Sunday, July 1, 2018
MMGM (7/2/2018): Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg
For MMGM, I am recommending Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg.
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth is, as described in the title, narrated by a girl named Elizabeth. Her family has just moved to a new town, which she does not particularly like, and she is further irked by a mean yet popular girl named Cynthia. However, Elizabeth ends up befriending a girl named Jennifer. Jennifer tells Elizabeth that she is a witch, and she appoints Elizabeth as her "apprentice witch." At first, both girls have fun together, with Elizabeth following Jennifer as she chants, performs rituals, and talks about the books she has read on witchcraft (quite many, as she is an extremely prolific reader). However, Jennifer's controlling behavior and somewhat rude demeanor ends up leading to conflict between the two girls. The novel's author, E. L. Konigsburg, won the Newbery Honor for this book the same year she won the Newbery Medal for the classic From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (read my review here), the only author to do so, before later winning the Newbery Medal again; as you might expect, the writing in this book is fabulous. Both Elizabeth and Jennifer's personalities and interests are fully fleshed out (one paragraph describes an assortment of topics that the girls discuss, while another section describes the sorts of things Jennifer would love to accomplish with witchcraft), and the story is rich with amazing prose, a fast-moving plot, and many incidents of humor, which keep the story's mood light. Konigsburg's portrayal of school and bullying is realistic as well. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth is a fun and touching novel that readers of all ages will adore!