The Calder Game

The Calder Game by Blue Balliett is a mystery story linking art sculpture with intrigue. The book description reads, “When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery…including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square.

Calder is strangely drawn to the sculpture, while other people have less-than-friendly feelings toward it. Both the boy and the sclupture seem to be out of place…and then, on the same night, they disappear!”

I thought about this book on the weekend, when I visited the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle with Mr. Hembree. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the first thing we noticed was the gigantic Alexander Calder sculpture called The Eagle. We walked around it and under it and looked closely at his signature on the side.

 In this view from underneath the sculpture, you can see what looks like the eagle head or beak (or at least that is what it looks like to me)!


 The last picture shows Calder’s signature on the side of the piece and the date.


I don’t think this is the Calder that disappeared from The Calder Game, but isn’t it fun imagining it could be? Here is a link to a book trailer  I found for The Calder Game by Gaia, a student in Mrs Scavone’s class from June 2011.

The Calder Game is available for check out  F BAL  MYSTERY.


What sculpture did you see in the book trailer?

Have you ever seen an Alexander Calder sculpture before? Which one?

What piece of art would you write a mystery about?




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5 thoughts on “The Calder Game

  1. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I love the pictures!!! They are really cool and fun looking.
    I haven’t seen one of the sculptures. But they are really amazing they must have taken a long time to sculpt.
    My blog hasn’t been doing great I haven’t been getting a lot of comments. Do you have any advice?
    Thanks so much. Good luck with your blog.

    • Dear Ariel,

      Thank you for visiting our blog again and leaving a comment. I don’t know how long it took Calder to make that sculpture. That’s a great question to research!

      As far as comments are concerned, blogging can be difficult. I don’t really have an easy solution for you except to say you need to regularly visit other blogs and leave comments. Those people generally will visit yours too and leave you a comment.

      That starts up a dialog or conversation. You don’t have to choose lots of blogs. Pick a few, maybe students similar in age to you. They all want the same result as you and will probably have the time to respond regularly. If you have some favorite teacher blogs, look for students in their classes who are starting up like you. Strike up a conversation and have some fun!

      Good luck!
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    What a great book to read.

    I really enjoyed your photos too which you included in this post. Somehow I really can make out in one of the photos it really does look like an eagle. I have to say that this sculpture is the prefect colour too. Colour really does bring certain works of sculptures to life I feel.

    Happy reading Mrs Hembree.

    From your friend,
    AA 🙂

  3. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I just loved your post and the book trailer was very mysterious. The statue Cadler signed does look like an eagle. That was my first time seeing one of Cadler’s sculptures they look awesome from my point of view. Interesting question Mrs Hembree. I would write a mysterious story that has a lot of Cause and Effect for example This Sculpture falls down and people have tried to lift it up with a crane so no one would trip but mysteriously the Sculpture just lifts it’s self back up during the night. What would you write about Mrs Hembree?


    • Dear BB,
      When I first saw the sculpture, I couldn’t see why it was called The Eagle. It wasn’t until I was underneath it taking a photo, did I see how it resembled an eagle.

      I think I would write a mystery story. There is another sculpture at the Olympic Park that is a huge metal tree. I think I would try to come up with a story about a missing book and that tree. How could they combine?

      Mrs. Hembree

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