Friday, September 02, 2005

The Wright 3

Yesterday, I opened the mail and found an advance readers' copy of The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett (Scholastic, 04/06), a sequel to one of my very favorite books, Chasing Vermeer. I was so excited I sat down and read the whole thing today! Sorry there's no link, but it's just too early to find you any more information. Trust me, it will be worth the wait!

Balliett's latest takes us into the brilliant mind and architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Our friends Calder and Petra are at the end of the school year when Calder's friend Tommy returns to the class from New York City. One of Wright's buildings, Robie House, sits on the property of the University of Chicago where the three attend day school and where their parents all work. The Robie House is slated to be broken up and disbursed to four museums. Ms. Hussey, the kids' teacher, is appalled and puts the questions to her class: Can a home be art? Does cutting up art destroy it or preserve it? She calls it "Plunder...or the name of salvation."

While tensions run high between Calder's two friends, they manage to find some common ground as the group, the "Wright 3", get involved in solving the various mysteries that have surrounded the house over the decades and try to save it at the same time. The new group dynamic makes for some interesting twists and perspectives in the story. It's fun to get to know the new character, Tommy.

This is a terrific follow-up for fans of Chasing Vermeer. Keep an eye out for it in April.

Grade: A

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