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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Slight water damage may be present.
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The Calder Game Hardcover – May 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Oh, the Places You'll Go! The Read It! Write It! Collection
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A slip-cased set of classics: one to read, and one to write (and draw) in — All with a little help from Dr. Seuss. Hardcover | See more Suess
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Those precocious art sleuths Calder, Petra, and Tommy are back, and this mystery is every bit as intricate, engaging, and delightful as Chasing Vermeer (2004) and The Wright 3 (2006, both Scholastic). The three seventh graders go with their class to an exhibit of Alexander Calder's mobiles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Soon after, Calder and his father travel to a remote village in England that has an anonymously donated Calder sculpture, the Minotaur, and a maze at Blenheim Park. Both the boy and the sculpture disappear on the same night. Balliett's love of words and her ability to tuck hidden, subtle clues into her story are evident throughout. Petra and Tommy fly to England to help Calder's dad and the police find their friend. The kids see mobiles everywhere: in the leaves, flying crows, paper trash. Indeed, the whole story is structured as a mobile, with plot and characters twisting and turning, moving and dancing around each other. The young sleuths are able to take what seems to be chance and coincidence and apply their own conclusions to the puzzle wrapped inside this mystery. Balliett's wonderful writing is full of foreshadowing, literary allusions, wordplay, and figurative language. Calder's signature yellow pentominoes play an important role, and the kids create a new code. Helquist's detailed illustrations enhance this multilayered story. Fans of the author's previous novels are in for a treat in this latest adventure.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Calder, Petra, and Tommy, seventh-graders with a penchant for solving art mysteries, return in a new adventure that takes them across the sea. When Calder’s father goes to England to attend a conference, he takes Calder along and, rather surprisingly, allows him to wander the streets of tiny Woodstock, where they are staying, and explore nearby Blenheim Palace alone. Before Calder leaves, his class visits an exhibit of famous artist Alexander Calder’s work, including an innovation of the museum, the Calder Game. It invites participants to make or visualize mobiles of real or imaginary objects, and throughout the story, the trio continues to play in various ways. Once in Woodstock, the boy is shocked to see one of Calder’s sculptures, a recent donation that is despised by the residents. Then the sculpture goes missing, and so does the boy. Both the disappearance of the unsupervised Calder and the arrival of Petra and Tommy to hunt for their friend are contrivances. But to focus on the warts misses the beauty of the story as well as its potent messages about observation, imagination, and connections. Balliett doesn’t shirk from putting her characters in danger, but what’s fascinating is how she weaves in the kids’ attraction to puzzles, words, and found objects as she moves them through literal and figurative mazes. Balliett again offers readers new ways to think. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439852072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439852074
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Yoomi VINE VOICE on April 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The gang is all back, Calder, Tommy, and Petra, ready for another mystery to solve. It's the same formula with a different setting (England) and a different artist (Alexander Calder). But the three kids are finding balance between themselves, kind of like the mobiles that they all find so fascinating.

If you enjoyed "Chasing Vermeer" and "The Wright 3", this is a must read. In all three of her books, Blue Balliett does a great job of making artists interesting to kids that may not otherwise have an interest in art. (Adults too! I'm inspired to go see the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.) It's also a great message about how differences can be cool and art can change people, if they just let it in.

The only thing that bothered me is that the kids were able to get a passport in one day. (It took 8 weeks to get mine!) That just wouldn't be possible in our day and age. But it's just a small detail.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I listened to the audio-book with my 8 and 11 year olds. The long car ride kept us listening until the end.

PROS - We all learned about Alexander Calder's art and enjoyed the art ties to Banksy. The British history and geography (US and UK) woven into the story inspired fun conversations, too. Although the author reaches a bit far trying to describe the thoughts of the characters (particularly the way they "analyze" the world through really intricate patterns that they notice), Balliett gives readers a new prism with which to view the world.

CONS - Many elements of the story are unrealistic -- that's not a problem in and of itself. I remember the joys of feeling empowered above my years when I was a kid! However, there are a few elements that are just plain dangerous.

- Caulder (the main character) travels to England with his dad. While dad attends a multi-day conference, he tells his son to explore the city until he comes home around 5pm. REALLY? Caulder has a series of discomforting 'culture-shock' encounters. Within three days he decides to meet up and go someplace with a stranger. He leaves a short note for his dad with no information, except to tell his dad to not wait up for him. YIKES. Perhaps readers are supposed to identify that this decision is counter to the "don't go places with strangers" life lesson, but the danger and folly of this decision are never discussed. Caulder's fate is the cliff-hanger of the entire story.

- After Caulder is missing for a few days, his two best friends arrive in England to help look for him. They are accompanied by a woman who is a friend of their teacher. Really?
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Format: Hardcover
Blue Balliett established an interesting set of characters with the first two novels in this series, and "The Calder Game" continues that mix of intellectual curiosity and creativity. As with the prevous two, the third novel revolves around a mystery that puts the children in more danger than they initially realize and that they may not be able to escape from. "The Calder Game" is an ultra-quick, hard to put down read that will delight readers both young and old.

Calder Pillay is excited to travel to England with his father, especially since it means a week off from school and his all-too-strict new seventh grade teacher, Ms. Button. With Calder taking off, the fledgling friendship between Petra and Tommy is at stake, for Calder is the glue that keeps them from hating each other. Once in the small Oxfordshire town of Woodstock, Calder is surprised to discovre a sculpture in the town square by his namesake, Alexander Calder. He is even more surprised by the townspeople's reaction to it - they hate it and wish it was gone. Well, one morning they awaken to find that their wish has been granted, but not only is the sculpture missing, so is Calder! His father and the local police are at a loss to know what happened to him or the sculpture, so Petra and Tommy, along with Mrs. Sharpe, are flown over to investigate. What unravels is a unique mystery that is not as ominous as it initially seems, but is certainly as puzzling as some of the intricate mazes, codes, and puzzles that these three children love.

Throughout the novel, Balliett mixes in opinions about art (even making up the Calder statue in the town), referencing not only Calder but also the anonymous London street artist Banksy.
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Format: Hardcover
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 excited about the opportunity and learns that the town they're staying in is home to one of Alexander Calder's sculptures, The Minotaur. When Calder and his dad arrive in the small town, they find that not everyone is as excited about the sculpture as Calder is -- and quite a few people want it gone.

While Calder's dad is off at his seminars all day, Calder starts exploring the town and even goes to the famous Blenheim Palace gardens and maze. This is the ultimate place for Calder as he loves puzzles and mazes. One night, though, both Calder and the sculpture go missing.....a coincidence... maybe? When Calder doesn't show up after a couple of nights, his worry-stricken father brings in some back-up, Petra and Tommy. Together they will try and solve the mystery of where Calder is and what happened to the sculpture.

As always, Blue Balliett has created an intricately woven story which takes art, mystery, and friendship and turns it into one heck of a book. What's especially nice about THE CALDER GAME is that you don't necessarily have to have read the other books in the series (CHASING VERMEER and THE WRIGHT 3) to understand what's going on; while it would be nice, this story is complete on its own.
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