The Edmond Sun

September 30, 2013

Author of Sammy Keyes series set to sign books

Children’s writer at Best of Books Wednesday

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Children’s author Wendelin Van Draanen is leaving her home in California and coming back to Edmond for a book signing Wedneday at Best of Books. She will be autographing copies for young readers from 5-6:30 p.m.

Best of Books co-owners Julie Hovis and Kathy Kinasewitz welcome Van Draanen whenever she can stop by Edmond.

“We really love her books,” Hovis said.

Kinasewitz chimed in, “And the kids find her books relevant to their lives.”

Van Draanen is best known by the younger set for writing the Sammy Keyes series beginning in 1997. Sammy is the friend she wished she had had in junior high Van Draanen said.

“She’s spunky, a little sassy, tough on the outside but kind and thoughtful on the inside,” Van Draanen said on her website. “Having been a high school teacher and a mother has helped me remember what the age feels like. It has given me a clear perspective on what kids are going through in today’s society. Some of it is the same as when she was growing up and some is much more intense.

She has written 10 books in what she plans as a series of 20.

A runner, she encourages students to move when they are not doing something like studying or reading for fun.

Van Draanen urges students who are interested in writing to get out and live their life. “Do a lot. See a lot. Keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention to the different ways people speak. Read a lot of different kinds of books and then try writing in different voices and styles — don’t be afraid to experiment,” Van Draanen says.

When visiting Edmond, she told students at a local middle school a few years ago to write and then write some more.

“The key to the whole operation is to rewrite,” Van Draanen said.

In addition to the Sammy Keyes series, Van Draanen is also the author of the Shrederman books and novels Flipped and Swear to Howdy.

Best of Books is at 1313 E. Danforth.

For more information, call