And my choice is ...
Written by Blue Balliett
Illustrated by Brett Helquist
Published by Scholastic Inc.
Publisher's Summary: On a warm October night in Chicago, three deliveries were made in the same neighborhood. A plump tangerine moon had just risen over Lake Michigan. The doorbell had been rung at each place, and an envelope left propped outside ... The same letter went out to all three:
I would like your help in identifying a crime that is now centuries old. This crime has wronged one of the world's greatest painters. As those in positions of authority are not brave enough to correct this error, I have taken it upon myself to reveal the truth. I have chosen you because of your discriminating eye, your intelligence, and your ability to think outside of convention. ... Although you may never meet, the three of you will work together in ways none of us can predict.
If you show this to the authorities, you will most certainly be placing your life in danger...
The letter was not signed, and it had no return address.
Mary Elizabeth's Musings: How can that summary possibly make a single, living soul pass up the opportunity to read this book??? Doesn't that letter make you ready to read this book cover to cover in one sitting??
Well, when I first picked up Chasing Vermeer as a fifth-grade teacher several years ago, I was completely spellbound! Filled with mystery, suspense, art history, mathematics, and the great city of Chicago as its setting, I would have to say that this book did not receive the type of recognition I felt it deserved.
Ms. Balliett's literary style flows as beautifully as the story line. She takes a seemingly complicated plot along with enormous character development, and successfully weaves it into a unique and extremely satisfying reading experience.
Chasing Vermeer was the first book in a series of amazing art mysteries! As you might have guessed, I highly recommend the other two books that have followed:
Have you read one or more books in this series? Did you enjoy them as much as I did?