Kate's Reviews > Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley, And Me, Elizabeth

Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley, And Me, Elizabeth by E.L. Konigsburg
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Nov 13, 2009

bookshelves: kidlit-ya
Read in November, 2009

I don't know how I missed this book in childhood given that I loved others by E.L. Konigsburg (chief among them, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). But no matter, I'm just glad to have discovered it now thanks to the recommendation of a friend (thanks Amy!). It's a marvelous book about not fitting in and friendship which I have no doubt speaks to the young readers for whom it was written, but it also has many layers for the adult reader to savor. Jennifer, the self-professed young witch under whose spell narrator Elizabeth falls while friendless and new to town, is a wholly original character. And so too is Elizabeth, although in less obvious ways. My questions about the two of them and their respective motivations were probably very different than those that I would have pondered had I read it as a child. Either way though, this slim novel offers much to think about and much to appreciate. I was particularly struck by how well Konigsburg conveys the independent universe that kids manage to carve out for themselves apart from their parents, even when they have the benefit of caring and present parents. Like so much else about the book, this rang very true for me. Highly recommended.
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Sallie I read this as an adult, since it wasn't published when I was a child, and I Love It! I read it to my 5th-6th grade class in Wells the last year I taught elementary school. I think it's my favorite of her books, although I enjoy them all. I actually met EL Konigsburg in Reno at UNR when she came to talk there in the early 90s. Wonderful person too.


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