Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth Critical Context - Essay

E. L. Konigsburg

Critical Context

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

E. L. Konigsburg is known for writing stories with dialogue that seems completely natural and realistic. In 1968, Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book, the same year that Konigsburg received the Newbery Medal for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967), another story with a female protagonist. To have one book recognized by the Newbery committee is an honor, but to have two receive acclaim in the same year is truly exceptional. Even more impressive is the fact that these novels were her first two books. Konigsburg is identified in the field of children’s literature as a notable author and one of those credited with introducing contemporary issues. She continued to write stories of realistic fiction for younger adolescents, including About the B’nai Bagels (1969), a story about a boy whose mother coaches his softball team; Journey to an 800 Number (1982), the story of a boy learning to appreciate his father during a summer visit; and Throwing Shadows (1988), a collection of short stories about people making discoveries about themselves. Her stories tell amusing tales that explore substantial, realistic themes throughout.