"Some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up and touch everything. If you never let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you." -- E. L. Konigsburg
Elaine Lobl Konigsburg (born February 10, 1930) is an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She is the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Konigsburg won a second Newbery Medal in 1997 for The View from Saturday, 29 years later, the longest span between any two Newberys awarded to one author.
Born Elaine Lobl in New York, Konigsburg grew up in small towns in Pennsylvania, the second of three daughters. As a child, Konigsburg was an avid reader even though reading was not strongly encouraged by her family.
As valedictorian, she graduated from high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania, and worked briefly as a bookkeeper in a wholesale meat plant to earn money for college. There she met the brother of one of the owners who would later become her husband, David Konigsburg. Konigsburg enrolled in Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, and earned a degree in chemistry, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college.
After graduating, she married David Konigsburg, a graduate student in psychology. She entered graduate school in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, but after her husband attained his doctorate, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Konigsburg worked as a science teacher at a school for girls. There she began to think about a new direction for her talents and also became the mother of three children, Paul, Laurie, and Ross. This new direction would begin after the family moved to Port Chester, New York, and she started art lessons and then began writing. Her first novel Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was inspired by her daughter's experiences moving to a new home. Along with being a very accomplished chapter book writer, Konigsburg is also the author and illustrator of picture books. Her three published pictures books are Samuel Todd's Book of Great Colors,Samuel Todd's Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale's She also has many other books
Konigsburg is known to write stories that reflect adolescent struggles with which school-age children can easily relate. Her books often deal with children striving to find the answers to big questions that will help shape their self-identities. Many of Konigsburg's characters are based on her own experiences as a child, the observations she made of children while a teacher, and those of her children.