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Publisher's Summary

Amedeo Kaplan seems just like any other new kid who has moved into the town of St. Malo, Florida, a navy town where new faces are the norm. But Amedeo has a secret, a dream: More than anything in the world, he wants to discover something, a place, a process, even a fossil - some treasure that no one realizes is there until he finds it. And he would also like to discover a true friend to share these things with.

William Wilcox seems like an unlikely candidate for friendship, an aloof boy who is all edges and who owns silence the way other people own words. When Amedeo and William find themselves working together on a house sale for Amedeo's eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Zender, Amedeo has an inkling that both his wishes may come true. For Mrs. Zender's mansion is crammed with memorabilia of her long life, and there is a story to go with every piece.

Soon the boys find themselves caught up in one particular story: a story that links a sketch, a young boy's life, an old man's reminiscence, and a painful secret dating back to the outrages of Nazi Germany. It's a story that will take them to the edge of what they know about heroism and the mystery of the human heart.

Two-time Newbery winner E. L. Konigsburg spins a magnificent tale of art, discovery, friendship, history, and truth.

©2007 E. L. Konigsburg; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Humorous, poignant, tragic, and mysterious." (School Library Journal)

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An important book to read

I was first introduced to E L Konigsburg when I was in 6th grade not too long after The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler came out. She set me on a path to look at art more deeply, more questioningly, and with even greater appreciation. While this her last book, which I just happened upon, is not "easy" it is nonetheless important. It is critical for our youth to understand where art fits in our history and not take it or those who gave their lives in preserving it for granted. It is also imperative that we not forget that art is the keeper of our humanity and our souls as art transcends language, class, race, and religion. This book is not about wizardry or a lighthearted story; it requires something of the reader and it like many of her books also charges her readers to thought, to conversation and to continue even though the story has ended. Sadly and terrifyingly history can, often does, and will repeat itself if we as a whole do not stay vigilant. Works such as this need to be encouraged not dismissed because one might actually walk away with important knowledge.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not 4 kids

I love kids' stories, I guess for their escapism. I thought this would be a childs adventure, but it wasn't. Not one that most children or preteens would find interesting, I think. And maybe not teens or adults. There were some moments of brilliant imagery. But, all told, it's one of my least favorite Audible stories so far.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful