Elaine Lobl Konigsburg’s beloved children’s book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, helped make her the only person to be both winner and runner-up for the Newbery Medal in one year and the person who waited the longest time between two wins. Konigsburg put herself through Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology while working as a bookkeeper at a meatpacking plant, where she fell in love with David Konigsburg, son of the plant’s owner. She studied chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and briefly taught science at a girls’ school before starting her family. When her children began school, she began writing, basing her characters on her children and her own memories of childhood, as well as historical figures who captured her imagination. In 1967 she published her first two books, Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, respectively the runner-up and winner of the 1968 Newbery Medal. Her other books include the 1973 classic A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver and 1996’s Newbery-winning The View from Saturday. She also wrote and illustrated several picture books for younger children, such as Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors in 1990. She published her final book, The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, in 2007.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "EL Konigsberg." (Viewed on May 13, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/konigsberg-elaine>.