Why did Leonardo da Vinci lavish three years on painting the second wife of an unimportant merchant when all the nobles of Europe were begging for a portrait by his hand? In E. L. Konigsburg's intriguing novel, the answer lies with the complex relationship between the genius, his morally questionable young apprentice, and a young duchess whose plain features belie the sensitivity of her soul.
E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor 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. Among her other acclaimed books are Silent to the Bone, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, and The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World.