“When I was a child there were no books that related to my kind of life, a little girl in a mill town. I also realized that there didn’t seem to be any books that related to my own children’s lives. . . . I decided to try writing a children’s...read more
“When I was a child there were no books that related to my kind of life, a little girl in a mill town. I also realized that there didn’t seem to be any books that related to my own children’s lives. . . . I decided to try writing a children’s book.”—E. L. Konigsburg
E. L. Konigsburg is a Newbery Medal Winner and a Newbery Honor Author.
Konigsburg has never spent the night in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, like the heroine of her Newbery Medal–winning novel From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler does. But she was born in New York, and she is a part-time painter, In fact she’s done the illustrations for a number of her books.
Konigsburg did not grow up in the city. Her family moved to Pennsylvania when she was young, and most of her childhood was spent in small towns in that state. When she attended Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, she majored in chemistry, and after graduation she worked as a chemist, doing research and teaching. It wasn’t until after she was married and had three children in school that Konigsburg began writing books.
What is exceptional about Konigsburg is her ability to communicate convincingly from the point of view of a child. As the reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine said of Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, “The story is full . . . of situations completely in tune with the imaginations of ten-year-old girls.” Konigsburg’s character Ben, in George, has an ornery inner voice called George that seems to have come from the mind of a real child.
Konigsburg, who lives with her family in Jacksonville, Florida, is the author of more than 11 books for children with a wide variety of subjects and settings. One of them is a novelized biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine; several are collections of short stories; another is a historical novel about the Mona Lisa; and the rest are wonderful novels. Most of her books were named American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, and a number were chosen by The Horn Book Magazine for its Fanfare List. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was a Newbery Honor Book.
AUTHOR FUN FACTS
Undergraduate school—Carnegie-Mellon University; graduate school—University of Pittsburgh Current home: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida with husband, David Previous jobs: Biology and science teacher Favorite hobbies: Drawing, painting, walking along the beach, reading Favorite food: Chocolate Favorite books: It always changes
FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER
—A Newbery Medal Book —A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year —An ALA Notable Book for Children
JENNIFER, HECATE, MACBETH, WILLIAM McKINLEY, AND ME, ELIZABETH
—A Newbery Honor Book —An ALA Notable Book for Children