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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg

Another classic children’s book that I never read when I was young. This one even won the Newberry award. Contrary to some of the other classics that I have caught up on recently (Norman Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth and P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins), I enjoyed reading this.

The enjoyment was not for its plot, which was fairly pedestrian, nor for its writing style, which was clear and lucid if non-assuming. The special nature of this tale was the intriguing narrator, which her wonderful parenthetical asides that are directed at the reader who is a mysterious third person named Saxonberg. The mystery here is how the narrator, the story the narrator is telling, and Saxonberg all relate to each other. It was unusual and clever, two of my favorite adjectives when it comes to applying them to books.

[Finished 24 January 1998]


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