Monday, May 6, 2013

In Memoriam: All about E. L. Konigsburg

A few weeks ago, E. L. Konigsburg - my absolute favorite writer between the ages of 8 and 11 - died. Her books included From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, and The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, as well as View from Saturday. I loved her books. her characters were incredibly vivid, from feisty grand dames (ie, Mrs. Zender, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) to my first fictional crush. She wrote about art, which made me, the daughter of two artists, feel smart. Her books were a huge part of my childhood. I haven't read one of in years, but I'll always remember and love them.
In honor of Mrs. Koningsburg's life, I'm making a booklist devoted to her books:
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World

While I was working on this post, I took a break for a while to read the reviews of this book on goodreads, and I seriously wished I hadn't, because they depressed me. The reviewers, mostly grownups, had opinions about the book and it's intended age range. Apparently, 10-year-olds aren't supposed to care bout art. 10-year-olds aren't supposed read books that deal with the Holocaust or include the word bitch. I say, screw the grown-ups with grown-up opinions about what ten-year-olds should read. That's one of the best things about E. L. Konigsburg - she broke the standards of Kid Lit, but that only made them better. When I was a ten-year-old, I didn't care about what I was supposed to like or read. I read this book anyway, and I loved it.
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

A totally charming book about a girl  struggling to save the giant folk art sculpture her two uncles spent years making. I didn't let myself read the reviews on goodreads, so I can't rant against stupid grown-ups who have stupid opinions about this book.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler
The classic. You might have read this book for school. Anyway, if you don't already know, it's about Claudia and Jamie - brother and sister - who run away to live in the metropolitan museum of art. It's all about art, New York City, mysteries, and Konigsburg's signature feisty old lady - so how could it not be great? 
I loved this book so much. It's brilliant and funny - and to me, when I first read it, it was awe-inspiring. Reading and re-reading this book was a huge part of my childhood - I mean, I even carried it around just in case I suddenly, urgently needed to read it. I'm re-reading it now, and I still love it. It's just as charming as it always was. 
I'll miss you, E.L. Konigsburg. 


  1. I nominated this blog for a verstile blogger award!

  2. Wow, I remember reading "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler" in Year 6 as part of our required reading! We had this whole list of books and I remember choosing to read it first because I thought it looked really interesting. Oh my goodness, I have to re-read it now.