The Wright 3
Balliett, Blue. 2002. The Wright 3. Illustrated by Brett Helquist. New York: Scholastic Press.
The Wright 3, Blue Balliett’s follow up to Chasing Vermeer, seems to have the right stuff. Returning characters Calder, Petra, and Tommy join forces to save an architectural gem in the Chicago area, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. Each of Balliett’s gifted characters brings their own unique talents and skills to solving the mysterious set of circumstances and events that surround the impending demise of the treasured building. The trio of friends work through their differences first with their entire class and then, alone, to save the historic home from demolition. Balliett expertly weaves a tale of intrigue incorporating exotic elements of math, classic literature, film, art, and architecture culminating in a suspenseful ‘whodunnit’ worthy of praise. Brett Helquist’s intricate illustrations add depth and detail to the mystery. Loaded with clues, his artistic renderings are not to be missed. Look for hidden pictures within pictures for hours of fun. The multiple themes of friendship, trust, passion for standing up for a cause, historical preservation and aesthetic appreciation which meld together to create a rousing adventure worthy of being read again and again. Readers of all ages will be culturally elevated to new highs and learn a great deal about geometry and art all while enjoying a remarkable story.