Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Calder Game by Blue Balliett

I remember the first Blue Balliett book I ever found was Chasing Vermeer. This is a book I read years and years ago but a memory of a fast paced adventure and fabulous problem solving lingers with me. These same feelings are true for this third title by Blue Balliett where we once again meet Calder, Petra and Tommy.

One exciting thing I must say before going any further with this review something wonderful that occasionally happens when I read is when real life and the story overlap or make a connection. As I was reading The Calder Game last week Google celebrated 113th birthday of Alexander Calder.

Before reading this book I had not even heard of Alexander Calder. His work is so fabulous.

In this latest adventure our three friends have moved up a grade. The new teacher seems most uninspiring especially since these are all very gifted students. She has organised for the whole class to view the latest exhibition of works by Alexander Calder but there are some many restrictions placed on the kids they all feel as though the joy of this day has been drained out of them.

Several days later Calder Pillay and his father head off to England. Walter Pillay is attending a conference and Calder is left to explore the area around Woodstock. In the main square he sees a sculpture by Alexander Calder. Since they share the same name, Calder is fascinated by the work of this artist but as the days unfold this young boy will disappear, a major crime will be attempted and Petra and Tommy will fly to England to help solve this dangerous and intriguing mystery.

If you enjoyed Chasing Vemeer or The Wright 3 then you will want to grab The Calder Game. I am sure you will not be disappointed. You might also like to dust off your set of pentominoes because they play a vital role in this story too and Brett Helquist the illustrator has hidden them all through the illustrations which adds another puzzle for you to solve. Read more about this book, the illustrations and an extract here. Finally you must take a dip into the author web site it is full of information including details of her newest book which we will now need to hunt out for our library!

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