the outcasts of 19 schuyler placeAuthor: E.L. Konigsburg

Number of Pages: 304

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Release Date: January 27, 2004

“That’s Margaret Rose Kane’s response to every activity she’s asked to participate in at the summer camp to which she’s been exiled while her parents are in Peru. So Margaret Rose is delighted when her beloved uncles rescue her from Camp Talequa, with its uptight camp director and cruel cabinmates, and bring her to stay with them at their wonderful house at 19 Schuyler Place.

But Margaret Rose soon discovers that something is terribly wrong at 19 Schuyler Place. People in their newly gentrified neighborhood want to get rid of the three magnificent towers the uncles have spent forty-five years lovingly constructing of scrap metal and shards of glass and porcelain. Margaret Rose is outraged, and determined to strike a blow for art, for history, and for individuality…and no one is more surprised than Margaret Rose at the allies she finds for her mission.”


I first purchased and read this book when I was in third grade. Since then, I’ve probably read it five or six times. It’s one of my favorite books for a number of reasons, but primarily for the following three: E.L. Konigsburg is a fantastic writer and storyteller, Margaret Kane is an amusing and interesting narrator, and the book itself contains a very feel-good story that never fails to make me smile.

This was the first book I ever read written by E.L. Konigsburg, and it definitely wasn’t the last. Her writing encompasses past, present, and future perspectives in a way that is not at all confusing. She makes you really feel for the characters, as well as what is important to them. She knows how to perfectly pace the plot, and the dialogue and conversations between characters are very entertaining. i also love this book because of the narrator, Margaret Rose Kane. Her wit and wisdom are both far beyond her age, and her independence and originality are things to be admired. There are times when she describes her emotions in-depth, but they are balanced out by her accounts of action. Some narrators make books feel like they are ten times longer than they actually are, but that is not the case with this book. Without Margaret telling the story from her perspective, the book would not be nearly as good.

But perhaps the biggest reason I keep coming back to this novel is that it is simply a feel-good story. The ending wraps everything up in a way that you can’t help but feel satisfied with. (There is even a companion novel called Silent to the Bone, which I also love.) This story is written so that I could enjoy it on a simple level in third grade as well as on a more complex level now, when I’m going into eleventh grade. And even though the story is set in another decade it’s still timeless, because the themes are ones that remain important today.

Overall, I love this book. It’s so much more than a simple summer camp story, and yet at its core that’s what it still is.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: ABSOLUTELY!!!




6 Replies to “Book Review: THE OUTCASTS OF 19 SCHUYLER PLACE”

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