Thursday, March 12, 2009

E.L. (Elaine Lobl) Konigsburg

E.L. Konigsburg

I can't find an author website for her, but this is a link to her main publisher's website:
Books Written: Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (all one book), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, About the B'nai Bagels, George, All Together, One at a Time (all one book), A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, The Second Mrs. Giaconda, Father's Arcane Daughter, Throwing Shadows, Journey to an 800 Number, Up from Jericho Tel, T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit (all one book), Talk Talk, The View from Saturday, Silent to the Bone, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, The Myterious Edge of the Heroic World, My Father's Daughter
Notable Awards:For Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth: Newbery Honor Book
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: Newbery Medal, Lewis Carrol Shelf Award, William Allen White Children's Book Award
The View from Saturday: Newbery Medal
Other Awards: Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Carnegie Mellon University
Her Niche: It's been a while since I've read her books, but from what I can remember, she writes about younger children facing their own personal problems, whether big or small. She does write for a younger audience (elementary-middle school) but I still enjoy reading her books today. I remember reading four of her books in one summer because they were so good (and seeing as she's won the Newbery twice, it's a no-brainer that her books are amazing).
Why I like her (a lot) and why I think you should too: Konigsburg has a way of capturing her audience within the first couple pages. Her characters go through personal adventures that ultimately help them grow up a little in the process. For myself, I attribute her books to summer reading because of two different reasons: first, I would walk to the library and read her books in the nice air conditioning before the walk home, and second, a lot of the time her books are focused in the summer months because she writes about a younger audience and that's the prime time for them to go on adventures.
The funny thing about my relationship with E.L. Konigsburg is that I never meant to pick up any of her books. My mom and I went to Barnes and Noble to get some books one evening; I wanted the Chronicles of Narnia books but my mom was hesitant due to the covers (go figure). She then had a sales associate help us find more "suitable" books for me and he suggested From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I never thought his suggestion would actually be worthwhile, but here I am, years later, and in love with her writing.
Which of her books I've read: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Second Mrs. Giaconda, T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit, The View from Saturday (twice). On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being "This book was sent by the gods for us mere mortals to read" and 1 being "This book wouldn't even make good toilet paper") here's how they rate:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: 5
The Second Mrs. Giaconda: 4
T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit: 4.5
The View from Saturday: 5
Obviously, Konigsburg's books don't disappoint.

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