The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

cover image for The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler PlaceKonigsburg, E. L. (2004) The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster Publishing

Review:

Twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane’s parents have abandoned her.  For the summer, anyway.  While they are off in Peru, she is stuck at summer camp, her days filled with structured activities and hostile cabin mates.  When the camp director calls her uncles – who are acting in loco parentis – to come and deal with Margaret Rose, they instead rescue her and take her back with them to her favorite place in the world, their home at 19 Schuyler Place.  Soon it’s Margaret Rose’s turn to be the hero, though.  For the magnificent towers of glass and scrap that her uncles have built over the years are being threatened with demolition by rule abiding city officials.

Konigsburg’s bittersweet tale of change, loss, and growing up will comfort and delight tweens who fear the uncertainty that comes with becoming older.  Margaret Rose is likable but far from overly sweet, and most definitely her own person.  Her uncles are not only unique and intriguing characters, but patient mentors.  Readers will not only come to love the towers and Margaret’s Rose uncles and she does, but also learn to accept along with her that change is both inevitable and endurable.

Best for ages 9-14

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