Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Children's Author E.L. Konigsburg Dies

Beloved children's author E.L. Konigsburg died on Friday, at age 83, of a stroke. Konigsburg holds the distinction of being the only author to win both the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year.

She was probably best-known for her classic children's novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (winner of the Newbery Medal in 1968). I was late to discover Konigsburg's delightful novels, though I had heard of her since I was a kid. Our family finally listened to From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler on audio just a few years ago, and we all loved the story of a brother and sister who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

We also listened to another Konigsburg novel on audio, The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World (the last book she published, in 2007), and enjoyed it as well.

Though my "kids" (now 15 and 18) don't enjoy listening to audio books anymore, I listened to another Konigsburg gem, The View from Saturday, just last year and reviewed it. Konigsburg won another well-deserved Newbery Medal in 1997 for this novel about unlikely friendship.

In all, Konigsburg wrote over 20 books for children, including both novels and picture books. Her talents will certainly be missed, but I am sure children will be enjoying her stories for many years to come.

If you are interested in more details of her life, check out this obituary from Publisher's Weekly.

What are your favorite Konigsburg books?

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