Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World

E.L. Konigsburg can be very, very good. One need look no further than From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This title had an art mystery in it as well, but I just couldn't get into it. At least I didn't hate it, as one of teachers, a big Konigsburg fan, did.

Amedeo moves to Florida with his mother, who is a big time phone executive. He befriends a boy whose mother is an estate liquidator, who happend to be liquidating Amedeo's neighbor's possessions. I did sort of enjoy that part-- the neighbor was an opera singer who has all sorts of interesting autographed books and whatnot. There was also a sketch, found in the library, that looked intriguing, so Amedeo, along with his godfather(the director of an arts center) works on solving the mystery, which ends a little too neatly for my taste. The depiction of the art world at the time of Nazi Germany is intriguing, and heartrending, as many of these stories are, but everything came together too coincidentally.

Students who liked the Blue Balliet mysteries may find this interesting, but I don't think I will buy it. Moves too slowly and does get confusing, due to shifts in point of view.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this one and very much enjoyed it. True, it does strain credibility a bit with the coincidence, but I loved the two stories, past and present, that were woven together throughout the book. It brought events from World War II into the present in such an intensely personal way that I think would help young readers view the events as not being completely removed from their lives. If that makes any sense!