Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer
by Blue Balliett

Once we hit reading day at NYU, I am able to kick it into high gear reading RA Favorite Books.  Today, I was able to start and finish Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett.  This is a young adult book that follows two sixth graders attending a high school on the University campus in Chicago. Their teacher, Ms. Hussey, a recent addition to the teaching ranks, provides a new approach to engage her students through inquiry and unstructured approach to the content.  She challenges her students to solve problems that exist in the world, first by deciding what problem they want to solve.  When two students, Calder and Petra, learn about a missing Johannes Vermeer painting called A Lady Writing, they decide to join forces to solve the mystery.  There are a series of intertwined storylines bringing family, friends, and lead characters all into the mystery.  A stolen painting, a missing friend, an injured older neighbor, and the mysterious bookstore owner make for a baffling “who done it” with two youngsters getting in the way to solve it.  Will they find the missing Vermeer?  Will they get hurt in the process?  What about their teacher?  Is she the person who stole the painting?  So much to unravel, but a fast-paced storyline makes this one easy and quick to digest.  If you have a younger sibling or relative, this would be a great purchase to engage them in solving mysteries! 

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