already like her. She's kind of quiet and blinks a lot, and always brings root beer in her lunch. Her name's really Margaret -- or Maggie -- but everyone calls her Dot because she's got a beauty mark right in the middle of her cheek. This is no mole. It's not lumpy or bumpy or poking out hair. It's just this round black circle on her face that looks like it's been colored in with a fountain pen. A dot. And when you first meet Dot, you don't really notice that she's got big brown eyes and teeth that kind of crisscross in front -- you just come away wondering if that's a permanent dot on her face, or if she was leaning on the wrong end of a marking pen.
Anyhow, I was stuffing everything I needed to transform into the Monster from the Marsh into a sack when Grams says, "Are you planning to go over already?" like Halloween is something you don't want to arrive too early for.
I just nod. "Could you check the hall for me?"
She rummages through my bag a little and says, "I want you to wear a jacket."
I look at her like she's crazy. "A jacket? But Grams...it's Halloween!"