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Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Lantern Sam is the wise-cracking, sarcastic, talking cat (for those who can hear him, that is) who lives onboard the Lake Erie Shoreliner train and is one of the best detectives no one knows about. He doesn't have much patience for humans (unless they bring him sardines), but when 10-year-old traveler Henry can't find his new friend, the exuberant Ellie, Sam's enlisted to ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2014)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  246 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jf-mystery, jf-cats
I loved the characters (especially the telepathic cat), the plot, and the lovely epilogue.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits, by Michael Beil is full of Mystery and action for everyone to enjoy. The book starts off in the Lake Erie Skyliner, a coach train in which Henry and his family are taking to go see his father. During his trip, Henry meets a girl named Ellie, who was born in a wealthy household. Immediately after they meet, Ellie goes missing. The whole train goes on a wild goose hunt to find her, as she was born into a very important family. Henry decides to investigate h ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: league
A surprisingly good mystery with endearing characters. We have a train conductor, a poor ten year old boy, a wealthy 9 year old girl and a very sarcastic calico. Together they solve a mystery and capture the bad guys all on the Lake Erie Shoreliner train in 1938.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cute story half narrated by a cat and half narrated by a boy. The cat can communicate with some humans in their minds, and he is good at solving mysteries. Lots of clever writing from the cat's perspective. I think this would be a good read aloud. ...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
This fast-paced 1930s mystery features trains, roller coasters, jewels . . . and a talking cat?! I know. That's quite a combination, isn't it? ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun mystery. Mostly predictable, but a great read.
This was a great book. I read Michael D. Beil's other books, including The Red Blazer Girls, and this one was great! I would highly recommend you reading this. ...more
Alex T.
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the twists and surprises with the small fantasy of a talking cat
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing a robbery on a train (with a talking cat my favorite character)who would have thought of it. The author of this book is brilliant.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully fun story! I wish it had been a series. I would love to read more about Lantern Sam's adventures! ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-books
I absolutely adore Lantern Sam and his owner. The story was fabulous and funny. As The mystery unfolded, I loved “Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits.”
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic juvenile fiction, like Agatha Christie for kids.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing!

I loved it! It the PERFECT children's mystery!

The worst part about it:
There isn't a sequel!
Donna Drew
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. My favorite part of the book was the almost entirely true autobiography of Lantern Sam. It was very funny.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
the book is ok it's not the greatest. there are many adventures in this book but a lot of boring parts to. i mostly recomed it for kids like 10 to 9 since the book is very easy and is more of a kids book. there are many small words and the book is a good way to learn little words ...more
Bookish Devil
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Need this one to be made into a series. I love Latern Sam so so much !!
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Becky B
Lantern Sam is a rather unique feline. Not only is he a very rare male calico, but he has the ability to talk to certain humans in English. He also has a knack for solving crime. And it's a good thing he lives on the Lake Erie Shoreliner with Clarence the train's conductor, because someone or someones are up to some serious mischief. The daughter of the rich Strasbourg family, Ellie, was enjoying a nice ride on the train headed to the Conneaut Lake unveiling of their Blue Streak roller coaster a ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lantern Sam is a dual narrative: one part told by 10-year-old Henry Shipley and one told in flashback by Lantern Sam (a male calico cat). Henry's narration relates the events on the Shoreliner (a famous express train taking passengers from New York to Chicago--960 miles--in less than 20 hours) in 1938 when he and Sam first meet, while Sam's story is his autobiography up to the point where he meets Henry.

Henry, his mother and baby sister are traveling home to Ashtabula, Ohio after a rare trip to
Barb Middleton
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, trains
This fast-paced mystery steams along with humorous characters and unpredictable twists and turns as the adventure starts on the Lake Erie Shoreliner train during the 1930's. Lantern Sam is a calico cat with a penchant for solving mysteries and stealing most scenes with his smart aleck comments and thoughts. This talking cat can communicate with a few people and has little patience for most humans unless they have a can of sardines on them. Luckily the conductor of the train, Clarence, does have ...more
Josephine Sorrell
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-2015
Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits is a mystery that will keep the reader guessing to the very end.

Ten-year-old Henry Shipley figured aboard The Lake Erie Shoreliner in depression era, year 1937. Henry is accompanied by his mother and little sister on their way to New York City. Suddenly he is also accompanied by two very different people. The first is a perky girl his age named Ellie Strasbourg who came from money and could talk a mile a minute. The second wasn’t a person at all, rather it
Ms. Yingling
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Henry is traveling on the Lake Erie Shoreliner train in the 1930s from New York back home to Ashtabula, Ohio (the birthplace of Yours Truly, and pronounced ASH tuh BEW luh ) where his father is the captain of the Point Pelee, a freighter. He meets a rich heiress, Ellie, who is traveling to Conneaut (KAHN ee awt) to travel on the new roller coaster, the Blue Streak. She invites Henry to go with her family, but before long, she goes missing. Lantern Sam, a cat who hangs out with Clarence the Condu ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Henry is traveling with his mother and sister on the Lake Erie Shoreliner. He meets chatty heiress Ellie who decides they are going to be great friends. They also meet conductor Clarence and his telepathic cat Sam. When Ellie disappears soon after Henry, Clarence and Sam are determined to find her. Someone has kidnapped Ellie and demanded her mother's priceless necklace, the Blue Streak, as ransom. There are a lot of characters on the train with secrets and hidden agendas. Our intrepid investiga ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Lake Erie Shoreliner runs from New York City to Ohio and in the 1930s is a spectacular way to travel. Henry and his mom and baby sister on the train heading home when Henry meets Ellie, a fast talking girl who instantly decides that they are friends. While wandering the train, they meet up with Clarence the Conductor who gives them a full tour, ending with his cat Lantern Sam. Sam is no ordinary cat as he can communicate--telepathically--with a handful of individuals. And Henry is part of th ...more
Amy Forrester
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
When 11-year-old Henry steps aboard the always prompt Lake Erie Shoreliner in New York City, he expects to spend the trip home to Ashtabula, MI drawing and secretly reading comic books. But when his new friend Ellie suddenly disappears it’s up to Henry, the conductor Clarence Nockwood, and Lantern Sam to solve the mystery. Who is Lantern Sam, you might ask? He’s a calico cat with a nose for adventure, detective work, and sardines. Can this unlikely trio solve the mystery before the train arrives ...more
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
10 year old Henry and his new friend Ellie are riding the Shoreliner from New York back home to Ohio when Ellie is kidnapped. Is she still on the train? And, if not, how did the kidnappers get her off the train? Henry, with the help of Clarence the Conductor and Clarence's amazing cat Lantern Sam set out to solve the mystery and to save Ellie.

Lantern Sam is no ordinary cat and Henry is no ordinary boy. They can communicate with each other, Henry in spoken English and Lantern Sam with a form of t
Tibby (she/her)
Michael Beil knows how to write an fantastic middle grade mystery. I was guessing until the end on this one. The setting, almost completely on a train, was very exciting. And Lantern Sam is hilarious, especially his penchant for Jersey cow cream and Full Sail Sardines. The format alternates chapters of the mystery with chapters from Lantern Sam's autobiography which detail most of his nine lives and how he lost them. Spoiler alert: It appears for awhile that Sam has died so be careful with your ...more
When Henry Shipely boards the Lake Erie Shorliner for a long train ride home he is hoping to spend a relaxing ride with his favorite books, but it doesn’t take long for things to take an unexpected turn. Within moments of settling into the dining car, the wealthy young heiress, Ellie Strasbourg, starts talking Henry’s ear off. She introduces Henry to the train conductor, a couple of suspicious looking grownups and a talking cat named Lantern Sam (who loves sardines more than anything in the worl ...more
This fun, historical mystery is told in alternating voices--Henry, the son of a ship captain who is traveling home by train in the 1930s with his mom and baby sister; and Lantern Sam, a male calico who has used up more than his fair share of lives. When a kidnapping occurs aboard the train, these two have to work together to solve the mystery of who has taken Ellie and how to get her back. Fortunately, Henry is one of the very rare people who can hear Sam's thoughts and communicate with him, a s ...more
Maggie V
Set in 1938, readers go between solving the mystery of who kidnapped Ellie and who are all the stranger characters on board (a gossipy woman with a crazy hat, and off-key singing sisters, and the secretive couple that keep fiddling with their wedding rings for example), and learning about Lantern Sam, a one in 3000 male calico cat who solved mysteries and can talk to only certain people. Although some of the premise is ridiculous (talking cats would be amazing though), this is a wonderful, sligh ...more
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Michael D. Beil grew up in rural Ohio , where he learned to milk cows and other important lessons. He was a sailor, sailmaker and lawyer before finding his true calling in 1997: Teacher.

Since 2001, he has taught English and drama at Saint Vincent Ferrer, an all-girls Catholic high school in Manhattan, where he also wrote and produced Aftershocks, a play based on the challenges facing the immigrant

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