Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Blue Balliett  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1955 in New York City, New York

-- Blog --
-- Website --
-- Blue Balliett on WorldCat --

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

Selected Titles At Your Library

The ghosts of Nantucket :
ISBN: 089272191X. OCLC Number:

[Down East Books],. [Camden, Me.] :. [©1984]

Chasing Vermeer /
ISBN: 0439372976. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2004.

When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. First book in the series featuring art sleuth friends Calder and Petra.

Nantucket ghosts :
ISBN: 0892727179. OCLC Number:

Down East Books,. Camden, Me. :. ©2006.

Nantucket Island has just more than 10,000 year-round residents -- and a sizeable population of very real ghosts. The 44 tales in this book were collected as oral history. Some of these spirits are benign, even protective; others terrorize the humans who encounter them. All are memorable.

The Wright 3 /
ISBN: 0439693683. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2006.

In the midst of a series of unexplained accidents and mysterious coincidences, sixth-graders Calder, Petra, and Tommy lead their classmates in an attempt to keep Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Robie House from being demolished. Second book in the series featuring art sleuth friends Calder, Petra, and Tommy.

The Calder game /
ISBN: 0439852072. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2008.

When seventh-grader Calder Pillay disappears from a remote English village--along with an Alexander Calder sculpture to which he has felt strangely drawn--his friends Petra and Tommy fly from Chicago to help his father find him. Third book in the series featuring art sleuth friends Calder, Petra, and Tommy.

The Danger Box /
ISBN: 0439852099. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2010.

In small-town Michigan, twelve-year-old Zoomy and his new friend Lorrol investigate the journal found inside a mysterious box and find family secrets and a more valuable treasure, while a dangerous stranger watches and waits.

Hold fast /
ISBN: 0545299888. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2013.

On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

Pieces and players /
ISBN: 054529990X. OCLC Number:

. .

When thirteen high-value pieces of art are stolen from a secret museum, Calder, Petra, and Tommy are grouped with two new companions to solve puzzles that are complicated by the clever Mrs. Sharpe.

Out of the wild night /
ISBN: 0545867568. OCLC Number:

. .

Mary W. Chase died on Nantucket Island just over one hundred years ago, but she is still there, in the house she once lived in, and she wants to keep it that way-- but first she must somehow contact a group of children who are interested in preserving historic homes on the island.


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 Editorís Choice
  • Borders Original Voices Award
  • Midwest Booksellersí Choice Award for Childrenís Literature
  • Child Magazine Best Childrenís Book
  • Parentsí Choice Silver Honor Book
  • Alís Book Club for Kids Selection, NBC Today Show, 2008
  • Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly and Bulletin of the Center for Childrenís 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
  • Editorís 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 Childrenís 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

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)