Mystery is probably not the best genre to explore the meaning behind coincidences. However, they both realize that they have many common interests such as both liking blue M & M's, and end up becoming great friends. This sparks worldwide uproar. Because there's also an identical code in the pictures which is easily deciphered, I chose story. Petra and Calder seem to be your typical sixth grade students, until you realize that they think very differently than other sixth graders. And, oh the wonderfulness of a world class art museum that is completely free, I love the Smithsonian so much, I wish I could give it a hug. [2] She realized that a mystery about "real" art issues had not been written since E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. [2] She chose the setting of Hyde Park, Chicago, where she currently lives, because she considered it full of secrets that children could discover.[9]. 3 Leonardo da Vinc The Last Supper. Furthermore, a mystery needs to be built on actual clues with some educated guesswork, but this one relies solely on intuition, supposed signs, and hunches that come out of the blue. Will they be able to get out of a dangerous situation alive? Sixth-graders Calder Pillay, who enjoys puzzles and pentominoes, and Petra Andalee, who aspires to be a writer, are classmates at the Middle School in Hyde Park, Chicago. The Met has five Vermeer paintings and the Frick three, so Vermeer and I have been friends for many years. 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”. This book will relate well to children who feel as though they get caught in st. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett is such an intriguing book for young adult readers! You have so many characters and events, that you have lots of different suspicions. The Met has five Vermeer paintings and the Frick three, so Vermeer and I have been friends for many years. Chasing Vermeer All Classroom Lessons. The next day there is a story in the paper of how the painting mysteriously disappeared. By the time I was a teenager, I sometimes stopped at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Frick Museum after school, just to wander and look and think. The novel was written for Balgiett classroom intended to deal with real-world issues. The "there's no such thing as coincidence" stuff would have been way overdone in any other book, but I understand that that was one of the author's main points here; still, I wasn't convinced. On a warm October night in Chicago three deliveries were made in the same neighborhood. The school sat on the edge of the University of Chicago campus. [11], Some of Balliett's "real-world ideas" in Chasing Vermeer were "Do coincidences mean anything?" Furthermore, a mystery needs to be built on actual clues with some educated. I found myself unable to put it down wanting to know what would happen next. In 2006, the sequel entitled The Wright 3 was published, followed by The Calder Game in 2008. I read this in third grade, and I decided to read it again.....still an amazing book! She admits that it ended up more complex than she had thought it would be. When Calder pulled the P pentomino from his pocket on page 24, he noticed Petra walking in front of him. "[35], From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Calder and Petra eventually conclude that the painting is hidden in the local Delia Dell Hall, and they sneak out and find it. Copyright LibraryThing and/or members of LibraryThing, authors, publishers, libraries, cover designers, Amazon, Bol, Bruna, etc. (I kept waiting for the big "it doesn't matter whether Vermeer painted it" payoff, and the idea that Vermeer would want to be redeemed by people agreeing that he didn't paint those "lesser" paintings really annoyed me.). I'm pretty sure the code is easily deciphered within the story, I just didn't write down each time the author mentioned a specific pentomino. [15] In the book, Ms. Hussey challenges her class to the question, "What is art? Their friendship grows, however, and they work together to recover a stolen painting—a valuable Vermeer. Mark added, “I think Calder’s last name starts with P too.” We looked back to the previous page, page 23, and confirmed that Calder’s last name, Pillay, did start with P. “Hey, that’s weird,” Miguel said. That’s cool,” Greg said. This book could be pinned as a spin off of the Da Vinci Code and the characters, Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay really bring the story to life. Grade. He was found dead by the police after he had a heart attack. Chasing Vermeer is Blue Balliett's first published book. Petra and Calder seem to be your typical sixth grade students, until you realize that they think very differently than other sixth graders. [20] It was also listed as one of their "Notable Books of 2004". The thief publishes … [4], The audiobook for Chasing Vermeer, read by Ellen Reilly, was released on November 27, 2007 from Listening Library. I left enough time to read aloud Chapters 3 and 4 and to carefully examine the illustrations for other hidden frogs and pentomino pieces. 10 VerMeer The Writing Lady. The students were eager to decode the messages. Next, I provided students with 1-inch tiles and 1-inch graph paper so each could make his or her own set of pentominoes. Chasing Vermeer. It’s sort of like a house of cards. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I loved Chasing Vermeer!!! June 1st 2004 She turns out to be the original owner of that book. Will be continuing the series. Vanessa carefully examined the bottom illustration on page 5, pointed to the envelope in the woman’s hand, and said, “That L on the envelope could be a pentomino piece.” We quickly checked the introductory pages and verified that the L-shaped figure Vanessa noticed could be the V pentomino piece. Can you imagine working on a mystery that even the FBI can’t solve? Chasing Vermeer is this boy, Calder Pillay, and a girl, Petra Andalee who have an unusual friendship. I found myself unable to put it down wanting to know what would happen next. To see what your friends thought of this book. [34] However, when asked about the film in August 2010, Balliett answered, "It’s been fascinating, watching this whole process, because Plan B did a wonderful job. "[23] Kadon Enterprises, a game puzzle company, reviewed the book, praising the writing style and puzzles.[24]. Anya commented, “Hey, P is for Petra and for pentomino.”. She also finds a book, Lo!, that has the name Sharpe engraved on it and there is an elderly lady that they meet named Mrs. Sharpe. You learn nothing if other people do your thinking for you. For starters the two main characters, Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee, are perceived to be extremely geeky. When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. About PowerShow.com Recommended. Refresh and try again. I'm pretty much in. They become friends because of all the strange coincidences that happen when doing a project for their teacher, Mrs. Hussey. Bonnie watched as they explained what they had done. After a few moments, Carlos said, “Hey, look, there are two frogs! AudioFile magazine praised Reilly's voices and pace, but noted that, "Once the mystery is solved, however, the ending seems tacked on, falling flat. She turns out to. This lesson plan uses secret codes to solve a mystery. I had read reviews that said it was clever, it has expert illustrations by Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket’s illustrator), and the inside flap lead me to believe it was a puzzle tale in the same vein as The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. Another YA purchase from Green Apple books, and to be honest, a disappointment. There are not very many illustrations in this book, thus this is definitely a text for more advanced readers. Warner Brothers bought the rights to a film of Chasing Vermeer in June 2004[32] and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment planned to produce it. This just isn't the way people think about art history now, and the book would have been enriched by going into the paintings at a deeper level. Welcome back. Codes aren't my thing. Recommended … Chasing Vermeer has won several awards, including the Edgar and the Agatha. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one — neighbors, parents, teachers — is spared from suspicion. Sondra Eklund, who writes a book review blog, noted that the reader was left with the impression to study Vermeer's paintings and art more closely. And they still weren't entirely sure, what had been real and what had been not. Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliet and Illustrated by Brett Hellquist,is a fascinating mystery novel that continually draws readers in. If they get it all together again, they’ll jump on it. Basil E. Frankweiler and desired to write what she wished to read. Petra is an 11-year-old middle school student in Ms. Hussey’s class. They barely escape from the thief, who is later found dead from a massive heart attack on the train by the police. I started class by reading Chapter 5. Start by marking “Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, #1)” as Want to Read: Error rating book. On the morning of the drive home, it turned out to be really easy to make our first stop of the day almost immediately. [4] Balliett compares herself to Ms. Hussey, stating that "[we] think a lot alike. Such as, the two kid main characters in, Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett is such an intriguing book for young adult readers! The two new friends team up together and break codes in newspapers and finally end up saving the painting. Their quirks have an appeal that readers cannot help but like. References to this work on external resources. They are mes. A Lesson for Third and Fourth Graders. this book rocks, and so do blue m&ms!!!!!!!!!!! Hogan was slated as director[33] and the novel was adapted by Matt Nix. Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books. “The greatest art belongs to the world. The book begins with a mysterious letter that is delivered to three unknown recipients, two women and one man. The students noticed immediately that the fur collar illustrated on page 48 had both a pentomino and a frog. ", Other themes include chance and coincidence. The star rating may be a little unfair. As Calder had done in this paragraph, I challenged the students to use their pentominoes and work with a partner to find possible six-piece pentomino rectangles. One can't learn much and also be comfortable. a really good story! Will Petra and Calder be able to find out who the art thief is? I actually had nothing to read, and so my mom texted my violin teacher because I was going to a violin lesson, and she suggested Chasing Vermeer. We found other messages to decode, made up our own codes, examined the illustrations, searching for frogs and pentominoes, noticed many odd coincidences, looked for pentomino shapes in the world around us, discovered that the number twelve was important to the story, and tried to figure out the message in the illustrations. Both the story and illustrations were great. This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. Set in Hyde Park, Chicago near the University of Chicago, the novel follows two children, Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee. As stated in the preface, there is a code hidden in the illustrations throughout the book. In addition, Calder and Petra develop a special friendship and certain respect for the value of art. It starts with Calder's favorite piece of art is a painting by Johannes Vermeer and Petra daydreams about a Vermeer painting. This activity had two purposes: first, to provide students with experiences visualizing geometric arrangements and, second, to have students figure out when all twelve possible arrangements had been found, which requires logical thinking.