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Blue Balliett's first four mysteries—Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game, and The Danger Box—have been The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today and IndieBound bestsellers. Each combines real settings with an unlikely array of real-world ingredients. Hold Fast breaks new ground in ways that will startle. Or is it sparkle? In Balliett’s work, surprise at many levels is the name of the game.
Balliett has won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel, Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Great Lakes Book Award, Friends of American Writers Award, Agatha Award for Best YA Novel, Chicago Tribune’s Chicagoan of the Year for Literature, 2010, and a place in the official White House library as The Danger Box was handed to President Obama in January 2011 as a gift from the American Booksellers Association. She has appeared twice on NBC's Today Show.
Book Worm Angels, a Chicago-based organization that provides a steady flow of thousands of books to classrooms in public schools across the city, gave Balliett the 2012 Kermit W. Myers Achievement Award, for "extraordinary contributions to literacy." Balliett’s books appear in 35 languages.
Having grown up in New York City and studied art history at Brown University, Blue Balliett has lived in Chicago for many years. She was a classroom teacher at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools but now writes full-time, working in the laundry room of the Hyde Park home she shares with her husband. They have three kids who still love the neighborhood, a recent grandson, and a large and cowardly cat.