Monday, August 27, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: CHASING VERMEER


CHASING VERMEER
image: Chasing Vermeer - mystery book review
Chasing Vermeer - mystery book review
Blue Balliett
Scholastic Press
2004

Available: Hardcopy, paperback, audiobook

   Eleven-year-olds, Petra Andalee & Calder Pillay, are in Ms Hussey's sixth grade. Although they're not friends, they have a lot in common. Both are bright, outsiders and just love their teacher Ms Hussey who challenges them to "think outside the box."  On a school fieldtrip they discover a shared interest in art, which leads them into a tentative new friendship. The story is set in Chicago. When an art thief steals a valuable Vermeer painting on its way to be displayed in their hometown museum. Petra and Calder decide team up to find the missing painting. They follow a trail of clues when the local paper publishes letters from the thief.. The stakes are raised even higher when the he or she threatens to destroy the painting.
   There's no doubt that this is a mystery from page one. The story line is complex. Like an adult thriller, seemingly random events from different viewpoints are woven together and peppered with puzzles and art history. All as the growing friendship between Petra and Calder develops. In the end everything comes together.

TARGET AUDIENCE: grades 6-8
MYSTERY / SUSPENCE: high & complex
KID APPEAL: High for good readers



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