Have you ever had a teacher that inspired you to learn about what interests you? Can you imagine working on a mystery that even the FBI can’t solve? In Chasing Vermeer, Petra Andalee finds a book about odd occurrences that completely captures her interest and makes her start thinking. This book connects her to classmate and neighbor, Calder Pillay. Soon after their friendship begins strange things start to happen and they find connections between events that don’t seem related at first. It isn’t long before a Vermeer painting goes missing and Petra and Calder find themselves in the middle of an art scandal. As the mystery unfolds they must use their problem solving skills, research techniques, and their own unique strategies, like pentominoes, to try to find out “who done it”. Will Petra and Calder be able to find out who the art thief is? Will they be able to get out of a dangerous situation alive? Read this unique mystery to find out about friendship, art, and the power of knowledge.
I loved the style that Blue Balliett used to write Chasing Vermeer. Petra and Calder have such distinct personalities and I could relate to both of them in different ways. Before reading this book I had never heard of pentominoes, but after seeing the way Calder uses them to solve riddles I definitely want to get a set! I enjoyed the way Petra and Calder worked on the mystery because they had such a unique way of looking at the clues. I recommend this book to anyone from third grade through 7th grade. I also think that adults and older kids will be captivated by this fast paced story. I learned a lot about art along the way and I only wish Calder and Petra’s teacher, Miss Hussey, could be mine! I just finished the second book in this series, The Wright 3, and plan to start the third tonight!
Has anyone else read Chasing Vermeer? Or another book by Blue Balliett?