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Blue Balliett



Blue Balliett
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.08

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    figurative, decipher, first-person, suspense, writing, curator, narration, geometry, literature, mobile, plots, controversy, passion, prior, doorstep, teaching
     content words:    Blue Balliett, New York City, New Yorker, Alexander Calder, When Blue, To Blue, Calder Game, Brown University, When Balliett, Chasing Vermeer


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Blue Balliett
By Jamie Kee
  

1     American author Blue Balliett began writing mystery books for children at the start of the 21st century. Her initial inspiration came from a class project she assigned her students. Balliett has discovered multiple inspirations since then. Her books are now read worldwide. Although no longer a teacher, Balliett continues to inspire students through her exciting books.
 
2     Elizabeth "Blue" Balliett was born in 1955 and grew up in New York City. As a child, she always enjoyed reading and writing. She was exposed to writing through her father who wrote for the magazine, The New Yorker, for a long time. By the time Blue was eight years old, she knew she wanted to become a writer. She saw mystery and drama everywhere and knew that stories could be found wherever she looked. She actually began writing her first book in fourth grade but never finished it.
 
3     Besides writing, Blue had other interests as a child. She grew up around numerous museums and developed a passion for art. In fact, Balliett now says she is one hundred percent confident that the art work of Alexander Calder changed her life. When Blue was only nine, she saw one of his mobiles. She felt both shocked and delighted to see "art that bobbed and drifted." She remembered the "slowly-shifting shapes, of giant objects and primary colors that seemed to float." To Blue, the art was alive. As she grew up, she saw more of his art, and it always gave her a positive feeling. "His art left me with a delicious sense that everything was going to be fine, and that balance was possible." In fact, one of Balliett's books, The Calder Game, centers on a missing sculpture by Calder.

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