sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
sophia_sol ([personal profile] sophia_sol) wrote2017-05-14 08:58 pm

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, by E.L. Konigsburg

A kids' book about a preteen girl who wants to save the outsider-art tower structures her uncles created, whose neighbourhood society wants to get rid of the towers for looking weird and driving down the value of the gentrified historic neighbourhood.

It's a reasonable enough children's book but I didn't really like it, which was disappointing given my previous experience with Konigsburg as an author. The disparate parts of this book didn't feel like they really cohered. I especially felt like it wasn't earned that the kids who had bullied the main character Margaret at camp ended up helping to save the towers.

The best part of the book was definitely Margaret's uncles, two brothers who live together and have lived together for many years and argue a lot but love each other, and love Margaret unconditionally. But a lot of the secondary characters didn't work as well for me.

Also: there were four separate instances in this book of uncritically mentioning stereotypes of different mental illnesses/neurotypes (for example: autistic people all bang their heads on things), which is a rather a lot, given that plenty of books get by without doing this kind of crap even once. What the heck was up with this?