Saturday, April 27, 2013

29th April E.L.Konigsburg (10/2/1930 - 20/4/2013)

Oh no, very sad news. I have just read that author, E.L. Konigsburg  died recently. So many of my favourite stories were written by her. I first read Jennifer Hecate Macbeth and Me when I first started teaching many years ago. I then serialised From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler to many classes, none of whom seemed bothered that we lived so far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Perhaps it made it even more exciting. When I finally got there only a few years ago, I wandered around looking for things mentioned in the book and thought constantly about Claudia and Jamie. The museum was so big compared to Australian museums so I had no trouble envisaging the fact that they hid successfully for several days.

More recently I read A View from Saturday and wasn't disappointed. Everyone of her stories is so different from the one before, yet equally memorable.

The article about Mrs Konigsburg in the New York Times finishes with a wonderful quote which tells us just how important she thought children's books were despite starting her working life as a chemist:
'Children’s books, she once said, are “the key to the accumulated wisdom, wit, gossip, truth, myth, history, philosophy, and recipes for salting potatoes during the past 6,000 years of civilization.”'

It is also interesting to see that in the article she is  referred to as Mrs Konigsburg. The children I teach and I have always called her that, never feeling that we could call her E.L in the same way that children say J.K for J.K.Rowling, or use her christian name, Elaine . She was just too special, too revered. May her books continue to be popular.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post about EL Konigsburg I loved her books as a child. From the Mixed up files won the Newbery when I was in Primary school and I remember I borrowed it because there was a gold sticker on the cover. I also thought about this book when I was in New York. The museum still seems like the perfecg place to run away to.