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20.5.12

Searching by Title, Author or Subject

Our local library uses a cataloging system that allows you to search by Title, Author or Subject.  While I know that our kids love to read series, I would submit that once you find an author you like you ought to give their other books a try.  This is true whether or not the books are numbered one, two, three etc.  As I consider what kids might enjoy reading over the summer a few great authors come to mind.  Today I want to introduce you to E. L. Konigsburg.

She has won the Newbery Award twice.  In 1968 she not only won a Newbery Award, but was also runner-up for a different title. Two amazing novels in one year!  Among her most noted books are From the Mixed Up files of Mr.s Basil E. Frankweiler, The View from Saturday and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth. But I want to recommend The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World.

You would find this piece of realistic fiction by searching for the following subjects:  art, friendship, history, heroism, Nazi Germany and Degenerate Art.  Quite a combination, wouldn't you say!  As the novel unfolds we are introduced to two young boys-- Amedeo Kaplan, who is a new comer looking to make an original discovery and a true friend, and William Wilcox, a dedicated son who is rather aloof and mostly concerned with helping his mother with her small business.  They meet early in the novel and each manage to fulfill their objectives while becoming great friends.  I found the book as I was looking for a way to shed new light on the story of Hitler and the time period leading up to WWII. The core mystery of the novel evolves around the art that was deemed "degenerate" by Hitler.

The friendships created in this novel are true and complex, much like her other novels.  I particularly like this novel, because it weaves interesting, often unknown, facts about history into the fast moving plot.

I would highly recommend this author to anyone over 3rd grade who likes realistic fiction.  E. L. Konigsburg writes strong girl and boy characters, making her stories great for everyone.  Consider trying her out this summer.

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