Sunday, January 08, 2006

Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer

Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. Scholastic, 2004 [0-439-37294-1]
Petra and Calder have a wonderful teacher who challenges them to think but one day she changes. Her assignments get strange. Petra finds an interesting book in a used book store which leads the two to a fascinating lady in town. Soon we find out that three people in the town have received mysterious letters about Vermeer paintings. Petra and Calder start on an adventure of a thinking exercise and end up getting clues to a mystery about a crime involving one Vermeer painting. This 254 page book starts out making you think then slowly slides into a mystery. It is a very different kind of mystery that I frequently could not put down. The reader ends up becoming familiar on the sly with a painter of which he/she may have never heard. Note: the illustrator, Helquist, also illustrated the Lemony Snicket books.


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