The Calder Game by Blue Balliett.
Scholastic Press: NY, 2008.

The Calder Game is the 3rd in a collection of art mysteries that employ math, logic, philosophy, history, and literature as well. Connections and interwoven clues are a huge part of the stories. They are unique stories that encourage looking at life, art, and the world in different ways. They also approach the whole subject of education in a different way. I found the 2 that I read so far to be intriguing and awesome in their vision and focus. I haven't been able to get my hands on the 2nd, The Wright 3, but loved the other 2.

The Calder Game centers around an art exhibit of Alexander Calder's sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Calder Pillay's class goes to the exhibit for a field trip, but their unfriendly teacher makes the experience a disaster. She doesn't allow the class to explore the hands-on room at the exhibit, though Calder sneaks in on his own. This portion challenges all participants (even globally) to create their own Calder sculpture-using any medium, including words on paper, mathematical concepts, literally anything.

Calder is scheduled to visit Oxford, England while his dad attends a gardening conference. It is too good of an opportunity to pass up. Calder will be able to visit a centuries old hedge maze. On arriving in the town of Woodstock where they will be staying, Calder and his dad find a Calder sculpture in the village square. It has been donated anonymously, and the villagers hate it, mostly. He sees a mysterious girl and meets another American interested in the Calder sculpture before both he and the sculpture disappear. Calder's friends Petra and Tommy, chaperoned by Mrs. Sharpe, are flown to Woodstock to help search for him. Like Calder, they each have their own specific talents and ways of solving puzzles. Through the process of solving the mystery, they each have a Calder epiphany.

related-mysteries, pentominoes, art, Alexander Calder sculpture, history, Oxford, England, Woodstock, England, Blenheim Palace, Oxford Botanic Garden, wishes

See also Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

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