Monday, July 16, 2007

Tell An Author You Care Day--E.L. Konigsburg

Emily at Whimsy Books designated today as "Tell An Author You Care Day". Love the idea and wanted to make sure to participate. I read her ideas of how to participate and decided on this idea from Emily--Idea #4:

Profile an author in your blog. I'm not talking just another review. Tell us a little about the author and mention at least one of his/her books that you love.

I have been thinking about E.L. Konigsburg all week since I finished an advanced copy of her upcoming book THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD.

I am fascinated by E.L. Konigsburg. FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER was one of my favorite books of childhood. Claudia's trip to the museum has stayed with me throughout my life. The book was also a favorite of my husband's who doesn't remember many great books from childhood. It is a classic and one that, as adults, we can all still talk about.

So, I had to read THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD that will be out this fall by Konigsburg. Again, she is brilliant. This book actually has a feel that is similar to FROM THE MIXED UP FILES in that there is art, and a mystery, and the process of making sense of things that are not quite organized. Amedeo and William work together to help sort through the items in Mrs. Zender's house as she prepares to move. They uncover great stories as they get to know Mrs. Zender and each other. And of course there is a little mystery to uncover. There was a bit more history in this book--art that was confiscated during the Holocaust is a backdrop. The history is part of the fun of the discovery. And the learning about this part of the Holocaust is shocking--a part of history that many of us don't know much about.

One thing that was an extra in this book was the fact that Konigsburg pulled in characters and places from THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY and THE OUTCASTS OF SCHUYLER PLACE. Even though they weren't a focus in the other books, I always think it is fun to revisit places and people I know as a reader.

I am amazed by Konigsburg which is why I chose her to thank today. She has been writing amazing books for over 30 years! She must have written FROM THE MIXED UP FILES at a pretty young age. And so many of her books since then are just as fabulous as that one. THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY and THE OUTCASTS OF SCHUYLER PLACE are two of my more recent favorites. An author who I can enjoy as an adult as much as I did as a child--one of the first authors who hooked me on reading and made me get to know characters that have stayed with me forever. I can't explain the fun of having read her books over the last 35 years. I love that she continues to surprise us with every book and that I can have that same feeling now as I did when I first met Claudia. I don't know of any other authors who have been writing such amazing novels consistently--she somehow tells amazing stories and makes them very timely for today's readers. I have read several of her more recent ones aloud to my intermediate students and they are always a hit--well loved and the anchor for lots of great talk. Her respect for kids and their ability to change the world is clear in every one of her books.

So, hooray for E.L. Konigsburg--an author I have enjoyed almost since my love of books began. A new book by Konisburg is such a treat. She continues to amaze me as a reader.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:07 PM

    I so agree with your decision to "Thank an Author" today and also have to agree with your choice, E.L. Konigsburg. MIXED UP FILES was my favorite book in 5th grade and THE SECOND MRS. GIACONDA is my one of my all time favorite books. E. L. Konigsburg creates characters that inspire us to be better. Better readers, citizens, learners. Hats off to E.L.!


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