Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
by E.L. Konigsburg
Atheneum, 1973
201 pages
Children's historical fiction
Personal copy

Summary in a Sentence:

While waiting in heaven for divine judgment to be passed on her second husband, Eleanor of Aquitaine and three of the people who knew her well recall the events of her life.

My Thoughts:

Oh, E.L. Konigsburg, how could I ever expect anything less than delightful perfection from you? I don't know how I missed this one growing up, considering From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was a favorite in elementary school. The cover for Proud Taste has since been updated to appeal to today's audience, but I just love the original cover art, so I included it in this review.

I love historical fiction, but I sometimes struggle to find books in the genre that I know kids will truly enjoy. Proud Taste is one of those books. Konigsburg sets up a clever premise in which impatient Eleanor is waiting in heaven for her husband, Henry II, to move 'up'. While waiting, the readers are told the story of Eleanor's life by three people who knew Eleanor while she was queen: Henry's mother, Abbot Suger (my favorite), and William the Marshal. Each person takes turns relating the life of Eleanor in such a way that the reader doesn't get bogged down while learning about Middle Ages France and England, which is indeed exactly what is going on! Rather than focusing on dates and events, the story is told with a focus on Eleanor's personality, which is quite different than that of most other women of the 12th century. Included in the book are ink drawings separating each of the narratives, along with a map.

~ I read this book for The Tournament of Reading Challenge  and the Four Month Challenge ~

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Bekah said...

What a classic author. I've not read this one, but I've enjoyed all I have read by them. I think I need to check it out.

Anonymous said...

I've known about this book since I was kid - but never read it, just really loved that fantastic title.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

Our Mother/Daughter book group picked Mixed Up Files for our book next month -- I think we will have to consider this one too!!

Nina said...

This seems to be perfect, if it only was translated into dutch so I can use it for the kids in my class. :)

Svea Love said...

I love it when you can find a childrens historical fiction that is interesting and fun to read!

Veens said...

Can u believe it that I have not even heard of this classic@@!!

SOunds like something I have been missing out on! I will surely search for it here, thanks a lot!

Ms. Yingling said...

This one is a little hard sell for students these days, even for my own daughter, whose name is Eleanor!

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