Author Blue Balliett, outside the Calder Flamingo Sculpture in the Loop, Wednesday, December 15, 2010. She is 2010 Chicagoan of the Year in Literature. The Calder sculpture, along with other landmarks from Chicago, have figured in her children's books. Ballietts four novels for young adults, either Chasing Vermeer (2004), The Wright 3 (2006), The Calder Game (2008) or her latest, The Danger Box (2010), are set in real-life places, she said, to help kids realize that interesting things can be found in their own backyards. Her first three books are set in the Chicago area; The Danger Box takes place in Three Oaks, Mich. I want children to look around at their lives and see the imagination in whats familiar, she said. Looking carefully at one place gives me that neat feeling. It wakes up my brain.
Tribune photo by Alex Garcia
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