Chasing Vermeer ) outdoes herself with this ambitious no"/>
 

The Calder Game

Blue Balliett, Author, Brett Helquist, Illustrator
Blue Balliett, Author, Brett Helquist, Illustrator , illus. by Brett Helquist. Scholastic $17.99 (379p) ISBN 978-0-439-85207-4
Reviewed on: 05/19/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Paperback - 379 pages - 978-0-439-85208-1
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-986-216-196-8
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-6803-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-6802-2
Hardcover - 351 pages - 978-1-4104-1017-7
Prebound-Glued - 379 pages - 978-0-606-10554-5
Prebound-Sewn - 379 pages - 978-1-61383-025-3
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-545-27913-0
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Acclaimed for her sophisticated juggling of art concepts, mystery, philosophy and storytelling, Balliett (Chasing Vermeer ) outdoes herself with this ambitious novel. Like its predecessors, it asks readers to consider big ideas, this time using the mobiles of Alexander Calder as a springboard. Now in seventh grade, series heroes Petra, Tommy and Calder first see Calder's mobiles at an exhibit at a Chicago museum. There they are introduced to the “Calder game,” which invites participants to join five ideas or things that move in relation to one another, while looking for “balance, beauty, and surprise.” Three weeks later, Calder accompanies his father to a tiny town near Blenheim Palace in England, where an anonymous donor has installed a Calder sculpture in the ancient town square, much to the villagers' dismay. Curiously, Calder's own presence seems to inspire dismay as well—until he, and the sculpture, simply vanish overnight. The mystery is crafted more solidly than in either of Balliett's previous titles, and the setting—enriched by the hedge maze of Blenheim and the possible proximity of the pseudonymous British artist Banksy—proves completely enticing. And once again Helquist encodes his b&w illustrations with puzzle pieces. Motivated readers will treasure this provocative title. Ages 9–12. (May)

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