The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World - E.L. Konigsburg
The first statement I'm going to make about this new novel from the writer of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ( a novel that has incited dreams and aspirations in all bookish/museum loving kids since 1967 )...is that Konigsburg proves she most definitely still has the ability to continue her ability to spin elaborate, suspenseful yarns full of intrigue that do not at all read like the typical juvenile fiction. But is there a typical juvenile fiction anymore? The answer is no, and thank goodness for that.
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World mixes Nazi art theft, art curation, antiquities and estate sales, and former Opera Diva-eccentrics in an elaborate mystery that feels like Apt Pupil meets Bridge to Terabithia. The story centers around two adolescent boys, in almost a Country Mouse/City Mouse relationship, but never describes the locals as unintelligent or inarticulate: just full of colloquialisms. Also at the center is a middle-aged Godfather to one of the boys, who is curating an art exhibit of art that the Nazi's claimed were unnatural, unlawful, or pornographic (the artists include Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh). Rather than describe the entire plot (because I can't stand a review that tells you the entire story from start to finish) I'll just note that the awesome themes of this novel will hit home for kids and adults who read it. I think it might coincide with the grade/age that kids start learning about WWII and the atrocities of the Nazi party in school, and this will help them to understand a bit more about that horrendous time in history. I'd recommend this book to anyone of the age range of 10-110. A really exciting read from an always exciting writer.
(**see the link to the left to read more about the book, purchase it, or see it at your local library (something Konigsburg knows a little something about**)