Balliett, Blue. The Wright 3. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. Scholastic, 2006. ISBN 0439693675.
$16.99. 318 p.
Reviewer: Gillian Streeter
Reading Level: Intermediate, Young adult
Genre: Fiction; Detective and mystery stories;
Subject: Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959--Juvenile fiction; Robie House (Chicago, Ill.)--
Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Calder and Petra are back, along with Calder's collector friend Tommy, who has just
moved back to Chicago after his thieving stepfather dies. Tommy and Calder's close friendship
has changed since he left Chicago and all three are uncertain whether they can have a collective
friendship. The latest art-related problem their teacher Miss Hussey brings to class: Frank Lloyd
Wright's Robie House is in danger of being divided into fours pieces and shipped to several
different museums by the University of Chicago. After creating a shaky alliance, Calder,
Tommy, and Petra - the Wright Three - set out to save the Robie House from destruction with
their own unique talents. But trouble comes from outsiders and from within the Wright Three.
Balliett's extensive research shows in this bright and unusual novel - she describes the
Robie House with glittering detail. In the style of this book's predecessor, Chasing Vermeer,
elements of mystery, coincidence, and different forms of intelligence are strong throughout the
story. This would be an excellent class reading project, as the mystery and the enthusiasm of the
characters are contagious. Students will also learn many different facts about Wright and his
architecture. Balliett provides some background on her research at the end of the story. As with
the previous book, Helquist illustrates the cover and different scenes throughout the book.
Readers should keep an eye out for the surprises hidden in the pictures. Though this book may be
read without reading Balliett's previous novel, it would not be as enjoyable or understandable.
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