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Encyclopedia > E.L. Konigsburg

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg (born February 10, 1930) is an American author of children's books, and two time winner of the Newbery medal for children's literature. She is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and been runner-up in the same year, with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth


Elaine Lobl was born in the Bronx, New York city, but grew up in Phoenixville and Farrell, small mill towns in Pennsylvania. She was the middle of three daughters, her parents were business people. After graduating high-school first in her class, she worked briefly as a bookkeeper in a wholesale meat plant to earn money for college. One of the owners had a brother named David Konigsburg, who would later become her husband.

Elaine was the first member of her family to receive a college education, a degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University. She graduated with honors, and married David. She then began studying for her master's degree in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, where she twice blew up the laboratory sink. Elaine decided she did not have the temperament to be a chemist.

When David received his Doctorate in Psychology, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Elaine worked as a science teacher at a private school for girls. But she realized she was "more interested in what was going on inside my students' heads than what was going on inside the test tubes". Shortly after she stopped teaching, her son Paul was born, followed by Laurie and Ross.

She did not start to write until her family moved to the suburbs of New York and the youngest of her three children had started kindergarten. Around this time Elaine also started taking classes in drawing and painting, and won prizes for her artwork. Some of her books are illustrated with her own drawings. Nowadays she lives in a house on the beach in North Florida near Jacksonville.

She lists her favorite authors as Louisa May Alcott and Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Partial list of books by E.L.Konigsburg

  • 1967 From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,winner 1968 Newbery medal, 1968 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and 1970 William Allen White Children's Book Award
  • 1967Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth; 1968 Newbery Honor book
  • 1969 About the B'nai Bagels
  • 1970 George
  • 1971 Altogether, One at a Time
  • 1973 A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver about Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • 1974 The Dragon in the Ghetto Caper
  • 1975 The Second Mrs. Giaconda about Leonardo Da Vinci
  • 1976 Father's Arcane Daughter made into the Hallmark movie Caroline?
  • 1979Throwing Shadows
  • 1982Journey to an 800 Number
  • 1986Up from Jericho Tel
  • 1990Samuel Todd's Book of Great Colors a picture book, written and illustrated by Konigsburg
  • 1991Samuel Todd's Book of Great Inventionsa picture book, written and illustrated by Konigsburg
  • 1992Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale'sa picture book, written and illustrated by Konigsburg
  • 1993T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit
  • 1995 "TalkTalk"
  • 1996The View from Saturday 1997 Newbery medal winner
  • 2000Silent to the Bone
  • 2004The Outcasts of 19 Schulyer Place

External links

  • an interview with the author on Scholastic website (http://www2.scholastic.com/teachers/authorsandbooks/authorstudies/authorhome.jhtml;schsessionid=C4CHZEUKGOH0ACQVAKUCFFIKCUBJYIV4?authorID=644&collateralID=5342&displayName=Interview+Transcript)
  • author's page on the Children's Book Council (http://www.cbcbooks.org/html/e_l_konigsburg.html)



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