Spring semester at the Lab School in Hyde Park finds Petra and Calder drawn into another mystery when unexplainable accidents and ghostly happenings throw a spotlight on Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, and it's up to the two junior sleuths to piece together the clues. Stir in the return of Calder's friend Tommy (which creates a tense triangle), ...
Spring semester at the Lab School in Hyde Park finds Petra and Calder drawn into another mystery when unexplainable accidents and ghostly happenings throw a spotlight on Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, and it's up to the two junior sleuths to piece together the clues. Stir in the return of Calder's friend Tommy (which creates a tense triangle), H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man, 3D pentominoes, and the hunt for a coded message left behind by Wright, and the kids become tangled in a dangerous web in which life and art intermingle with death, deception, and surprise.
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The Wright 3 picks up the trio from Chasing Vermeer as the school year is ending. Petra, Calder, Tommy, their teacher & classmates embark on an adventure to save a Frank Lloyd Wright building from being destroyed. Coincidences and curiosity take the trio on a journey in which they discover connections between ancient math patterns, geometry, art, architecture, The Invisible Man, Rear Window (from Alfred Hitchcock), and the strange intertwined history of Frank Lloyd Wright and the home he built for the Robie family. At every turn, fascinating things happen creating a story such as Petra finds in the Invisible Man -- "a page-turner". A sensational story for grade sixes about grade sixes.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-06-04 When the University of Chicago decides to demolish a 1910 Frank Lloyd Wright house, three sixth-graders team up with their teacher to save the building. Readers "will be quickly drawn in" to this "sophisticated" mystery novel, wrote PW. Ages 9-12. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2006-04-03 This third book in DuPrau's series is billed as a prequel to the first two (The City of Ember and The People of Sparks), but the connection is tenuous. Eleven-year-old Nickie Randolph wants "to do something helpful for the world," which is on the brink of war. Fear of terrorist activity is wreaking havoc in American cities. Against this backdrop, Nickie and her aunt travel from Philadelphia to Yonwood, in the North Carolina mountains, to prepare Nickie's great-grandfather's home for sale. Yonwood is a tense, parochial town, where the fevered ramblings of an older woman have been seized upon as "visions," and the woman hailed as a prophet. Local busybody Brenda Beeson, whose mantra is "one moldy strawberry can ruin the whole basket," zealously takes charge, interpreting the Prophet's messages and building a "shield of goodness" against impending evil. DuPrau scatters the text with intriguing elements-clues hidden in postcards, mysterious writings about "eleven dimensions" found in a journal-but they function more as entertaining distractions rather than to advance the story. DuPrau unfortunately undercuts the novel's more serious themes-the nature of goodness, and of God-with a manipulative, rather nonsensical denouement. But while the plot never fully ignites, the smooth writing will carry fans of the first two books along, and there's ample room (50 years) between this book and Ember for yet another prequel. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-02-27 Unlike the set-up in Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, no crime has been committed-yet-when Petra, Calder and Tommy begin the final weeks of sixth grade in the University of Chicago's Laboratory School. But the class does wonder if it's "murder" for the university to demolish a 1910 Frank Lloyd Wright house it owns, and sell off the pieces to different museums (an author's note reports that the real Robie House was almost demolished twice, and that pieces of Wright houses reside in museums the world over). Those who enjoyed the first adventure will be quickly drawn in once more by the charmingly subversive Ms. Hussey who, with her students, hatches a plan to preserve the building. They decide to cut up posters of fine art in front of the house, to demonstrate that, as Petra puts it, "cutting it up would be the same thing as cutting up a priceless painting." The project morphs into an obsession for "the Wright 3": Petra suspects a mysterious stranger is linked to subterfuge surrounding the house; Calder notices that the home is like a giant-size version of his set of pentominoes, and Tommy unearths an ancient jade fish on the grounds that may have been Wright's lost talisman. The blue M&Ms from the first book have been replaced by red gummy "herrings," but other ingredients remain-a sophisticated subject spiced by puzzles, codes and a soup?on of danger-as the titular trio works to stop the wrecking ball from swinging. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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