Sunday, May 01, 2005

Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2005--Best Juvenile

Chasing Vermeer
by Blue Balliett won the Edgar award for the best juvenile mystery from Mystery Writers of America. This book is on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading list for 2005-2006.

I heard author Blue Balliett (pronounced Bally-et) speak at the Texas Library Associaton conference in April. She is a thoughtful and soft spoken presenter who said this past year has been one of the most amazing times of her life.

Chasing Vermeer began as a school assignment for her students at University of Chicago's Laboratory School. She challenged them to write a story that combined mystery and art when they couldn't find another book like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg to read. She felt she should tackle the assignment with them and this book was the result. She jokingly described her writing space as the one place in the house where no one else in her family wanted to be, the laundry room. She shared that she is working on another book with the same characters. This time the mystery will revolve around Frank Lloyd Wright.

Chasing Vermeer has interesting characters, codes, and puzzles. Illustrator Brett Helquist's (of Series of Unfortunate Events fame) incorporates a coded message and accurately depicts the Hyde Park area.

The Scholastic website is worth checking out.

No comments: