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THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD by E.L. Konigsburg

THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD

By E.L. Konigsburg

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4972-5
Publisher: Atheneum

Sixth-grader Amedeo Kaplan (son of now-divorced Jake Kaplan and Loretta Bevilaqua, and godson of Peter Vanderwaal, from Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, 2004) becomes intrigued with his neighbor Mrs. Zender, a flamboyant recluse. Once a second-tier opera diva, she can no longer afford “people” and, incapable of refilling her own champagne glass, must move to a senior residence. Enter Mrs. Wilcox, “liquidator” of estates, and her son William. The two boys help every afternoon, sorting and tagging items, until Amedeo finds a drawing signed “Modigliani,” and they unravel a mystery that amazingly involves both the Vanderwaals and the Wexlers—the story of the Nazi confiscation of “Degenerate art,” of postwar blackmail and of a heroic gesture. Amedeo’s own revelations (about what people are made of and how to see it) are so intricately delivered that the very patient young readers who have made it to the end of the story may find they have to grow into it. But there’s plenty to grow into. Quirky, wandering, sometimes unbelievable, it nevertheless takes firm root in the reader’s mind, training their eye to watch for stories that need discovering. (Fiction. 11-14)