Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm a firm believer in the adage "Too much is never enough," or "More better" or "Whaddya mean, I can't have my cake and eat it too?" So, when I decided I liked the Sammy Keyes books enough to order them from the library, and then eventually realized that order does matter, I started sensibly getting one at a time. Except then I ran over to the other library and just checked the shelves, and then I found myself near the other branch, and so I've zipped through three. I'll put the next one on order, and then I'll go back to my measured pace. Of course.
The Sammy Keyes books are by Wendelin Van Draanen, who has also written the Shredderman books. I'll have to ask the boys if they've ever heard of that. In the meantime, I read Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf, and Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy. I learned more about Sammy's relationship with several of her mentors, and I watched the trust between her and her grandmother waver and then grow. I like Sammy's general competence -- when assigned to work at her local church as part of a detention, she gets the task of painting an office, so she just pulls out the rollers and gets to work. I am personally terrified of house painting and sure I'll mess up my boys' room forever, so her calm completion of the assignment reassures me. Later she gets the chance to mentor a younger kid, and she recognizes that she is repaying some of the gifts her friends have given her. And she confronts her mother, who has left her with her grandmother in an apartment where children are not allowed, a complication that contributes to many of the twists in the book.
Well, I'll be hornswaggled. I just checked the author's homepage, and she thinks you don't have to read them in order. I think it's better, though, because there are ongoing themes and stories -- Sammy's attitudes towards many people evolve over time, and it's fun to watch things unfold.
My poor third grader has misplaced his copy, so I'll try to pick that up from another library. I hate to suffer an addiction alone.