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Grade 5–8—This humorous, poignant, tragic, and mysterious story has intertwining plots that peel away like the layers of an onion. An unlikely friendship develops between two precocious sixth graders as they unite to sort through the belongings of an eccentric, pretentious, and intriguing neighbor. William's mother is a liquidator hired to evaluate Mrs. Zender's possessions as the old woman gets ready to move into a residence for senior citizens, and William is helping her. Amadeo asks to join him in the project. William is a bright, sophisticated youngster; Amadeo, the new kid in St. Malo, FL, dreams of someday making an important discovery. He suspects there are possibilities among Mrs. Zender's belongings, particularly a piece of art by Modigliani. Amadeo's godfather, Peter Vanderwaal, is preparing an exhibit of Degenerate Art for the Sheboygan Art Center. This plotline leads to a discovery about Mr. Zender's past. Through old letters, parts of a memoir written by Peter's father, Peter's introduction to his exhibit, and thumbnail biographies of the artists deemed unfit by the Nazis, readers are educated about this aspect of Nazi repression. Dramatic revelations about the victimization of homosexuals and other figures during the Holocaust also become part of the story. In spite of these necessary intrusions, readers will be eager to discover the truth about the Zenders and the suspicious art treasure. Konigsburg, a master of characterization, has created a cast of idiosyncratic people and skillfully embedded them in an appealing tale of friendship, loyalty, and mystery.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
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"Humorous, poignant, tragic, and mysterious...Konigsburg, a master of characterization, has created a cast of idiosyncratic people and skillfully embedded them in an appealing tale of friendship, loyalty, and mystery." -- School Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Brilliant writing! I love an author who is so good at their work, that I cannot skim a word. This a appropriate for teens but also for adults.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
She's repeating herself. Then everyone cries at the end. Not her best work, which is of course very good indeed.Published 21 months ago by Gotta pay yer dues if ya wanna sing the blues**
This book was not what I was expecting. The back of the book on CD related a "clue to the past" and a "house that holds many secrets". Read morePublished on July 5, 2011 by Just my advice
Once again, a rather sophisticated children's novel. I found it hard to put down. It has much in common with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Read morePublished on October 20, 2009 by A. Teacher
This book is about a new and strong friendship formed between two twelve year old boys, Amedeo and William, when helping William's mother, who owns an Estate Sales Company. Read morePublished on May 26, 2009
Wow...where to begin? A mother and her son do estate sales for a living. A young neighbor, who happens to be an artist's son and a godchild of an art gallery owner, becomes... Read morePublished on February 18, 2009 by CD
I loved this book. It was great! At the beginning the plot was a little boring, but keep reading, it gets so much more exciting. Read morePublished on January 13, 2008
I found this book to be interesting, but at times a little flow challenged.
It is a well disguised WWII book. Read more
E.L. Konigsburg's THE MYSTERIOUS EDGE OF THE HEROIC WORLD tells of Amedeo Kaplan, a new kid who has a secret dream: to discover some hidden treasure to make himself famous - and... Read morePublished on December 3, 2007 by Midwest Book Review