Friday, April 06, 2007


“From a distance they strike the skyline like steel lace. Not until you get closer do they take on color, many colors, from orange sherbet to lemon-and-lime.” -- The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigburg

Several tall towers rise above the house at 19 Schuyler Place where two brothers, Morris and Alex Rose, live with their dog. Their great-niece Margaret Rose is stuck at summer camp, where she refuses to participate in the activities by explaining “I prefer not to” until her great-uncle comes to rescue her. The uncles are old men now, but over their lives they have watched their neighborhood downtown change from a popular destination, to an abandoned run-down area, to a place of urban renewal. Their once-thriving clock and jewelry store is now just a little booth called The Time Zone out at the shopping mall. The two uncles have spent their whole lives working on the towers in their backward, tall metal structures that sparkle and shine when the sun reflects off of the glass and metal bits that dangle from their rungs. The towers are beautiful (to most people anyway) and they have been part of the neighborhood for many years. Margaret Rose is outraged when she discovers that the city has condemned the towers because the new neighbors believe they will affect property values. She has to do something to keep the towers from being demolished, so she (secretly, quietly, without her uncles’ knowledge) launches a three-phase plan to save the towers and preserve her uncles’ creations.

The unabridged audiobook is narrated by Molly Ringwald. I listened to it. 5.5 hours.


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