Cover image for Pieces and players
Title:
Pieces and players
Author:
Balliett, Blue, 1955- , author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
306 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
When thirteen high-value pieces of art are stolen from a secret museum, Calder, Petra, and Tommy are grouped with two new companions to solve puzzles that are complicated by the clever Mrs. Sharpe.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
800 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 11.0 172192.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.3 16 Quiz: 65472.
ISBN:
9780545299909
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of CHASING VERMEER, THE WRIGHT 3, and HOLD FAST



THE PIECES

Thirteen extremely valuable pieces of art have been stolen from one of the most secretive museums in the world. A Vermeer has vanished. A Degas has disappeared. And nobody has any idea where they and the other eleven artworks might be . . . or who might have stolen them.



THE PLAYERS

Calder, Petra, and Tommy are no strangers to heists and puzzles. Now they've been matched with two new sleuths -- Zoomy, a very thin boy with very thick glasses, and Early, a girl who treasures words . . . and has a word or two to say about the missing treasure.



The kids have been drawn in by the very mysterious Mrs. Sharpe, who may be playing her own kind of game with the clues. And it's not just Mrs. Sharpe who's acting suspiciously -- there's a ghost who mingles with the guards in the museum, a cat who acts like a spy, and bystanders in black jackets who keep popping up.



With pieces and players, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic mystery from the amazing Blue Balliett.


Author Notes

Blue Balliett was born in New York City in 1955. She received a degree in art history from Brown University. After graduating, she moved to Nantucket Island, Massachusetts and wrote two books of ghost stories. She eventually moved to Chicago and taught third grade at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Her first children's book, Chasing Vermeer, won the 2005 Edgar Award in the Best Juvenile category. Her other works include The Wright 3 (2006), The Calder Game (2008), and The Danger Box (2010).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

After an art heist in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, elderly museum trustee Mrs. Sharpe calls in five 13-year-olds to investigate the case and recover the artworks. Petra, Calder, and Peter, who collaborated in solving art-related mysteries in Chasing Vermeer (2004), The Wright 3 (2006), and The Calder Game (2008), are joined by Zoomy from The Danger Box (2010) and Early from Hold Fast (2013). As they enter their teens, they are sometimes self-conscious about pimples and how they come across to the opposite sex, but they are still the quirky, insightful individuals they always were. Together, they visit the scene of the crime, tour public artworks in Chicago, make a great many random observations, shift their suspicions, befriend a ghost, and talk intelligently on any number of subjects. The plot may revolve around a mystery, but the heart of the book involves the mysterious human connection with great works of art. Balliett's fans will particularly enjoy the conversations as her five young protagonists join forces, working together toward a common goal.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Calder, Petra, and Tommy from Chasing Vermeer and its sequels join forces with Zoomy from The Danger Box and Early from Hold Fast to investigate the "biggest art robbery ever to happen in the United States": the heist of 13 paintings and sculptures from a small Chicago museum. Though the story's museum is fictional, Balliett borrows the outline of a real crime-the 1990 theft of artwork worth $500 million from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum-for her plot. As in her previous mysteries, chance and coincidence drive the action, and the narrative is salted with repeated motifs and literary allusions. The eighth-grade sleuths, summoned to help because a museum trustee believes they will do detective work that the adult investigators are incapable of doing, use prime numbers, Mother Goose rhymes, and messages in dreams and from a ghost to crack the case. (The FBI may want to invest in its own Ouija board.) Fans of Balliett's previous work will find and enjoy the same meld of puzzling mystery and art history in this adventure. Ages 8-12. Agent: Doe Coover, Doe Coover Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This time it's a small family museum and 13 missing pieces of art providing the mystery that brings back characters met in previous titles. Tommy, Petra, and Calder are joined by Early Pearl and Zoomy Chamberlain. With all five kids led by their teacher Mrs. Hussey, each of the detective's special skills add to their understanding and help them arrive at the solution. Fans of the previous books will be delighted as these characters continue with their familiar predilections such as Calder's pentominoes clacking in his pockets. The realistic Chicago setting and familiar characters combined with the somewhat ghostly aura in the museum, provide just enough drama and enigmas to solve. The stolen artwork is from various masters comprising the "pieces" mentioned in the title. Uncertainties abound, particularly as the kids question their ability to find the stolen works and the honesty of those asking them to find it. People in black leather jackets appear and disappear without explanation, along with red herring clues. Fortunately, this is a puzzle worthy of the capabilities of our fearsome fivesome. Fun and engaging; a fitting addition for readers addicted to these art mysteries.-Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.