Rachael Vanderhoof's Reviews > Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
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's review
Feb 16, 2012

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bookshelves: chasing-vermeer

Chasing Vermeer is a lively book full of suspense and mystery. When two misfit kids, Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay, are brought together by unexplainable coincidences, they set out together to solve a crime involving the theft of the famous painting "A Lady in Writing". Their worlds are turned upside down as they embark upon the mystery of the hidden painting. With a cast of characters including an unconventional teacher and an eccentric old woman, this book is a page turner. Both Petra and Calder prove to be imaginative, witty, creative, and adventurous individuals who eventually find themselves solving the mystery. The question still remains though, if it was all by coincidence or purpose? This was a book that I definitely enjoyed reading. It was highly entertaining. The only aspect of this book that I did not find too pleasing, especially due to the fact that it is written for children, was some of the explanations concerning the pentominoes and Charles Fort's book. They were somewhat confusing and were not well-explained. Despite this, I would still recommend this book for my students. The illustrations found in Chasing Vermeer are perfect for the story. They are done in black and white, and use shading for a dramatic effect. I love this due to the fact that it adds to the mystery and darkness of the story. I found the illustrations to be intriguing. Chasing Vermeer would be perfect for grades 4-6, and could be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. You could use this book and relate it to literature, art, math, or even history. There are many directions in which you could take your students.

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