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The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

by E.L. Konigsburg

Published by Atheneum, 2004
296 pages
ISBN: 0-689-86636-4

Ages 10 - 14

Harriet the Spy, Eloise, and Ramona, make room for Margaret Rose Kane in your elite rank of strong, unforgettable girls of fiction. Unwilling to bend to the dictatorial stance of the camp director and defiant against the mean-spirited bullying of her fellow campers, Margaret makes an early exit from summer camp. She's only too happy to spend the rest of the season living with her great-uncles. Alexander and Morris obviously adore and respect their niece, so their unusually guarded behavior makes it clear that they are hiding something significant from Margaret. Indeed, they are keeping a monumental secret, knowing that it will come as a serious blow. The unique clock towers the two men have built in their backyard have been declared unsafe by the city council and slated for destruction. Quirky works of art, these high towers layered with bottles, bits of glass, china fragments, and clock parts, painted in a rainbow of shades, are as beautiful and vital to Margaret as they are unconventional. Determined to save the towers, Margaret launches a campaign designed to raise community awareness of outsider art. Aided by a small group of collaborators, Margaret shines with her fierce individuality as she fights against conformist definitions of art and history. This remarkable multilayered novel mesmerizes with an exceptional combination of literary prowess and pure reading pleasure. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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