Today, a beloved children's author passed away -- E.L. Konigsburg. She wrote, among other works, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
When I was a kid in the 70's, this was easily one of my favorite Top Three books. I remember reading it over and over again. I never tired of it. Maybe it was something about the idea of kids striking out on their own, becoming independent for a brief time, hiding out, relying on each other, and on their own skills. Well, that, plus the cool setting of an enormous museum where they'd camp out each night. For this kid from a small Texas town, it was pretty amazing, reading about the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and imagining myself there.
I always think it's particularly sad when an author passes away, because the pen is forever silenced. But the best thing is--their works become immortal. In fact, ironically, I bought my nephew a copy of Frankweiler this past Christmas.
As for me, I have no doubt Ms. Konigsburg's book had an enormous impact on my love of the written word -- both as a reader and, later, as a writer.