Chasing Vermeer

Balliett, Blue, 1955-

(Book - 2005)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Chasing Vermeer
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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2005, c2004
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780439372978
Branch Call Number: J FIC B
Characteristics: 254 p. : ill., map ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Helquist, Brett


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Dec 18, 2014
  • LPL_MichaelB rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Lawrence Public Library has chosen Chasing Vermeer as the 2015 Read Across Lawrence Book for Kids!

A mysterious letter, a stolen painting, and two savvy kid detectives make this book a great choice for anyone who loves a perplexing puzzle.

Can you decode the clues and catch the thief?

Jun 23, 2014
  • FindingJane rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

While I liked the characters in this book, I just didn’t care much for the book itself. This book relies heavily on interest or knowledge about Vermeer. Perhaps the children in the story become interested in him but for my taste the author tries just a little too hard to draw in the reader as well. There were supposed to be clues in the various illustrations. While I could just make out these clues in some pictures, others frustrated my attempts to see the patterns. Chalk it up to my myopia but I nearly went cross-eyed trying to pick out pentominoes and frogs in some of these gray-on-gray illustrations.

The confluence of coincidences became overwhelming, with so many of them piling up that I found it impossible to believe in them after a few chapters. I began to wonder why some characters didn’t just throw coins in the air or dice and divine their next move that way. If this book had been toted as some kind of magic realism, such antics might have worked better. As it is, I can’t recommend it.

I loved this book when I read it, and I am thinking of reading it again. It's a wonderful action novel tied up and disguised as a mystery.

Try Calder's favorite pentominoes game at: http://www.scholastic.com/blueballiett/games/pentominoes_game.htm

This is a TD Summer Reading Club recommended book for week 1 of our themed program - this week's theme is Discover Art. Check out the other comments by our MPL readers!

Jun 25, 2012
  • narutouzumaki485 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

this book opened my mind to reading

Jan 12, 2012
  • Nina_ rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

FANTASTIC. One of my favourite books when I read it.

Mar 08, 2010
  • dragonlord rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

wow. REALLY good book. possibly the best mystery ever. AND WITH A SEQUAL...oh, wow just awesome book. really


Add Age Suitability

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Feb 20, 2012
  • Orange_Cat_155 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Orange_Cat_155 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jan 12, 2012
  • Nina_ rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Nina_ thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

AndreaRowe thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


Add a Summary

When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?

Calder and Petra are 6th graders in Chicago. Petra loves words; Calder is more comfortable with math and puzzles (like the pentominoes he carries with him everywhere). Three anonymous letters, a mysterious book, and a stolen Vermeer painting make Calder and Petra join forces. They work together as clues and puzzles lead them further into the mystery. Readers are encouraged to work out the puzzles (decoding messages, math puzzles, etc.) along with Petra and Calder.

Jun 25, 2012
  • narutouzumaki485 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

this book is about letter that were sent out to particular people discussing the wearabouts of the missing vermeer. one letter is found by one of the childen who decides that they are going to solve the mystery.


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Jun 25, 2012
  • narutouzumaki485 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"where did this come from"


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Balliett, Blue, 1955-
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