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The Danger Box
     

The Danger Box

4.2 15
by Blue Balliett
 

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An all-new mystery from the bestselling author of Chasing Vermeer and The Calder Game!

A boy in a small town who has a different way of seeing.
A curious girl who doesn't belong.
A mysterious notebook.
A missing father.
A fire.
A stranger.
A death.

These are some of the things you'll find within The Danger Box, the new mystery from

Overview


An all-new mystery from the bestselling author of Chasing Vermeer and The Calder Game!

A boy in a small town who has a different way of seeing.
A curious girl who doesn't belong.
A mysterious notebook.
A missing father.
A fire.
A stranger.
A death.

These are some of the things you'll find within The Danger Box, the new mystery from bestselling author Blue Balliett.

Open with care.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Blue Balliett:

The Danger Box

* "Balliett demonstrates how danger boxes are all around us–not just as containers of physical objects for which people will hazard a great deal, but as vehicles that expose us to risky ideas and dreams. This highly satisfying story will enlighten readers even as it inspires them to think about their own danger boxes." - School Library Journal, starred review

"Blue Balliett's fourth mystery, The Danger Box, spins a web of science and history into a spine-tingling yet uplifting tale. Kids are in for an adventure that leaves no reader untouched." - Chicago Sun Times

Publishers Weekly
Balliett's (Chasing Vermeer) latest mystery spotlights the life of Charles Darwin with a boy's investigation into a stolen scientific notebook. Zoomy Chamberlain, 12, has bad eyesight, a touch of OCD, and a need for structure ("he smallest changes can make me jittery-splat, as we call it"). Left on his grandparents' doorstep as an infant, his coping mechanism is keeping all kinds of lists. His highly ordered world implodes when his alcoholic father reappears, arriving with things to sell at the family's antique store. One item captures Zoomy's fascination--a careworn notebook. Sensing the journal's author is a kindred spirit, Zoomy researches the journal's provenance, as the man from whom it was stolen closes in. The tension derived from the danger facing Zoomy is halted by faux newspaper articles that offer biographical information about a "mysterious soul," but which read like didactic asides. As in her previous novels, Balliett sets the action in a real town, Three Oaks, Mich., and details about the setting add appeal. Interestingly, the notebook Darwin used during his 1835 visit to the Galápagos Islands really is missing: it disappeared in the 1980s and is classified as stolen. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Balliett's latest mystery explores the intricacies of scientific discovery. Wealthy Mr. Zip has arranged for a priceless treasure, stolen years ago, to be delivered to him. He will indulge his dream of savoring this object, and then will return it to society, a magnanimous gesture that will ensure that he is remembered as a hero. Sadly, before the treasure reaches him, Mr. Zip dies of a heart attack. When a mysterious man in possession of the box learns about this, he senses opportunity for personal gain, but before he can learn what he's transporting, his truck is stolen. Switch to our narrator, Zoomy, an engaging 12-year-old who, with pathological myopia, sees the world differently than those around him. Raised by his grandparents, he is pulled into the intrigue when his absent and alcoholic father makes a brief reappearance in his life with the box. Inside, Zoomy and his grandparents find only an old notebook wrapped in a blanket. An inveterate list-maker and notebook-keeper himself, Zoomy immediately falls in love with the journal, sensing a kindred spirit in the creator. He attempts to learn more about its history as the man schemes to reclaim that which does not belong to him, and as issues of The Gas Gazette provide clues but no answers about a "mysterious soul." Balliett demonstrates how danger boxes are all around us—not just as containers of physical objects for which people will hazard a great deal, but as vehicles that expose us to risky ideas and dreams. This highly satisfying story will enlighten readers even as it inspires them to think about their own danger boxes.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Balliett delivers a loosely constructed tale about a modern lad who discovers an exciting connection between himself and Charles Darwin. In a box dropped off by his sociopathic father, Zoomy finds a battered old notebook whose unidentified author was—like Zoomy—compulsive about making lists of tasks and methodically checking off each item in succession. The word "Galapagos" and other clues in the book prompt visits to the local library, where Zoomy makes a high-energy new friend in summer visitor Lorrol. Together the two immerse themselves in a study of Darwin's life and plan a series of broadsheets (reproduced within) containing extracts from the scientist's writings. Around these and other info-dumps the author wraps an engaging picture of Zoomy's life with loving, sensitive grandparents. But a rococo chain of events that begins with the notebook's theft and climaxes in a contrived fire seems inserted just to move the plot along while providing a demonstration of small-town values in action. Unlike the author's previous outings, here her enthusiasm for historical research seems to outweigh her interest in creating a well-founded story. (Mystery. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439852104
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
321,080
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Blue Balliett is the author of several bestselling, acclaimed mystery novels, including Chasing Vermeer (a Book Sense Book of the Year and an Edgar Award winner), The Wright 3, The Calder Game, and The Danger Box. She writes in the laundry room of her home in Chicago, Illinois, and you can find her online at www.blueballiettbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Danger Box 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a good book for kids who likes mysteries.My favorite parts in this book are the Gas Gazette Issues.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Twelve-year-old Zoomy Chamberlain has poor eyesight, OCD, and craves structure. Left on his grandfather's doorstep, Zoomy has been raised by his grandparents and trained to do things differently. Things get turned upside down, however, when his estranged, alcoholic father shows up and gives Zoomy a mysterious box. Inside this box is a notebook wrapped in a blanket. Coping with life by making lists and keeping notebooks, Zoomy is understandably drawn to the book. While looking through it with his grandparents, he finds clues relating to Charles Darwin. With the help of a summer visitor friend named Lorrol, Zoomy looks into the origins of the notebook. Before the two friends can delve further into the book's history, though, it is mysteriously stolen. Is there someone who doesn't want the origins of the notebook to be discovered? What is the mystery behind the book? What dangers lie ahead for Zoomy and Lorrol? This is a great, action-packed mystery for reluctant readers. The characters are well-drawn, and the plot is unique, well-developed, and does a good job of holding the reader's interest. Those who like mysteries, adventure, and action will enjoy reading THE DANGER BOX.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a class, we read Blue Balliett's first two books; Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3 and my 5th graders loved them. We studied art and architecture, used pentominoes and created secret messages! The Danger Box has new characters and a new setting and I believe it will also provide wonderful "teachable moments" in the classroom!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As is characteristic of her previous novels, The Danger Box is a masterfully written piece of fiction. Blue manages to incorporate interesting and believable characters with an intriguing plot and a mystery that includes an historical person about whom the reader can learn. The characters struggle with their own physical difficulties and family problems, as well as emotional and moral struggles the discovery of a marvelous artifact entails. The main character manages to triumph over his difficulties and to discover similar traits within the historical person he has grown to admire. He is also lucky enough to discover his own inner strength and an amazing new friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved that book and i strongly inform you to read the book! In the story, danger box the book is a mystery book and kind of a adventuious book were ziggy ( the main character) meets another girl and they become best of friends and ziggy goes through alot of rough times, like the store burns down and his real father hates his guts so he lives with his grandparets! And the really sad part of the book is when ziggy looks up information about his real dad his dad comes and pushes ziggy down a long staircase and ziggy is special needed and his dad threatens to hurt him and his familly! But other than that you should read the book. Also you need to know the main idea of the book while your reading and to understand it, to make the story make sense! So go out there and read, reading is really good for you, like i read 7 chapter books with like 400 pages in each, in two months! But again, you dont have to be like me you can be who ever you want to be but just do what you want to do and make a good living out of it and you could learn how to love your life! Reading is like writing a book you have to understand the book to write the book!!! READ the book, ill know you wil love it as much as i loved it! ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the illustarter becuse he drew pictures of the baudlare chikdren and i love that series also the authir becuse i love the characters petra calder and tommy so can u plz make more of thise books i think there really good and bret helguist keep doing more fantanstic drawing and blue balliet good books plz keep makinv more im only a kid but i like ur stories
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the first 25 pages and did not understand a thing. But i read other peoples revews and they make it sound amazing! Especially because I lOVE mystery books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would save this book for a slightly older age group than the Vermeer series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the things I love about Blue's books is how they treat the young reader with respect by including complexities and layers without constant over explanation and cushioning. The characters in this novel are so incredibly intricate and fascinating. The beginning of the book really takes time laying out the groundwork and then, whooooosh! It takes off and it is quite hard to put it down. I ended the story feeling so much for Zoomy and his family. I cannot wait for more children to read and fall in love with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi