E.L. Konigsburg

My four favorite Konigsburg titles, in no particular order:

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FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER.

–The *plausible* adventure story. A HUGE influence on my work. Even when writing my titles for The 39 Clues series, I wanted to Dan and Amy’s escapades to be plausible (which is not the same as realistic), within the realm of true possibility for two kids traveling with an au pair. MIXED-UP FILES taught me that.

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A PROUD TASTE FOR SCARLET AND MINIVER.

–Historical fiction can be FUN, and funny, without having to be slapstick.

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JENNIFER, HECATE, MACBETH, WILLIAM MCKINLEY AND ME, ELIZABETH

–Friendship is *complicated*. At any age. Tell it true, even to the very young. (Hello, Frog & Toad, and Elephant & Piggy!)

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FATHER’S ARCANE DAUGHTER.

–IMHO, the most sophisticated mystery ever published for young people.

I got to meet E.L. Konigsburg once. It was surely one of the highlights of my life as a children’s writer.

I’ll miss knowing that she was in our world…but will find comfort by re-reading those four books over and over.