The Wright 3

October 31, 2008
By Chris Park, Portland, OR

The Wright 3, written by Blue Balliett and illustrated by Brett Helquist, is an exquisite piece of contemporary literature. It keeps the reader engrossed in its pages for hours. This novel is targeted towards younger readers who enjoy mysteries that include forensic science. I did not regret spending my time reading this book at all. I highly recommend this title to all audiences of any level of comprehension. Blue Balliett shows a great deal of knowledge of how to entertain a young, eager reader with the way she distributes facts at the right time in the right place.
The Wright 3 takes place in Chicago, Illinois in the early 21st century. It's Tommy Segovia's first time stepping foot in the streets of Chicago in almost a year, and he finds out that his best friend, Calder Pillay, became companions and workmates with Petra Andalee in discovering the stolen artwork of Vermeer while he was gone. Now, just as school is about to end for these 6th graders, the news breaks out that the local Robie House is becoming too fragile for existence and must either receive a rather expensive remodeling or must be split up into four separate portions and sent away to museums across the globe. I really admire the fact that these three kids want to prevent this “murder” of the Robie House, as they refer to it. It truly shows that one of the messages that the author was attempting to deliver to her audience was to think that even if you're a kid, you can make a difference in history.
Throughout the novel, Calder, Petra, and Tommy realize specific signs surround them in their everyday lives that they have never realized. These clues indicate several extremely vital facts that helped them get a step closer to the solution of saving the Robie House. Blue clearly presented in her writing that if you bother to notice the details in life, things that you search for might have already been there for the entire time.
This book exceeded my expectations, but one factor that may have caused me to daze for a period of time was the constant criticism of Tommy and Petra toward each other. They continuously argued and insulted each other. This caused Calder to tell each one of them multiple times that they needed everyone to save the Robie House. A scene in the book which caused me to almost get irritated with the book was when Tommy insulted Petra and Calder stood there, speechless, which made Petra think that Calder didn't care about her, which got Calder upset and furious at Tommy, which caused Tommy to think that Calder always took Petra's side, which made Calder accuse Tommy of being inconsiderate to girls, which caused as a final outburst Tommy stomping away from Calder just like Petra. At the end of the chapter, they were all in a huge tangle full of rage and the repetitive voice in their heads of “I'm never going to talk to either of them again!” This was actually really confusing and annoying. But, overall, The Wright 3 is the kind of novel that I would call “page-turning”. I would probably rate this novel, about a 4 star rating.

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