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Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Chasing Vermeer (2004)

by Blue Balliett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Petra / Calder Art Mysteries (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6941412,120 (3.68)133
  1. 70
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (infiniteletters)
  2. 50
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (heidialice)
    heidialice: Nothing can top "The Westing Game" -- if you like "Chasing Vermeer" go read it!
  3. 20
    Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach (Anonymous user, elbakerone)
    elbakerone: These books are both fun young adult mysteries involving classic art, literature and historical figures!
  4. 00
    The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone (foggidawn)
  5. 00
    Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry (infiniteletters)
  6. 11
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (FFortuna)
  7. 00
    The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt (infiniteletters)
  8. 11
    The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Those who enjoyed Chasing Vermeer will not want to miss Calder and Petra in their sequel The Wright 3!

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» See also 133 mentions

English (141)  Spanish (1)  All languages (142)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Calder Pillay enjoys puzzles and is fascinated with pentominoes. Petra Andalee aspires to be a writer. They are classmates in Ms. Hussy's 6th grade class. They are not really friends, but become good friends through this adventure.

Ms. Hussy is very interested in art and uses a creative way to teach the class. She uses Vermeer's "A Lady Writing" and "The Geographer" in presenting questions about whether letter writing is important and ideas in art as "a lie that tells the truth."

When Vermeer's "A Lady Writing" disappears in transit from Washington D.C. to Hyde Park, Calder and Petra decide to try and find it. Looking for hidden places in old buildings. Using an old book as a source of idea and thinking. Secret codes, pentominoes and other puzzles aren't just part of the story, they are also to be found by the reader in the illustrations in the book.

I'd say this is a book you'd want to take your time with and keep aware of any possible clues that may come up. The illustrations have a lot to offer in telling the story and providing possible clues.

There is a section in the back with more information about the author, the puzzles, the illustrations, the actual art mentioned in the book. There is also a taste of the second book "The Wright 3" which I find I already have.

A good read! ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Nov 14, 2018 |
Looking for a good book for younger children with high reading levels? This might be a winner! No zombies, death, vampires or blood! Follow Petra and Calder as they try and unravel mysterious clues about a book, a letter and the lady in Vermeer's painting, "A Lady Writing". Fun and full of interesting twists-and-turns, this book keeps kids guessing (and reading!) to discover the ending. A definite read for the art lovers, too! ( )
  aarchamb | Mar 22, 2018 |
Chasing Vermeer is a middle-grade novel centering around two slightly odd eleven-year-olds, whose intellectual curiosity brings them together to solve a mystery.

What I liked: It’s a mystery! I love mysteries, especially when they’re about kids out-smarting adults. The book incorporates art into the story, educating the reader on some pretty interesting art history. The cover and the interior drawings are wonderful.

What I didn’t like: Although it is a mystery, the two kids don’t really use problem-solving or reasoning to solve it. There are way too many coincidences throughout the book, and the finale is pretty disappointing and flat. The two main characters are likable, but it would’ve been more interesting if they had used their intellect to solve the mystery rather than rely on dreams and coincidences. I would’ve liked to have seen them discover clues and then put together the pieces to discover the bad guy and find the painting.

All-in-all, it was well-written and beautifully illustrated, but a bit disappointing throughout.

3 out of 5 stars ( )
  AlbaArango | Nov 30, 2017 |
Chasing Vermeer

This book is about two kids in middle school that have a lot in common. A boy named Calder, and a girl named Petra. The both of them were like detectives working together to solve something.

In this story, the two of them are looking for a stolen painting made by Johannes Vermeer. In this story, it takes forever to get the painting back.
  Samwri621 | Oct 23, 2017 |
haven't read it ( )
  JadenN.B3 | Sep 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Blue Balliettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gunsteren, Dirk vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kehn, ReginaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Has as a student's study guide

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One can't learn much and also be comfortable. One can't learn much and let anybody else be comfortable. -- Charles Fort, Wild Talents
For Jessie, Althea and Dan, my three questioners xxx B.B
For My mother, Colleen xxx B. H
First words
On a warm October night in Chicago three deliveries were made in the same neighborhood.
Ms. Hussey's classroom was in the middle school building at the University School, in the neighborhood known as Hyde Park. The school sat on the edge of the University of Chicago campus.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439372976, Paperback)

In the classic tradition of E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, debut author Blue Balliett introduces readers to another pair of precocious kids on an artful quest full of patterns, puzzles, and the power of blue M&Ms. Eleven year old Petra and Calder may be in the same sixth grade class, but they barely know each other. It’s only after a near collision during a museum field trip that they discover their shared worship of art, their teacher Ms. Hussey, and the blue candy that doesn’t melt in your hands. Their burgeoning friendship is strengthened when a creative thief steals a valuable Vermeer painting en route to Chicago, their home town. When the thief leaves a trail of public clues via the newspaper, Petra and Calder decide to try and recover the painting themselves. But tracking down the Vermeer isn’t easy, as Calder and Petra try to figure out what a set of pentominos (mathematical puzzle pieces), a mysterious book about unexplainable phenomena and a suddenly very nervous Ms. Hussey have to do with a centuries old artwork. When the thief ups the ante by declaring that he or she may very well destroy the painting, the two friends know they have to make the pieces of the puzzle fit before it’s too late!

Already being heralded as The DaVinci Code for kids, Chasing Vermeer will have middle grade readers scrutinizing art books as they try to solve the mystery along with Calder and Petra. In an added bonus, artist Brett Helquist has also hidden a secret pentomino message in several of the book’s illustrations for readers to decode. An auspicious and wonderfully satisfying debut that will leave no young detective clueless. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:06 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

» see all 6 descriptions

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