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Happy Birthday, Blue Balliett!

Each month, we celebrate a birthday of literary significance.

“Any time you can get kids curious, they’re going to pay attention and focus in a different way,” writes Blue Balliett.

Balliett is the American author of several bestselling and acclaimed mystery novels, including “Chasing Vermeer,” “The Wright 3,” “The Calder Game,” and “The Danger Box.”

Her work has won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel, the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, the Agatha Award for Best YA Novel, as well as earned a spot in the official White House library. Her book “The Danger Box” was given to President Obama in January 2011 as a gift from the American Booksellers Association.

Book Worm Angels, a Chicago-based organization that continuously provides thousands of books to classrooms in public schools across the city, also honored Balliett with the 2012 Kermit W. Myers Achievement Award for “extraordinary contributions to literacy.”

Balliett’s books also stretch across many audiences, as her writings appear in more than 30 languages.

Born and raised in New York City, she studied art history at Brown University. Now, she lives in Chicago and has taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. These days, she writes full time from the Hyde Park home that she shares with her husband and three children.

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