Title: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Author: E.L. Konigsburg
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Length: 176 Pages
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run fromsomewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.
Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
I think everyone has a secret dream of running away to a big city and secretly laying low away from authority. Or maybe that’s just me…but either way, it’s a fun notion. And that exact notion is why I loved From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Two kids run away to New York City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They solve all sorts of problems like how to stay hidden and how to get food, as well as solve a legitimate mystery, which is even more awesome. They skirt the cops, sleep in historical beds, bathe in famous baths, and privately enjoy priceless pieces of art. Granted, it would never fly in today’s digital world, but as a story based in the 60’s. it’s such a fun premise. It’s a great read for younger YA audiences.
The author did a good job with the characters. Claudia was the typical older sister and had all the traits to balance out her younger brother Jamie. They are such charming and enjoyable characters, and when you add them in to the eccentric Mrs. Frankweiler, it becomes an even more enjoyable ride. I definitely recommend this book- it’s such a fun read.