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The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place Hardcover – February 1, 2004

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The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place + Silent to the Bone
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689866364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689866364
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,642,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Twelve year old Margaret Rose Kane is incorrigible. Not only does she refuse to bend to the will of her manipulative cabin mates at Camp Talequa, she stands up to and inadvertently insults the camp director and Queen-in-residence, Mrs. Kaplan. The intimidating and cruel confrontations that threaten to break Margaret's spririt only serve to strengthen her resolve, and everyone is happy when Margaret is finally banished/rescued from Camp Talequa. Luckily for her, with her parents in Peru, this means she can spend the rest of the summer with her delightfully eccentric Hungarian great-uncles, Alexander and Morris Rose. Margaret adores her great-uncles, and loves the house at 19 Schuyler Place--especially the three peculiar clock towers (tall painted structures covered in pendants made from broken china, crystal, bottles, jars, and clock parts) that the Rose brothers have been building for as long as she can remember. For Margaret and the Rose brothers, the towers represent beauty for beauty's sake--they sparkle in the sun and sing in the wind--they exist only to spread joy. Not everyone loves the towers however, and forty-five years after the birth of the project, the city council declares the towers "unsafe," and demands that they be dismantled and destroyed. Filled with the same fiery resolve that helped her survive Camp Talequa, Margaret (with the help of a handyman named Jake, a loyal dog named Tartufo, and few other unexpected allies) launches a plan to save the towers in the name of art, history, and beauty.

A companion novel to the award-winning author's acclaimed Silent to the Bone, Outcasts is strikingly unique, incredibly interesting, and, with references to "Bartleby the Scrivener", and the rose windows of Notre Dame, exceptionally literary. In other words, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place is vintage Konigsburg. This quirky masterpiece will be enjoyed by young fans of Konigsburg’s other erudite works, and Polly Horvath’s The Canning Season.. (Ages 10 and older)

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-In Silent to the Bone (Atheneum, 2000), a grown-up Margaret Rose Kane helps her half brother, Connor, solve the mystery of why his best friend can't speak. Outcasts is her remembrance of her 12th summer. Pitched into camp by her parents while they travel in Peru, she is tormented by cliquish cabin mates and adopts a passive-aggressive stance that infuriates the overly rigid and money-grasping camp director. Rescued by her beloved elderly uncles and taken to their home, Margaret is appalled to discover that the city has ordered the soaring, artistic towers they have created in the backyard to be taken down because they don't adhere to the strictures of the now-historic district. Stung by the idea that real history and a work of art could be destroyed by profit-seeking interest groups manipulating governmental regulations, Margaret swings into action to fight an even larger tyranny than the one she had encountered at camp. Delicious irony permeates the story, with Margaret citing words from idealistic documents and then relating the reality. The plot is well paced and has excellent foreshadowing. Konigsburg's characters are particularly well motivated, from the camp director who gives herself airs to hide well-earned insecurities to her seemingly mentally challenged son who is actually an intellectual as well as an artist. Most wonderfully rendered through dialogue are the Hungarian-American Jewish uncles, crotchety with age, but full of love and life and a sure understanding of what it means to be an individual American. Funny and thought-provoking by turns, this is Konigsburg at her masterful best.
Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

E. L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd's Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd's Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale's. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.

After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls' school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.

Customer Reviews

I LOVE E.L. Konigsburg's witty, delightfully quirky prose.
While the characters are witty and sure to appeal to readers who often find themselves on the fringes of society, the real strong point of the book is its message.
R. T. French
This book was nominated for the Massachusetts Children's Book Award for the 2006-07 school year.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. T. French on January 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Respected author E. L. Konigsburg is in fine form and high spirits in this latest book. While the characters are witty and sure to appeal to readers who often find themselves on the fringes of society, the real strong point of the book is its message. The first matter handled here is the need to be an individual. Margaret, as well as much of the cast, prefers to march to her own beat and is capable of handling the pressure. This theme runs as an undercurrent, something that is taken for granted rather than presented as the leading difficulty. The second major theme is the purpose or 'apurpose' of art. Taking a page from Wilde, Konigsburg proudly stands up for all art- art in school, art at home, art in public- as being quite useless and beautiful for it. While once or twice almost getting weighed down in expansive speeches, this theme shines through. The third and most subtle theme is one of life. It took me a while to realize what about this book was so stunning and it is that unlike most books, 'Outcasts' recognizes that no event or set of events can ever make life perfect. Regardless of the Towers' fate (I wouldn't dare tell you), Margaret's life goes on. People hurt one another, people change, people die and nothing can alter that. But it is art and the experience of a life lived artfully that can make all things bearable. Many books tell children that by overcoming some obstacle, everything that goes wrong in life can be fixed. Konigsburg teaches here that while much can be fixed, life will never be without struggle. And that it is how you live your life that makes the difference. For that reason, I think the book makes a wonderful read and a stong candidate for 2004. 'Outcasts' is a thing of beauty- from its glorious cover art to the detailed craft of the writing and it has certainly set the standard for any books premiering this coming year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place is an awesome realistic fiction book written by author E.L. Konigsburg. After being rescued from camp, 12-year- old Margaret Kane is living with her unique uncles for the summer. Suddenly she finds out the plot for a horrendous deed that threatens the whole reason she loves her uncles house so much. Join Margaret as she tries to rescue her favorite piece of history.

This was an overall excellent book but it had its rough spots. The ending is what I didn't like about the book. It was okay, but it wasn't an "happily ever after". On the flip side, my favorite part was the uncles' philosophy about life. It made me think about how I live mine.

My favorite characters in this book were Alex and Morris Rose, Margaret's uncles. They are so old-fashioned; it's hard not to enjoy their personalities.

The most meaningful lines to me in this book comes from Morris on page 147." History has no end. As soon as I say this word history, it is part of history. No one should be allowed to take away some ones history. No one." The first part made me realize that everything becomes part of some ones history. A compliment and an insult could be remembered for a long time. I really agree with the second part. If you destroy a picture of someone, you are destroying a memory that could never be replaced.

If you asked me about this book, I would probably tell you that it is a really cool book that makes you think a lot, but don't expect everything to be all right in the end. The only question I have after reading this book is how Margaret's uncles feel about the end result of what she did.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on February 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having first read OUTCASTS last October (My review is online at RichiesPicks) I laughed and cried my way through it for the third time today. In the way that I knew immediately upon reading them that BUD NOT BUDDY and HOLES would be Newbery Medal winners, I am confident that this literary masterpiece will at least earn a Newbery Honor next January, will gain dozens of state awards over the next 3 or 4 years, and will be taught in classrooms all over the place. Yes, it's THAT good. Packed with enough humor, heart, and mischievousness for a dozen books, THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE becomes the yardstick by which I'll measure 2004.
Richie Partington
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
"I prefer not to" those are the words of Margaret Rose Kane she says them every time she is asked to do a summer camp activity. Actually she doesn't really want to be at this summer camp at all but she is forced to while her parents are in Peru. The summer camp experience would not last for long though as her uncles come and rescue her from the apprehensive camp director and the cruel cabin mates. They bring her back to their exquisite house at 19 Schuyler Place.

This story takes place in the year of 1983 when many things happen. For example Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space but in the town of Epiphany something even more exciting is happening! As you know the main character in this book is Margaret Rose Kane who also is the one who is telling the story. Some other main characters are her uncles Alexander Rose and Morris Rose. Also there is the camp director, the very strict Mrs. Kaplan and her son Jake Kaplan. Jake isn't as bad as his mother and actually helps Margaret. Some final important characters are Margaret's cabin mates, Peter Vanderwaal and Loretta Bevilaqua who also help Margaret. When you read this book you will instantly get hooked. After Margaret gets home from her awful camp experience she learns why her uncles did really want her to stay with them. In the uncles back yard they have everything from peppers to roses but most of all 3 amazing towers that the uncles have been building for the past 45 years. The towers were made of steel and they were built like a network of ribs which cast more light than shadow, almost like a spider web. All of the towers also had rungs on them, from each rung hung thousands of chips of glass and shards from porcelain and the inner workings of old clocks.
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