Blue Balliett was born in New York City in 1955. She received a degree in art history from Brown University. After graduating, she moved to Nantucket Island, Massachusetts and wrote two books of ghost stories. She eventually moved to Chicago and taught third grade at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Her first children's book, Chasing Vermeer, won the 2005 Edgar Award in the Best Juvenile category. Her other works include The Wright 3 (2006), The Calder Game (2008), and The Danger Box (2010).