The Wright 3 Book Poster Image

The Wright 3

Clever kids save historic house in tepid sequel.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The kids tell lies, hide things from their parents, sneak out at night, and engage in reckless behavior.

Violence

Thieves tie the kids up and threaten them.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the child-heroes of this book, while clever, lie to each other and to their parents, and sneak out at night in dangerous situations. As readers travel through this mystery, they can find and decode the clues, both verbal and pictorial, scattered throughout the book.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Petra and Calder from Chasing Vermeer, finishing up their sixth grade year, are joined by Calder's friend Tommy, who has moved back to town, and the trio is not a comfortable one. Tommy resents Calder and Petra's friendship, and is sullen and rude about it.

Then their teacher, Ms. Hussey, introduces them to a tragedy in the making -- Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House is about to be cut into four pieces and sent to different museums. The kids and teacher quickly organize an effective protest that gets plenty of media and political attention.

But there's more going on at Robie House than meets the eye: strange lights, worker injuries, hidden codes, and a house that may have a mind of its own bring the trio together to solve the mystery and save the house.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Kids who liked Chasing Vermeer will probably enjoy this sequel about unlikely friends saving a Frank Lloyd Wright house -- and solving a mystery. There are more art crimes, more clues hidden in pictures, more codes to solve, more pentominoes, more mathematical, literary, and historical connections -- more of everything that made the first book fun. But somehow it adds up to less.

The clever bits are mostly extraneous: You don't need to find the hidden pictures or decode the codes or understand pentominoes to follow the story -- none of them are integral. The author introduces interesting strands, characters, and ideas and then drops them without their having served any purpose. It's all pleasant and interesting, in a tepid sort of way, and some kids will enjoy it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the historical background. Who was Frank Lloyd Wright, and what is the real history of the Robie Residence? Also, why does Tommy behave the way he does? If you were Calder or Petra, how would you have handled it?

Book details

Author:Blue Balliett
Illustrator:Brett Helquist
Genre:Mystery
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Publication date:April 3, 2006
Number of pages:318

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Kid, 0 years old March 9, 2014

horrible

this book is really bad it doesn't have any mystery in it
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

Page Turner

The author twists historical facts into this gripping book! Mysteries and social life all ties in nicely! You sit at the edge or you seat! My favorite part is the ending! Awesome Book!
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

A Perfect Sequel

This was an excellent sequel. It is the second best in the series. It isn't as good as chasing vermeer but i liked it