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The Calder Game (Chasing Vermeer, #3)
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The Calder Game (Chasing Vermeer #3)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,246 ratings  ·  432 reviews
Petra, Calder, and Tommy, the sleuths at the center of the amazing CHASING VERMEER and THE WRIGHT 3, are back with a labyrinthine new mystery to solve.

When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery . . . including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square. Calder is strangely drawn to the scu
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Hardcover, 379 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Monica Edinger
Third in Balliett's series involving three smart kids, an artist, and a mystery. This one features the artist Alexander Calder and takes place largely in Oxford, England.

Calder is an artist made for kids to appreciate and Balliett does a super job intriguing her intended audience. As with her previous books she engagingly provides puzzles and such to entice them to go off and find out even more about this marvelous artist. Her love of art and artists is clear yet, as in her earlier books, she c
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Heather
I liked the intent of this book: to get kids excited about art and ideas. It inspired me to make a mobile - a piece of art in motion, never exactly the same thing twice -- like people do in this book. I like the idea that art can be for anyone, not just those rich enough to collect it.

However, the characters and plot seemed a bit lame to me. I never really cared about the characters very much; they were too two-dimensional. Granted, if I had read the previous two books of the series, I might ca
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Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

I believe this is the first time in a couple of years that I read a middle grade book. The only reason I even picked it up was because I had read the first two books in the series in middle school and adored them. So I set out to complete the series.

It was such an interesting experience because middle grade is so different from YA and Adult and it was just so refreshing.

But with that said it’s pretty hard to say anything about this book because I have no idea how I feel about it
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Ali Mac Book-Pro
It was more interesting than the Wright Three...

It looked more exciting...

It had a better story...

But what was wrong with it?


Let Me Tell You:
Nothing happened by page 100. That's right, nothing. And the whole point of the story was to: find Calder, who is believed to have been kidnapped. But what really happened... there is no way the author could've made a more boring "mystery." And Tommy and Petra? They didn't get along. Again. You would've thought that they would've been friends by now... but
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Gwen the Librarian
I vaguely remember not being all that thrilled with Balliett's second book, The Wright 3, but The Calder Game is delightfully full of mystery and suspense, incorporating her familiar themes of art, language, and numbers. I love how Balliett introduces artists and thier work to young readers. I get excited about whomever she's writing about, so hopefully the kids will too.

Balliett takes the action to England, where Calder and his dad are traveling on a business trip. With Calder out of the threes
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Erin
Having worked at an arts magnet school for the past three years, I struggled to find ways to incorporate art into my student's day while still meeting all of my core content responsibilities. This and the other two Balliett books solved my problem. Every time I put the bookmark in and said, "I think we'll stop there for today." They would groan and say "one more chapter!" We made Calder mobiles the last week of school and it was amazing to me how well my little 4th graders incorporated Calder st ...more
Warren Truitt
An OK mystery. The text was a little too repetitive and the "clues" fell too neatly into place. Having said that, I think lots of kids would like this third whodunnit from Balliett.
Cameron Martinez
The Calder Game is a good mystery book for any person age 10 or up, if you are under 10, you will probably not know what the book or settings are about. Blue Balliett does a good job at placing historical facts in a suspense.Some great parts are learning who some famous artists and learning about math tools. There is only one bad part, and that is the boring parts that lead up t the suspense. I think any kid above 10 who has a taste for suspense will enjoy this book. this book reminds me when I ...more
Katie
I personally think it is the best book in the series.
evelyn
this book suffered from all of the short-comings of her first two. all three books are ridiculously heavy-handed with the symbolism and "coincidences," and the "codes" and patterns she devises are kind of lame, especially in this book. also, all three books parrot her own personal opinions about the state of "art." oh, you like vermeer, calder, and bansky (and we learn late in this book--baaaaarf--o'keefe)? that's nice. also, she thinks all art should be free all the time (admirable enough, sure ...more
Tanya Stone
Feb 19, 2013 Tanya Stone rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess
Mystery chapter book
For ages 9 and up

When Calder goes missing on a trip to England, his friends Petra and Tommy become involved in the search for what happened to him - and a missing Alexander Calder sculpture.

This is the third installment in Balliett's series of art-related mysteries. Illustrations by Brett Helquist not only compliment the story but also contain a mystery of their own. The story has a great sense of atmosphere and does a wonderful job of describing real and imaginary art, which
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Lauren
I think this book is a great finale to this series. It is suspenseful and very exciting. The characters and plot are all very easy to follow and understand as well. I definitely recommend this book!
Joshua
Blue Balliett, I have always felt, is a better author than she is a writer. In other words, plotting and story usually take a backseat to characterization, exploration of ideas, and atmosphere. Although there are problems in the plotting, especially involving inconsistencies towards the end of the book, Balliett mostly succeeds in her ambitious endeavor. This is a book about art, and a book about belonging, and a book about tradition, three very important subjects.

The book involves the characte
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Emily
This book didn't satisfy me as much as the other two books in the series did. Most of the story consisted of filler - instead of focusing on the central mysteries or the characters, it would focus on random facts about Alexander Calder's sculptures and early British history. While I loved the art history lessons in the previous books, these lessons didn't add to my enjoyment of the book. Instead, they weighed the book down with unnecessary clutter.

I also took issue with Art Wish's character. He
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Erin
Since my son and I were so hooked on the first two novels in this series, I decided to give him this book for Christmas, along with a set of pentominoes. He loves playing with the pentominoes, and we both have a new-found appreciation for Calder's skills with them because they are not easy. My 8-year-old definitely has a better eye for them than I do. While I still enjoyed this novel, I thought it was the weakest of the three. For the first half or so of the book nothing happens, and the kids ar ...more
Megan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Owen
At first, I thought The Calder Game's characters just happened to have a delightfully enriched backstory—that was before I realized this is book three of a series. Reading it before its antecedents didn't spoil any of the mysteries, however. After reading book 1, Chasing Vermeer, I found that some of my complaints had attenuated, especially over how much importance Petra and Tommy attached to coincidence. I now view these characters' superstitious behavior as part of a larger pattern of growing ...more
Erin
My favorite of the series. In The Calder Game, Balliett seems to finally understand how to subtly deploy elements of the unknown without clogging the storyline with shadowy caped figures and sentient gusts of wind. Recommend for YA and mystery readers.
Akhila
Oct 16, 2009 Akhila is currently reading it
i am currently reading this book pretty gud book i actually really like the beggining thats where i am rite now the way it is written is really nice the first chapter is like 2 pgs and its like u understood everything they said but u didnt
Adam Rash
I think that the book The Calder Games was one of the best books in the world. So at the beginning there was a boy named Richard and he lived with his divorced mom. One night there was a man outside of their house and he heard a gun shot. Richard ran to his room and saw his mom lying on the floor dead. Richard wanted to find out who had killed his mother.

The next day Richard went over to his two best friends houses to ask them to help him with finding who had killed his mother. His friends names
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Nicole
Picked this up as an Advanced Read at work. I didn't think it was available in stores yet, so I was surprised to see it on here. I took this from one of the buyers at Barnes & Noble because I love Brett Helquist's artwork. The book itself was pretty good. It actually was a bit like Lemony Snicket in that one kid is good with numbers, one kid is good at finding things, and the other is a whiz with words.

The beginning of the book is extremely good; a very suspenseful mystery of two Calders lo
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Peggy
I love the idea of introducing kids to art and math through ficton. I've enjoyed all of Balliett's trilogy, but I rated it as a 2 star for one reason. I became bored with the constant repetition of our three main characters' unique personality traits. Their differences are pointed out so often, they become flat characters: he represents math and she represents language. The book in general has such potential: a kid's adventure with the beauty of art, words and math thrown in the mix -- but it so ...more
Melissa
The Calder Game is the a fun fast paced mystery. Calder and his friends visit an art exhibit by his namesake in Chicago that inspires creativity. Then Calders father takes him along on a business trip to Woodstock, England where a Calder sculpture was given for free. The old town of Woodstock holds secrets that the modern american sculpture bring to light. Calder becomes so wrapped up in the mystery that he disappears. Fortunately his friends, with the help of a wealthy benefactor, come to solve ...more
Andrew Buchen
i think this is one of the best books i have read so far. there is a lot of action and mystery and in my opinion is just good all around. The writing is very easy to read and to understand. it is also very well written in which the order the author put everything. One strength of this book is that it is very mysterious so it makes you want to just keep reading. I didn't realize that this was the 3rd book of a series but i think i will go back and read the other two. If you like mystery then i hi ...more
Jayce Senter
I'm a fan of Blue Balliett. I like how she combines a mystery with art history in such a way that you don't realize how much you are learning about art as you are enjoying her story.

Genre: Mystery

AR level: 5.4

Grade appropriate: 3rd grade and up

RATING BREAKDOWN:
Overall: 4/5-- an interesting book and entertaining as well.

Creativity: 5/5-- Balliett is the only author I know of that incorporates art into her children's books.

Characters: 4/5-- In this book Petra and Tommy are so frustrated with ea
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Ujwals
The Calder Game was a good book. It was the ending to a trilogy, and it was a satisfying ending. The characters were developed, regardless if they were knew or returning. I liked the change of setting from Chicago to England. This book had more adventure than mystery and puzzles. The previous books had a lot more suspense and solving. I liked how the author developed many friendships throughout the book. The writing was powerful because it was intriguing. Also, there was a lot of symbolization. ...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Calder, Petra and Tommy (Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3) are back with another puzzling art mystery. Now in 7th grade, the three go with their class to see an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s mobiles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Shortly after the field trip, Calder and his Dad take a trip to England and stay in a tiny village well known for its giant garden maze. The maze is life-size, and easy to get lost in, like the maze in the last challenge in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fir ...more
Linda
This trilogy by Blue Balliett is an amazing look into symbolism- in a way that I never thought of before. This third book has less symbolism and is a true mystery story- still very satisfying. Alexander Calder, for whom Calder, the boy protagonist, was named, was an artist whose work consisted mostly of mobiles that made people think and imagine. Calder and his friends travel to the museum with their class to view Calder's works where the public is invited to "play the Calder Game"- to invent th ...more
Jessi
This was an interesting book. The series is supposed to be mystery stories but none of them every quite make it to the mystery part. I don't know if it was because I was listening to it rather than reading (and therefore couldn't really skim the boring parts) but this book kind of dragged for me.
Calder, Petra and Tommy, three, well, not really friends since Tommy and Petra don't really get on well but they are the three protagonists and they are not enjoying their seventh grade year. Their teach
...more
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86085
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 ...more
More about Blue Balliett...

Other Books in the Series

Chasing Vermeer (4 books)
  • Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, #1)
  • The Wright 3 (Chasing Vermeer, #2)
  • Pieces and Players
Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, #1) The Wright 3 (Chasing Vermeer, #2) Hold Fast The Danger Box The Ghosts of Nantucket: 23 True Accounts

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