Best Selling Books by Wendelin Van Draanen

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release date: Jan 10, 2012
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The Running Dream (Schneider Family Book Award - Teen Book Winner)
When Jessica is told she’ll never run again, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before. The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story.
 
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
 
As she struggles to cope, Jessica feels that she’s both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say act like she’s not there. Jessica’s embarrassed to realize that she’s done the same to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
 
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
 
“Inspirational. The pace of Van Draanen’s prose matches Jessica’s at her swiftest. Readers will zoom through the book just as Jessica blazes around the track. A lively and lovely story.” —Kirkus Reviews
release date: May 13, 2003
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Flipped
Celebrating 15 years of Flipped—a classic he-said-she-said romantic comedy!  This updated anniversary edition offers story-behind-the-story revelations from author Wendelin Van Draanen.
 
The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. Juli says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.” But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down: just as Bryce is thinking that there’s maybe more to Juli than meets the eye, she’s thinking that he’s not quite all he seemed.
 
This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny voices.

The updated anniversary edition contains 32 pages of extra backmatter:  essays from Wendelin Van Draanen on her sources of inspiration, on the making of the movie of Flipped, on why she’ll never write a sequel, and a selection of the amazing fan mail she’s received.
 
Awards and accolades for Flipped:
 
SLJ Top 100 Children’s Novels of all time
IRA-CBC Children’s Choice
IRA Teacher’s Choice
Honor winner, Judy Lopez Memorial Award/WNBA
Winner of the California Young Reader Medal
 
“We flipped over this fantastic book, its gutsy girl Juli and its wise, wonderful ending.” — The Chicago Tribune
 
“Van Draanen has another winner in this eighth-grade ‘he-said, she-said’ romance. A fast, funny, egg-cellent winner.” — SLJ, Starred review
 
“With a charismatic leading lady kids will flip over, a compelling dynamic between the two narrators and a resonant ending, this novel is a great deal larger than the sum of its parts.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred review
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release date: Oct 25, 2016
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The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones
"Lincoln Jones is a loner who prefers to keep his head down and use writing as a way to escape the trials of daily life at his new school. As he and his mother struggle to start over, Lincoln's attempts at invisibility are thwarted by a fellow sixth grader, a girl who shows him that he's got a lot to offer as a friend. Strong characters who value humor, perseverance, and compassion will particularly appeal to readers adapting to middle school." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

A fresh and funny story about a boy learning to become the brave hero of his own life, perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and The Fourteenth Goldfish.
 
My secret life is filled with psychic vampires, wheelchair zombies, chain-rattlin’ ghosts, and a one-eyed cat. But they’re nothing compared to my real-life stalker: a sixth-grade girl named Kandi Kain. . . .
 
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. . . .
 
The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones is a terrifically funny and poignant story about a boy finding the courage to get to know the real characters all around him—and to let them know him.


Praise for The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones:

Winner of the Josette Frank Award

"Van Draanen's engaging story is characterized by clever writing, a palpable affection for her characters, and a deep understanding of what's important about life. Readers will love Lincoln Jones."—Kirkus Reviews

"Van Draanen skillfully wraps up her tale, offering a realistically happy ending. A story with a perfect balance of mirth and poignancy." -- School Library Journal

"Lincoln is a delightful narrator." -- Booklist
release date: Sep 05, 2017
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Wild Bird
From the award-winning author of The Running Dream and Flipped comes a remarkable portrait of a girl who has hit rock bottom but begins a climb back to herself at a wilderness survival camp.

3:47 a.m. That’s when they come for Wren Clemmens. She’s hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who’ve gone so far off the rails, their parents don’t know what to do with them anymore. This is wilderness therapy camp. Eight weeks of survivalist camping in the desert. Eight weeks to turn your life around. Yeah, right.
 
The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and bitter, and blaming everyone but herself. But angry can’t put up a tent. And bitter won’t start a fire. Wren’s going to have to admit she needs help if she’s going to survive.

"I read Wild Bird in one long mesmerized gulp. Wren will break your heart—and then mend it." —Nancy Werlin, National Book Award finalist for The Rules of Survival

"Van Draanen’s Wren is real and relatable, and readers will root for her." —VOYA, starred review
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release date: Aug 18, 1998
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Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
Sammy Keyes must be a magnet for trouble...
 
I mean it's bad enough that she has to live illegally in a seniors-only building with her grandmother while her mother tries to make it as a move star. And worse that she witnessed a burglary in progress--and that the theif saw her. And worse still that nosy neighbor Mrs. Graybill is onto her, and that the thief is after her. But on top of all that, she also manages to make an enemy of the queen of mean at her new school and get suspended on the first day.

Welcome to the wild world of Sammy Keyes!
 
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
 
“Sammy Keyes is feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!” —New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton
 
“The sleuth delights from start to finish. Keep your binoculars trained on Sammy Keyes.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Sammy Keyes is the hottest sleuth to appear in children’s books since Nancy Drew.”—The Boston Globe
release date: Apr 10, 2012
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Runaway
This diary of a runaway girl and her search for a home celebrates hope, resilience, and happy endings as only Wendelin Van Draanen, the author of Flipped and other acclaimed novels, can.
 
Holly has run away before, but this time she actually gets away—and what at first felt like an escape soon becomes a daily struggle for survival. She is smart and resourceful, and she manages to make it across the country on her own. But how long can this go on? It’s getting harder to avoid the truth—Holly is now homeless.
 
Runaway is a remarkably uplifting portrait of a girl still young and stubborn and naive enough to believe there’s a better place for her in the world.
 
“Will grab readers from the first entry.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Holly’s lively self lingers in the way the best characters do. Runaway is certainly one of the best young adult books of the year.” —The Sacramento Bee

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release date: Apr 25, 2006
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Shredderman: Secret Identity
Alvin Bixby: Hulking, knuckles of steel, hideous breath, foul temper. Kids call him: Bubba.

Nolan Byrd: Puny, power walker, math genius, can’t keep shoes tied. Kids call him: Nerd.

Bubba has been the bane of Nolan’s existence for five long years. So when Mr. Green asks the class to become reporters, Nolan decides he’ll write an exposé—on Bubba. He doesn’t want to sign his name to it (that’d be suicidal), so Nolan creates a secret identity for himself—on the Internet. He launches Shredderman.com as a place where truth and justice prevail—and bullies get what’s coming to them.

This hilariously triumphant story is for any kid who’s ever dreamed of unleashing their own inner superhero!
release date: Apr 20, 1999
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Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man
This Halloween is more than just tricks and treats--it's deadly serious.
 
It was supposed to be a simple ding-dong ditch. A dare to give them bragging rights. But as Sammy and her friends sneak up to the spookiest house in town, they get scared witless by a skeleton, and then witness something frightening enough to make even Sammy scream. 

Things have taken a scary turn at school, too, with horrible Heather spreading embarrassing rumors about Sammy. Sammy devises a plan to expose her, but it's going to take a deceptive disguise, some good friends, and a lot of guts to pull it off...

 
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
 
“If Kinsey Millhone ever hires a junior partner, Sammy Keyes will be the first candidate on the list. She’s feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!” —New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton
 
“The sleuth delights from start to finish. Keep your binoculars trained on Sammy Keyes.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review
release date: Apr 25, 2006
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Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger
Nolan Byrd single-handedly saved his school from the bullydom of Alvin “Bubba” Bixby. He posted proof of Bubba’s exploits on the Web at Shredderman.com. Now Shredderman is the school hero! But since Shredderman’s identity is a secret, everyone still treats Nolan like . . . a nerd.

But inside this nerd beats a superhero’s heart—one dedicated to truth and justice. So when a vandal spray-paints graffiti around town—and even on his teacher’s van!—Nolan decides that tracking down the tagger is a job for Shredderman.

But while he’s trying to trap the tagger, the tagger is trying to pin the blame on Shredderman! Can Nolan turn the tables back around before his secret identity is revealed?
release date: Nov 08, 2005
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Swear to Howdy
A funny friendship turns serious in this haunting book about secrets, lies, and what it means to be a true friend.
 
Joey Banks is a walking adventure. He’s funny, daring, mischievous—and frequently in trouble. Or he would be if anyone found out about half the stuff he’s done. Luckily, Rusty Cooper knows how to keep a secret. Joey is the best friend Rusty’s ever had, and he’s not going to mess with that. But then comes a secret that is at once too terrible to tell and too terrible to keep. A secret so big it threatens to eat them alive. What would a true friend do now?
 
Wendelin Van Draanen has written a richly layered book that offers a thought-provoking look at the boundaries of friendship and what it really means to be true.
 
“Triumph and tragedy mix in a compelling country tale of boys being boys.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A poignant, thought-provoking novel that will strike a chord with young readers hooked by the boyish antics of the early chapters, later to be emotionally drawn to the honest portrayal of characters struggling with the consequences that follow every action.” —Midwest Book Review
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