Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CHASING VERMEER by Blue Balliett Kirkus Star

CHASING VERMEER

By Blue Balliett (Author) , Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-37294-1
Publisher: Scholastic

Art, intrigue, and plenty of twists and turns make this art mystery a great read. Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay set out to find the connection between their teacher (a freewheeling constructivist teacher), the eccentric woman in their neighborhood, the bookstore owner, and an international art thief. Balliett intersperses fascinating information about Johannes Vermeer and his paintings throughout the two friends’ quest to solve the mystery—a mystery layered with pentominoes (a mathematical tool consisting of 12 pieces), puzzling clues, and suspicious strangers. Helquist’s detailed black-and-white chapter illustrations hold hidden messages, clues related to the pentominoes, and more puzzles. Fans of E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game will find equal pleasure in this debut by a talented writer. (Fiction. 11-14)