Blue Balliett

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General Information

Balliett Blue.jpg
Name: Blue Balliett

Pen Name: None

Genres: Fiction

Born: 1955 in New York City, New York

Website: or



Photo Credit: Bill Klein

Illinois Connection

Balliett lives in Chicago's Hyde Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Blue Balliett taught third grade at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools before becoming a full-time writer. A New York Times bestselling author, she wrote the award-winning children's novel Chasing Vermeer of which, Warner Brothers has acquired the film rights. Her books have been published in 34 languages.

Published Works

  • The Ghosts of Nantucket: 23 True Accounts, Down East Books, 1993
  • Chasing Vermeer, Scholastic Press , 2005
  • Nantucket Ghosts, Down East Books, 2006
  • The Wright 3, Scholastic Press, 2007
  • Calder Game, Scholastic Press, 2008
  • The Danger Box, Scholastic Press, 2010
  • Hold Fast, Scholastic Press, 2013
  • Pieces and Players, Scholastic, 2015
  • Out of the Wild Night, Scholastic, 2018

Titles at Your Library

Literary Awards

Chasing Vermeer

  • New York Times Notable Book, 2004 - NYT Bestseller for over 30 weeks
  • Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award, American Booksellers Association
  • Book Sense Bestseller
  • Edgar Allen Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, Best Juvenile Novel
  • Agatha Award
  • The Great Lakes Book Award
  • Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, 2004
  • Booklist Top Ten Youth Mysteries
  • Booklist Editor’s Choice
  • Borders Original Voices Award
  • Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Children’s Literature
  • Child Magazine Best Children’s Book
  • Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Book
  • Al’s Book Club for Kids Selection, NBC Today Show, 2008
  • Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly and Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

The Wright 3

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Best Children's Book of the Year, Child Magazine
  • 21st Century Award, Chicago Public Library - First time the award was given to a children's book author
  • Gamepuzzles Annual Excellence Award
  • USA Today Bestseller
  • Book Sense Bestseller
  • Starred Review, Kirkus

The Calder Game

  • Friends of American Writers Literary Award Winner
  • Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Indie Bound Bestseller
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Five Star Review,

Danger Box

  • Junior Library Guild selection, Fall 2010
  • Chicago Tribune's Chicagoan of the Year for Literature, 2010
  • Parents' Choice Silver Award Winner
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award master list, 2011-12
  • Book Worm Angels, 2012
  • Kermit W. Myers Achievement Award
  • Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Masterlist, 2012-13
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • 2013 ILLINOIS READS Book

Hold Fast

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Editor’s Choice, Chicago Tribune, May 2013
  • Great Lakes Great Reads Award, Winter 2013
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection, NCSS and CBC, 2014
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Award Master List, 2014-15
  • William Allen White Award Master List, 2015-16
  • Starred Review, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal
  • 2016 ILLINOIS READS Book

Pieces and Players

  • Junior Library Guild Selection, spring 2015
  • Great Lakes Great Reads Award Short List, 2015

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (No)

External Links

Blue Balliett on WorldCat


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