The Danger Box

The Danger Box

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 bestselling author Blue Balliett.

Open with care.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439852104
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 116,585
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About 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

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Danger Box 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 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.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I really only read this because I had received a review copy in the mail. I don't think it would have normally appealed to me otherwise.I'm sorry it took me so long to read this book as I really enjoyed it. I love mysteries, as an adult, but don't usually read kid mysteries often except as read alouds and then I stick with tried and true authors I already know. Blue Balliett is new to me, so I haven't read her other critically acclaimed books but if this is only a sample of her work then I know I'm in for a treat reading her backlist.This was a fun, exciting mystery based on a real missing item. Mixing science, history and mystery together with real life issues such as having only one parent or being raised by grandparents this is a gripping story and mystery. Add quirky characters and humour and you get a great book. One of the fun things about the book is that it is written in short chapters that vary in length, to as short as one page. Interspersed between the chapters is a kid produced newsletter that gives details of someone's life and asks the reader to guess "who am I?" in each issue. While the mystery and side stories are entertaining, it is the two main characters that make the book. First is Zoomy, a half-black boy being raised by his white grandparents who has never met his real parents and has Pathological Myopia. He also has obsessive and anxiety issues making him a truly quirky character. When he meats his new friend she nicknames him Brain Boy. The other character is Firecracker Girl, Zoomy's nickname for her, until he learns her real name is Lorrol. Lorrol is loud, says what she wants as soon as it comes to her head and always on the go. She lives with her mother, a bad speller (just look at her name!), and doesn't even know who her father was/is. These two make a great team and are endearing characters.One small caveat. As a Christian I did have a slight issue with one of the topics, which I can't mention because of the mystery, being Catholic it wasn't that big a deal to me, as it may be to some others, but the author was pushing her opinion against a religious one and I found one of her arguments of 'truth' to be fallacious. Otherwise I am looking forward to reading Ms. Balliett's backlist and glad to have found such an exciting new-to-me author.
beserene on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This, I loved. I sped through this book in a day. Those who are familiar with Balliett's series of art-inspired mysteries will find some familiar elements here, but this is a separate piece with new characters and circumstances. The narrative style and perspective might not be for everyone -- the book is told from the perspective of a boy who is legally blind and, though it is not explicitly stated in the book, mildly autistic, which may make some readers uncomfortable. I thought the unique style and perspective was wonderful -- not quite as well done as, say, Mark Haddon's in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', but still a great avenue for prompting the reader to look at things in a new way.And this is a book that's all about looking at things in new ways. I won't give much away here, but the history-mystery (which connects with real places and artifacts, as is typical of Balliett) is a great deal of fun. There is enough darkness and tragedy here to lend realism to the narrative, but no need to worry about younger kids being upset -- this is solidly in the children's section, more advanced than a chapter book but perhaps not quite as involved as Balliett's art series -- everything is balanced with charm and a pervading tone of security. I found the characters sweet -- but not saccharine -- and clever, with a good measure of quirkiness. Overall, very much recommended for kids, particularly those who like mystery puzzles, and for adults who want a light, quick read.
prkcs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sight-impaired boy in a small town. A mischievous girl who won't stay in one place. A mysterious notebook belonging to a world-famous scientist. A fire. A stranger. A death. These are the ingredients within The Danger Box, an exciting new mystery.
BethKalb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
292. Mystery based on a true missing thing, how cool is that?! Love the oddball character, Zoomy, family and friends make his differences his strengthes. Love the juxtaposition of the firecracker friend.
ALindelof on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zoom has grown up not knowing his father and mother. Zoom lives with grandfather and grandmother. But then one day his father, Bullseye comes to town drunk. With a mysteries crate, inside they find old blanket and a book. Will Zoom find who this diary belongs to. I recommend this book to people who like mysteries and friendship.
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3 and The Calder Game. So of course I was eager to read this latest book. Because my to be read list is longer than I am tall, I have recently taken to listening to books on Playaway while walking around the neighborhood. I'm a firm believer in multi-tasking.I don't know if listening to the book rather than reading it for myself made a difference, but I don't think this book is as good as the first three books.What I liked about the book: The connection to Charles Darwin and scientific inquiry. I really like it when a work of fiction inspires a reader to learn more. I don't read a great deal of non-fiction, but after listening to this book, I felt an urge to do a little research on Charles Darwin. Zoomy was a likable character and the grandparents were quite humorous.What I didn't like about the book: I found the book hard to follow. The story seemed to be all over the place. I also found the excerpts from "The Gas Gazette" to be distracting, rather than enhancing the story.Recommended for 4th grade and up.Mrs. Archer's Rating: 3 of 5.
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