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

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  5,164 Ratings  ·  470 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
Hardcover, 379 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Warren Truitt
Mar 04, 2008 Warren Truitt rated it liked it
Shelves: chapterbooks
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.
Monica Edinger
Jun 15, 2008 Monica Edinger rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-reading
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
Nov 06, 2008 Wendy rated it it was ok
Shelves: art-fiction
I don't know why I keep reading these, exactly, because I don't enjoy them all that much; but I love reading about art, and odds are if the author writes another one (and it hints that she's planning one about Georgia O'Keeffe), I'll read it too.

I'm glad to see the author including methodological ideas about art history and museums that are more modern than she wrote in Chasing Vermeer, and there's one long passage near the end of this book that I thought was very well done, but that's about all
Gwen the Librarian
Mar 14, 2008 Gwen the Librarian rated it really liked it
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
Jun 06, 2008 evelyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: readin2008
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
Mar 21, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids with or without an interest in art
The third book in Blue Balliett's series of art-related mysteries is full of artistic, thinking fun, just like the other two. This time, the focus is on the work of Alexander Calder, a sculptor who worked mostly in mobile art.

Calder Pillay (who happens to be named after Alexander Calder) is thrilled to get to visit England with his father. He enjoys exploring the town of Woodstock, including the Calder sculpture recently donated by an anonymous American. He is thrilled at the prospect of explori
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Tasha for

Calder, Tommy, and Petra are back for another art-filled mystery.

It all starts when they take a field trip to the art museum to see the new exhibit featuring work by Alexander Calder. Even though their nasty and fun-sucking teacher tries to make the trip as miserable as possible, the three friends manage to find great inspiration and fascination in Alexander Calder's work.

Before long, Calder's dad invites him on a trip to England with him. Calder is super
Oct 04, 2008 Jess rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, mystery
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
The basic storyline is that Petra, Calder, and Tommy are three friends. Or at least Petra and Tommy are friends with Calder if they don't quite get along themselves. Together they have solved art mysteries by using their individual puzzling, word, and finding skills. The way they solve problems is interesting and fun to read about. This time Calder goes to England with his father. In Chicago there is an exhibit of Alexander Calder, who Calder is named after, mobiles. All three friends love the a ...more
I loved this book -- no surprise as I love art history. Although I was familiar with Alexander's Calder's work, particularly his mobiles, I gained a new appreciation of his art. Balliet does an excellent job of conveying the revolutionary nature of Calder's changing mobiles. One of my favorite parts was when she talks about Einstein watching a Calder sculpture for some time, then walking away and muttering something like, "I wish I had thought of that."

Balliet does a masterful job of layering my
May 29, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-s-books
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
Genevieve Heinrich
May 31, 2009 Genevieve Heinrich rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a fondness for YA Lit
Shelves: favorites
I am a big enough dork that I picked this up partly because of Brett Helquist's illustrations, but mainly because of my own obsession with Alexander Calder. What I discovered was an homage to his work, crafted intricately, with humor, poise, and a wee bit of art education thrown in. I need to find more books by Balliett - it would seem that this is part of a series? References are made to other adventures (generic, not specific) had by the main characters, so I assume said adventures have been c ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, mystery
Original review atThe Little Bookworm refers to audio book

Calder Pillay loves to solve puzzles. When he goes to England on a trip with his father, he is intrigued by the giant Alexander Calder (his namesake) sculpture in the town square of the sleepy British town where they are staying. Then both the Calders disappear on the same day. Did the Calders leave together or did something happen to each separtely? And what was Calder working on when he disappeared? Calder's friends, Tommy & Petra,
Calder Pillay and his father,Walter travel to Woodstock, England and are delighted and thrilled with the surprise that an original Calder work of art is smack-dab in the middle of the town. Its recent arrival in this quaint, quirky town is not at all welcome however. The townspeople loathe its modernity. While Walter goes off to his conference every day, Calder is left alone to explore the town. He meets a young man in the town square, find they say a love of puzzles and art, and decide to explo ...more
Feb 27, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-childrens
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
Mar 26, 2010 Jessi rated it liked it
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
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
Awesome mystery! Lots of twists and turns in this one, which is third in the mysteries series. It made me want to find out all about Alexander Calder and his art! Calder Pillay accompanies his father to England, where his father is attending a conference in Oxford. They stay at a tiny bed-and-breakfast in Woodstock, just outside of Oxford. The village has received an anonymous gift of a large Alexander Calder sculpture, which has been placed in the town square. Calder (the boy) is fascinated by ...more
Dec 12, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 10, 2015 Katerpillar rated it liked it
Shelves: code, read-in-2012
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
Tanya Stone
Feb 19, 2013 Tanya Stone rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Nov 28, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
I personally think it is the best book in the series.
Adam Rash
Jan 08, 2014 Adam Rash rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 06, 2014 Megan rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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!
Cameron Martinez
Oct 28, 2014 Cameron Martinez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2015 Joshua rated it really liked it
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
Nov 30, 2015 J.D.Staton rated it really liked it
This final book in the "Chasing Vermeer" series is every bit as complex as the previous two books. However, this one involves more violence and seriously threatening scenarios than the earlier tales, along with setting the majority of it within a small town in England. The attempt to tie a Chicago exhibit of the numerous mobiles created by Alexander Cramer with the large sculptures located around Chicago and in the small village near Oxford University was a stretch that didn't feel very realisti ...more
Joy Gerbode
Jun 28, 2015 Joy Gerbode rated it really liked it
These books are a lot of fun ... mystery, puzzles, and kids having fun ... all while learning about art. This one also gave us a glimpse into life in England, and was fun, especially since I was there last year. I enjoyed this story, this puzzle very much ...
A nice enough read. It wouldn't shake the world or anything.
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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, #4)

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“What was a foreigner, anyway? Is the place you're born the only place you really belong? At what point do you stop being from "away" and start being from "here"?” 38 likes
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