Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Calder Game has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Calder Game Hardcover – May 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$2.37 $0.01

Introducing a team of robots powerful enough to change the world--and yet smaller than the dot at the end of this sentence! Hardcover | Kindle book | See related titles
$17.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Calder Game
  • +
  • Chasing Vermeer
  • +
  • The Wright 3
Total price: $37.10
Buy the selected items together

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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 (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,607 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.
3 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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?
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Balliett, Blue. The Calder Game. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. Scholastic Press. 2008.

Another winner by the author of "Chasing Vermeer" and "The Wright 3"! Calder travels to England with his dad and gets caught up in an adventure that involves the disappearance of an Alexander Calder sculpture, just newly installed in a small village square. When Calder goes missing, his friends, Petra and Tommy, fly over to help find him. The story is absorbing and fast-paced. The illustrations provide tantalizing opportunities for puzzle connoisseurs to decode a message. This is a wonderful series for children, 4th grade and up.
1 Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Calder Game
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Calder Game