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Paperback Chasing Vermeer Book

ISBN: 0439372976

ISBN13: 9780439372978

Chasing Vermeer

(Book #1 in the Chasing Vermeer Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $3.30!
List Price $7.99

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Book Overview

This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art. Chasing Vermeer joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Thinking on Buying for Myself

So I read this in fourth grade. It was my favorite book to read in class. So, I am now 16 in tenth grade and I am thinking about buying this (and maybe the series!) for myself. My younger sister didn't get to read this so I may let her read it as well (we moved schools before she had the chance. She is almost 13 and in seventh grade.)

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett creates a complex mystery surrounding the theft of a famous Vermeer painting. Two children,through a series of coincidences become linked to the mystery surrounding the theft The children's adventures are guided by a cast of vivid characters that each has secrets of their own. The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago provides a dynamic setting for this thrill ride. The novel explores not just a painting that has captured the attention of the world, but the role coincidences play in every day life. The plot twists come fast and unexpected. However, the novel never loses its whimsical touch while diving into a complex mystery. Chasing Vermeer is a highly engaging novel that forces the reader to become tangled in its web. All aspects of the novel play well of each other, creating a fun and engaging read. Balliett uses the Hyde Park neighborhood and its interesting cast of characters to great advantage. Her main characters, Petra and Calder, capture the reader's sympathy and provide plenty of intrigue. The unfolding of the plot is gradual and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Petra and Calder use intricate clues to put together the pieces of the puzzle. They are dynamic characters who allow us to go along for the ride on this realistic journey. The conflicts that both Petra and Calder experience create a strong partnership and a feeling of duty to both the painting and the people affected by its theft. Balliett has managed an adventure that everyone will enjoy. This book would engage junior high students with ease. Any mystery reader would also love this book.

Mysterious Art

"On a warm October night in Chicago, three deliveries were made in the same neighborhood. A plump tangerine moon had just risen over Lake Michigan. The doorbell had been rung at each place, and an envelope left propped outside." Is it a coincidence that Ms. Hussey, the sixth-grade teacher at University School, challenges her class to think about letters that changed lives? This book is filled with coincidences, ones that sixth-graders Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay think may not be coincidence. Why do the pentomino pieces that Calder carries seem to give him messages? How is it that Calder has a box with a reproduction of Vermeer's The Geographer that also hangs in the home of Mrs. Louisa Sharpe, whose book by Charles Fort Petra has found at Powell's Books, and why does Petra dream about Vermeer's Lady Writing? Is there any connection with the theft of that painting from the Art Institute of Chicago, and what about the odd things Calder's friend Tommy writes to him about in a pentomino-based code? Described by the publisher as "a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art", this "children's book" delighted this adult. Truly about the importance of seeing things new ways, reminding one of Holmes' comment, "you see, Watson, but you do not observe", Chasing Vermeer will have you looking at the world, at patterns, at coincidence in ways you never did before. And there really is a puzzle for you to solve, hidden in Brett Helquist's black-and-white chapter illustrations. (You can go to the book's website for the solution if you want, but it's much more fun to figure it out on your own.) This book had the extra attraction for me of being set in my neighborhood. It was great fun to have part of it take place at one of my favorite used book stores, and to know which buildings Balliett renamed. It was a bit of a shock, though, to look at the map in the front of the book and find that a church has been replaced by a Post Office, and that some other landmarks seem to have disappeared!

It's that good.

Secrets, lies and mysteries surround the work of one of the greatest artists of all time. Moonlit chases, hidden hiding places, and even a secret code help to solve the mystery. Is this the new sequel to THE DA VINCI CODE? Nope --- it's an equally entertaining novel for younger readers. CHASING VERMEER encourages kids to use all their creativity and problem-solving skills to tackle a real-life mystery surrounding the elusive painter Johannes Vermeer.Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee are both a little odd. Their intellectual curiosity and their unique hobbies fit right in, though, with their eccentric families and with their creative classmates at the University of Chicago Lab School. When three mysterious letters show up in their neighborhood and seem linked to the theft of a famous Vermeer painting, a chain of coincidences brings Calder and Petra together to help solve the crime.First-time author Blue Balliett seems to enjoy playing with coincidences, both plausible and far-fetched, and the theme of chance and coincidence cleverly runs through the novel. The novel, with its high-profile crime of a well-known painting (secretly reproduced on the book underneath the dust jacket), also seeks to inspire young people to appreciate art as both dynamic and relevant to their lives. "Children were thinking about Vermeer, too. They were comparing, writing, and visiting museums with friends. Many said that they hadn't realized how cool old pictures could be."The novel's illustrations breathe almost as much life into the book as the text does. Illustrator Brett Helquist (best known for illustrating Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events) includes a full-page illustration for each chapter. Pay attention! Some of the drawings reveal a secret that careful readers can help uncover.With its emphasis on puzzle-solving, CHASING VERMEER is reminiscent of classic novels like THE WESTING GAME. Its focus on connections and coincidences will remind many of HOLES, and its art-related mystery calls to mind FROM THE SECRET FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER. In other words, CHASING VERMEER deserves a spot alongside many well-loved children's books. It's that good. --- (...)

Something for everyone

What a fun mystery. There seems to be something for everyone.It has secret codes, mathematical puzzles (pentominoes), a dash of art history and good characters. There is even a coded message/puzzle in the Bret Helquist illustrations. Codes are always interesting to kids. I think this book will be very popular with middle grade readers. I can see Calder and Petra collaborating on future mysteries. Kids who enjoyed The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine by Diane Stanley, will be happy to have a new and interesting mystery to read.

More accurate than The Da Vinci Code

This may not be The Da Vinci Code for kids, because it seems that the scholarship and research in Chasing Vermeer are more accurate than that in The Da Vinci Code. However, it?s a clever marketing technique, and it seems to be working. Having read The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, and all sorts of ?simpler? mystery novels as a child, this really was refreshing. I wish something like this had been around (or that I had known of it) when I was in 6th grade. Even for an adult, it?s an interesting, provocative work, with excellent pacing and sure handed writing. And any book that increases interest in art, thinking, or ideas has automatically hit a home run for me.Aside from the terrific storytelling and infectious plotting, I was very intrigued by the two main characters. Both are ?hybrids? ? a far cry from the typical Caucasian heroes we see everyday. Bravo to the author for the varied ethnicity!It?s also a pleasure to read a book written ?in? Chicago. Too many novels take place in New York, or L.A., and believe me ? Chicago is culturally rich enough to support many more stories of this nature. The hidden clues were fun to figure out. I?ve never had much of a brain for puzzles, so even one aimed at kids between the ages of 9 and 12 challenged me. It took me a while to puzzle the clues out, and when I did, I discovered that there isn?t only one solution! There are two, equally valid solutions ? the one on the website, and the one I found. And yes, there really are two ? even though I don?t possess a proclivity for this sort of thing.I?m already anxiously awaiting Ms. Balliett?s next book. As she is a teacher in the Hyde Park area of Chicago (which is as rich and culturally diverse as it gets here), I hope to see even more of this magnificent city!

Chasing Vermeer Mentions in Our Blog

Chasing Vermeer in Cultivating Readers
Cultivating Readers
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 28, 2019

Here at Thriftbooks, we take pride in being a resource to teachers. By offering great deals and discounts on used books, we help educators stock up on their most essential tools—books! Here are some tips and suggestions on how to create a robust classroom library.

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