R.I.P. E.L. Konisgburg
E.L. (Elaine Lobl) Konigsburg, author of the children's classic book From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, died April 19, 2013. She was 83 years old.
Elaine Lobl was born Feb. 10, 1930, in Manhattan, but grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. After she married David Konigsburg, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida. She often said that her upbringing in small-town Pennsylvania, where she did not have great expectations, helped her as a writer.
Mrs. Konigsburg received the 1968 medal for “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” a story about a sister and brother from the suburbs who run away from home and surreptitiously camp out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. She wrote that book in 1967, the same year she finished and sold her first book, “Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth,” about a new child in the neighborhood and her friendship with a girl who claims to be a witch, the 1968 Newbery runner-up. She is the only author to have won the American Library Association’s John Newbery Medal for distinguished children’s literature, and been the runner-up in the same year. She won the Newbery again in 1997 for “The View From Saturday,” about four members of a sixth-grade interscholastic quiz bowl team and the paraplegic teacher who coaches them
E.L. Konigsburg once said, children's books 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.”