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The Wright 3

by Blue Balliett
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

Published by Scholastic Press, 2006
317 pages
ISBN: 0439693675

Ages 9-12

The friendship between sixth-graders Petra and Calder is threatened when Tommy returns to school after several months’ absence. Calder and Tommy are long-time buddies, but the relationship between Petra and Calder is still new and vulnerable. Can the three sort through their issues in time to work as a unit to save the Robie House from destruction? Just three blocks from their school, the Frank Lloyd Wright building is suffering from financial woes and structural deterioration. Its owner, the University of Chicago, plans to dissect the building into four sections, to be donated to museums in the United States and abroad. In response to the proposal, the trio’s teacher challenges her class to decide if Robie House is a piece of art, and if so, to consider the consequences of the building’s deconstruction. The ensuing conversation leads to a student-directed project to save the building from being dismantled. Meanwhile, Petra, Calder, and Tommy become entangled in astounding coincidences and mysterious happenings revolving around their interest in Robie House. Is it possible that the spirit of the house itself is playing a role in current events? What about its long-dead architect? Could the stone fish Tommy found in the yard have once belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright? As in her debut novel, Chasing Vermeer (Scholastic Press, 2004), Blue Balliett weaves an intriguing web of clues, codes, and mystical events together to create a solidly entertaining mystery for young readers. (MVL) ©2006 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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