Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Missing Vermeer!

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?

Happy Reading!


  1. Not only do I live the books...I love her name...thank you or reminding me about her!!!

  2. Well maybe I do live I meant love them...

  3. I love when an author engages the young readers and middle grade readers with stories based on classic artists or literary figures. Sounds like a great read!

  4. This sounds like a really fun read. Blue Balliett (great name) is completely new to me so I have some catching up to do. Thanks for the introduction.

  5. Great review Lizzy! I loved Chasing Vermeer and I love the cover and the title of this book~ F

  6. Another interesting book! I love the intrigue of this one. Thanks for the review.

  7. I loved this book! LOVED IT! I bought the next one too. I haven't read it yet though. This is actually the book I compare my MG novel to.

  8. This sounds like a great book! There's nothing like a good mystery. I'm definately going to check out this book!

  9. @Patty- I was cracking up when I read that you live the books. I was thinking wow- your life is super dangerous and exciting looking for art thieves. :) I am glad you love the books!

    @Jennifer, Barbara, Donna, and Greg- This is such a fabulous series. I have learned so much about art and architecture. How cool! I also love the author's name- it is so unique and fun! Mysteries that are fun to solve!

    @Fairday- Thanks!

    @Kelly- I am so happy to find someone else who loved this book. I think Miss Hussey is such an inspirational teacher. I love how Petra and Calder become so fascinated with art and solving the mystery. The plot is just fantastic! I will have to read your MG novel!

    1. This sounds awesome--especially that they have a unique way of looking at clues. ;)

  10. I have this book on my to-read list. Can't wait to get to it. :)


  11. Interesting book - I actually love the cover and I would buy it just for that!

    To answer your question - yes, I've had those kind of teachers! Fortunately!


    Twenty York Street

  12. Sounds like a promising start to a new-to-me series. Love the teacher aspect...often times they get a bad name in books as opposed to good. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

  13. @Elisa- It really is fantastic!

    @Claudine- I hope you will love it- it has so much to offer!

    @20 York Street- I agree with you that the cover is really cool. How lucky that you have had teachers like that!

    @GMR- You are right- it is nice to have teachers portrayed in a nice light! Happy reading to you!

    I don't know why- but I wasn't able to use the new "Reply" function. Hopefully next time!

  14. I read all of these books this year. I liked tryin to solve the mysteries with Petra, Calder, and Tommy. It also made me interested in architecture and art. The books have great pictures too.

  15. Wow, I have to have this book. I already have The Wright 3, the second book but not yet this one, the first. I haven't read the Wright 3 yet. what made me bought it is it seems to have a very challenging mystery not just for the characters but also for adult readers.

  16. I have actually read this one as well a while ago! I never heard of the second book in the series - I actually didn't know there was one. But I doubt I would have read it because unfortunately this was a book I didn't like :( I found it to be too boring for my liking.


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