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E.L. Konigsburg, award winning children's author has passed

E.L. Konigsburg, author of "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" passed away this weekend
Athenium Publishers

E.L. Konigsburg, Newbery Medal winner and author of "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," passed away on Friday as a result of a stroke. Mrs. Konigsburg was 83 years old.

Over the course of her lifetime, Konigsburg wrote 16 children’s novels and illustrated three picture books. She won the prestigious Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 1968 and again in 1997 for the book, “The View from Saturday,” a story about a sixth grade Academic Bowl team and their coach. She also managed to be the runner up to her own Newbery win in 1968 with her debut book, “Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth.”

Konigsburg graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in chemistry. After marrying David Konigsburg in 1952, and the couple eventually settled in Jacksonville, Florida. She worked for a number of years as a science teacher. Following the birth of her children, Kongisburg began writing books for children.

“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” featured a heroine, Claudia Kincaid who ran away from home with her brother, Jamie to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There, they investigate the mystery behind a small statue allegedly by Michelangelo. They try to live ordinary lives, scooping coins from the fountain, doing laundry, hiding out in bathrooms. Instead of watching television or playing video games, these runaways spend their time investigating the statue's lineage, reading books and researching. Even better, when they do solve the mystery, they keep the secret to themselves. In this day of tell-alls, it’s nice to remember the value of a mystery. The 1974 movie, "The Hideaways," was based on the book and starred Ingrid Bergman as Mrs. Frankweiler.

In 2009, Konigsburg’s last book, “The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World,” was published. It tells the tale of a sixth grade boy on a journey to discover something no one else knows.

Konigsburg leaves behind four adult children and six grandchildren along with a legacy of wonderful books.


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