The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
By E. L. Konigsburg
Atheneum Books, Hardcover, 9780689866364, 296pp.
Publication Date: February 2004
List Price: $16.95*
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The summer she's twelve -- the same year that Cabbage Patch dolls are popular, that Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space, that El Niño affects weather patterns worldwide and causes disasters on almost every continent of the planet Earth -- Margaret Rose Kane must confront a catastrophe brewing in her own backyard.
Freshly rescued from a miserable experience at Camp Talequa, where she was housed with seven cruel cabin mates, Margaret is looking forward to spending the rest of her summer with her beloved great-uncles, Morris and Alexander. Little does she know, the Uncles themselves are in need of a rescue.
For the last forty-five years, the Uncles have been building three giant towers in their backyard from scrap metal and shards of glass and porcelain. But now, bowing to pressures from some powerful home owners, the towers have been declared a blight on the neighborhood. Even worse, the city council has voted to have them destroyed.
Margaret Rose is outraged. She knows the towers for what they truly are: irreplaceable works of art. To Margaret, the towers sing. They sing of the joy of making something big and beautiful out of bits and pieces; of integrity; but perhaps most important of all, they sing of history. And Margaret Rose is determined to make sure they always will.
This companion story to the acclaimed Silent to the Bone is a rousing tale of art, history, and the fierce preservation of individuality, as only the incomparable E. L. Konigsburg could write it.