The Second Mrs. Gioconda
By E.L. Konigsburg
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Paperback, 9781416903420, 160pp.)
Publication Date: May 17, 2005
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THE GREATEST ARTIST OF HIS TIME
AN APPRENTICE WITH A LARCENOUS HEART AND AN AVERSION TO THE TRUTH
A YOUNG DUTCHESS WHOSE PLAIN FACE BELIES HER BEAUTIFUL SOUL
Could the complex ways these three lives intertwine hold the key to a historical riddle as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa's smile -- why Leonardo da Vinci devoted three years to a painting of the second wife of an unimportant merchant when all the nobles of Europe were begging for a portrait by his hand?
Only a master storyteller like two-time Newberry Medal-winner E.L. Konigsburg could create such an intriguing answer to the puzzle behind the most famous painting of all time.
E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.
After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.