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10 thoughts on “Chasing Vermeer

  1. says:

    A Da Vinci Code for tweens NewsweekThis is only one of the quoted praises lumped on Chasing Vermeer and proudly emblazoned on its back cover It is probably the most apropos quote because it hinges almost entirely on the readers familiarity with and reaction to Dan Brown s novel.If you found Da Vinci Code boring, trite, melodramatic, sophomoric, and preposterous, you will probably have a similar reaction to Blue Balliett s debut young adult novel, Chasing Vermeer.Balliett has stated that it took her five years to write Vermeer, but the central mystery is so lousy and ridiculous, it comes across as the product of a very drunken weekend in an art gallery Similar to Brown s trainwreck of a novel, Balliett lumps absurd coincidences on top of sleuthing skills that are based less on clues and on silly guesses She wears all those earrings there s a key, a pearl, a high heeled shoe Calder was muttering now Key pearl shoe shoe pearl key pearl shoe key heel key pearl key pearl heel Hey That sounds like keep her here, doesn t it maybe this means she s in Gracie Hall p 155 Come on Really Is that what being a detective is like Making goofy connections between unrelated items Sherlock Holmes must be rolling in his literary grave All this would probably be tolerable if the characters were than paper thin sketches of precocious children and erudite villains, or if the public reactions to the stolen art weren t so far fetched, or if the red herrings weren t so obvious, or if the transitions between character narration weren t so jarring Unfortunately the believability is sacrificed at every turn.Librarians sometimes recommend books they haven t read After all, we can t read everything, but we want kids to read as much as possible Perhaps I should have listened to the 8th grade girl who stomped up to me last May, Chasing Vermeer trapped in her fist This book, she sneered, is beyond boring Her buddy glared at me, too It was terrible, Mr Prince Terrible Point taken, kids Point taken.

  2. says:

    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett was given to me by a friend because it was similar to From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler As I d read that and liked it, I was eager to read this I ve recently become interested in Vermeer, so that added to my motivation.There are some things I liked about the book There are two protagonists who are both perceived as nerds, but they are initially interesting and rather likeable Their names, by the way, were carefully chosen by Balliett as references to art and architecture There s an art theft and a crusty but eventually sympathetic old lady The author also tells us quite a lot about the life and work of a famous maker of old pictures, and if, as a result, young readers become interested in a kind of art that they might not otherwise have considered worth their notice, well, that s a good thing If it shows them that teachers and other adults are real people with weaknesses and foibles, rather than mere authority figures to be feared and avoided, that s a good thing too The book, especially at first, has a lot of promise But, sadly for me, it does not deliver on that promise Why Well, there were some things that just irritated me to no end One of the morals of the story is that even though things may seem unimportant or unrelated, there is no such thing as coincidence, and we should be open minded enough to see unexpected relationships between things On paper this sounds fine But in the story it leads to the overuse of intuition and the merely random as a means to provide clues We are not in Hogwarts here, and yet Calder constantly consults a set of pentominoes as if they are runes or tarot cards his method is to look at the letter he pulls out of his pocket, think of a word that starts with that letter, and then try to use that word as a guide to conduct Petra, on the other hand, has a psychic connection with a woman in a Vermeer painting who encourages and guides her At one point they try to derive clues from a series of random words uttered by the crusty but sympathetic old lady More hints are seen everywhere, to the point where they seem to crawl almost literally out of the woodwork Again, I really wanted to like this book And if this were a Harry Potter novel, it might fly But in this fictional universe, Blue s Clues are just silly.

  3. says:

    This book may very well be the worst book I have ever read in my entire life Why Let me break it down for you There s a painting It gets stolen Lucky for the art museum of Chicago, three fifth graders have a plan to get it back So if you d ever read the last three chapters of flat stanely, you have read this entire book First of all, I generally hate mystery books anyway, which is most likely a prime factor of my hatred for this book Secondly, I hate mysteries that involve children, just adding on to my hatred This entire book includes about five separate mini mysteries within one large mystery, so it s like six mysteries which like sextuples my hatred for this book Lastly, there was a whole secret language that you need to decode in order to understand parts of he book, which was irritating and took me about an hour to decode each paragraph Overall, I may just hate this book because of my opinions about mysteries and needing to stop for an hour to understand what just happened mid read Amazingy, I forcefed myself this book, thinking it would grow on me lime some mysteries have It didn t Oh well I blame the economy.

  4. says:

    I loved parts of this book and disliked other parts, so there you are the epilogue ending is particularly bad in that I don t know how to work all this into the plot, so here, this is what happened kind of way 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 And the art history reads as coming straight from the author s Brown BA at least twenty years ago very old fashioned, to the book s detriment 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 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 On the other hand, there are moments of actual suspense, the codes are enjoyable, and it s definitely an intelligent book.

  5. says:

    I finished reading this to my 9 year old last night, then poked around here on Goodreads, assessing what reader response had been when the book was originally published.I was surprised by how many reviewers didn t like this book, or couldn t finish it Believe me, I understand the issues readers had with plot points Yes, the plot does unravel somewhat at the end Yes, the bad guy here was a stretch of the imagination, and too many sloppy bits were thrown in at the end I m never a fan of not getting your story straight before you commit it to print However when it comes to criticizing this book as a DaVinci Code for kids Hmmmm Whether you liked The DaVinci Code or hated it, you must admit it was a success It was incredibly readable I practically ate my copy , and it made people think about things for a long time after they closed the cover So, in regard to that, I say so what if it s like a DaVinci Code for kids Is that a bad thing, or an incredibly good thing This book had my daughter scouring through art books all over our house She has been 9 for less than a week, and she had copies of Vermeer paintings lined up on the floor before her, hunting for clues She also broke out a little notebook and started making connections all around her She wondered at coincidences and even asked for her own set of pentominoes.Weak plot points or not, the characters were quirky and cute and it s hard to criticize a book that inspired our child to want a return trip to the Art Institute of Chicago

  6. says:

    6 , , , BONUS

  7. says:

    , , acourtofboooks , , , , 10 11 , , , , ,

  8. says:

    Another YA purchase from Green Apple books, and to be honest, a disappointment This is a new ish book, published in 2004, and while I had never read it before, I had high hopes 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 Chasing Vermeer is not a terrible book, but it didn t live up to my expectations.It tells the story of two outcast sixth graders, Petra and Calder, who come together and ultimately solve a mystery about a missing Vermeer painting I loved the characters the leads seemed like real, nerdy, slightly unpopular students, and the supporting characters were ok, if a bit clich d from earlier books Also, the writing had some beautifully lyrical passages that I really enjoyed The fault I had was with the mystery Half of the book seemed like a solvable puzzle, with clues for the reader even clues built into the illustrations The other half turned on mystical coincidences and psychic connections In short the book seemed to want to have it both ways, and thus, left me unsatisfied The psychic mystical parts were actually quite nice dreamy and philosophical, but they didn t mesh with the everyday realness of the characters The mystery, once solved was not an Aha , but rather a huh a cobbled together explanation that was unsatisfying Too many red herrings, not enough clues, and unsolvable, I think, if one wasn t getting secret psychic messages I would read another book by Ms Balliett she has a real gift for characterization and a way with words, but I would hope that next time she is sharp in her thematics and plotting.

  9. says:

    An unexpected find that I really enjoyed Both the story and illustrations were great Will be continuing the series.

  10. says:

    Through a string of seemingly unrelated events, Calder and Petra find themselves in the center of an art heist that has the world buzzing and the Police and museum officials puzzled Can Calder and Petra find the priceless Vermeer before it s too late And what exactly do their teacher Ms Hussey and Mrs Sharpe, the old lady down the street, have to do with it The University of Chicago campus and Calder and Petra s neighborhood of Hyde Park are the backdrop for this fast moving tale of art and intrigue Balliett seamlessly weaves together many disparate elements to craft a tale that is rich in art history and adventure Helquist s the illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events stylized, detailed and somehow spooky illustrations help bring the characters and the setting to life, and contain a secret code Readers can get clues and solve the puzzle on the publisher s website Though on the long side at 254 pages, the story, packed with clues, moves quickly and the codes both in the illustrations and in the text give the story an interactive element that is sure to keep readers engaged Though the characters explain their ethnic heritage in detail in the beginning with no obvious point other than to lend an air of multiculturalism to the story, Calder and Petra are otherwise engaging and well written, quirky characters Their struggles with family, school and self are easy to identify with though the situation they find themselves in is far fetched This winner of the 2004 Agatha Award for Best Children s of Young Adult Mystery is sure to become a favorite among fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, among others.

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summary pdf Chasing Vermeer, summary chapter 2 Chasing Vermeer, sparknotes Chasing Vermeer, Chasing Vermeer b452f19 When A Book Of Unexplainable Occurrences Brings Petra Andalee And Calder Pillay Together, Strange Things Start To Happen Seemingly Unrelated Events Connect, An Eccentric Old Woman Seeks Their Company, And An Invaluable Vermeer Painting Disappears 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 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 Left Even The FBI Baffled

  • Hardcover
  • 254 pages
  • Chasing Vermeer
  • Blue Balliett
  • English
  • 24 July 2018
  • 9780439372947

About the Author: Blue Balliett

I was born in New York City and grew up playing in Central Park, getting my share of scraped knees, and riding many public buses and subways 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 Met has five Vermeer paintings and the Frick three, so Vermeer and I have been friends for many years