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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler [Kindle Edition]

E.L. Konigsburg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (604 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, 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 a 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 auction for a bargain price of $225. 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. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Editorial Reviews Review

After reading this book, I guarantee that you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie. They're standing on the toilets, still, hiding until the museum closes and their adventure begins. Such is the impact of timeless novels . . . they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale of how Claudia and her brother run away to the museum in order to teach their parents a lesson. Little do they know that mystery awaits!


Mischievous and metropolitan... A wild rumpus... Japes abound New Yorker One of the finest storytellers of her era and genre... [From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler] is a story of discovery and self-discovery Washington Post E. L. Konigsburg is one of our brainiest writers for young people, not only in the considerable cerebral powers she brings to her books but in the intellectual demands she makes on her characters The New York Times In the US... [Konigsburg] is pretty much required reading for anyone under the age of 11 and, indeed, over, too, and I strongly urge everyone who falls into either age group to discover her forthwith... From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler... dominated my imagination in the way only a really good book can wholly inhabit the head of a child... Re-reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler,... it was, if anything, even more wonderful than I remembered -- Hadley Freeman Guardian It sticks in the mind like a personal memory, like a secret childhood experience. A perfect, miniature adventure -- Wes Anderson, writer and director of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' An author beloved by readers young and old LA Review of Books

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
214 of 222 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Claudia Kincaid is almost twelve, a straight "A" student, only girl and eldest child of four, who decides to run away to somewhere beautiful, comfortable, and preferably indoors.

Claudia is in fact rebelling against the monotony of her life, unfair distribution of labor, limited television choices and low allowance.

Ever the organizer, she carefully formulates a master plan to escape to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and enlists her middle brother Jamie to join her. Of course, there are very practical reasons that Jamie was the chosen one, and after Claudia tears down his defenses, he becomes a willing accomplice.

The story tells of their grand adventure, and how they were able to survive undetected inside the Met for a whole week. While there, they take the opportunity to learn new things, and become captivated by the newest exhibit, a marble angel that may just be a genuine Michelangelo sculpture.

There and then, Claudia resolves to solve the mystery before returning home, but unfortunately, finances are running low and time is running out for the fugitives.

Through dogged determination, they use the last of their resources to locate the former owner of the angel, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the lady of the title and narrator of the story. After winning the good lady's favorable consideration, they negotiate a deal with her, the outcome of which decides the success or failure of their adventure.

A charming story, with a little educational material sneakily tucked between the paragraphs. A good book for children with enquiring minds, and a useful tool when planning your next family or school trip to the Met.

Amanda Richards, January 13, 2005
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142 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of all time! July 23, 2000
By A Customer
Almost six years ago, at the age of 10, I first read this book. I didn't enjoy it much, but the second time around at age 11 I loved it...and gained access to a whole new world. Later, I occasionally picked it up again and never grew bored with the tale. It's so exciting to read how Claudia and Jamie, two siblings, made careful, detailed plans to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They survived by taking baths in a fountain, sleeping on a royal bed, and taking tours with school groups. Their vacation from normal life became a quest when Angel, a sculpture rumored to be done by Michaelangelo, was brought to the museum. Will they solve the mystery? Read it to find out.
There are very few things I disliked about this book, and there is everything to love about it. Claudia and Jamie allowed me to vicariously experience running away from home. (but don't worry parents, your kids will probably not run away because of the book) I felt like I was right there with them. I wish I could live with Mrs. Frankweiler. The story is so realistic and timeless that it sounds as if it could occur today. It is full of edge-of-your-seat suspense and mystery. It also inspired me to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the future.
Overall, you can't go wrong with this book. It will delight and resonate with people of all ages. I strongly reccomend it. Treat yourself to "Files" right now!
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132 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of my childhood returns each time I read it July 18, 2000
"From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" has got to be the longest, most confusing title of any classic children's novel, and I wouldn't change a word of it! Having read my copy to pieces in the fourth and fifth grade, I recently bought another copy to have in my daughter's library. Even though she's only 3 now, I know she'll love this book in a few years. To this day, whenever I go into a museum, I find myself wanting to sneak into the bathrooms and hide there until after closing, just so I can sleep in one of those old beds and jump into the museum fountain for the spare change! The novel is as good now as it was thirty years ago, with all the same simple beauty of this fantasy of the successful runaway. If you haven't read it yet, I envy you. If you have, read it again -- it just gets better with age.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVORITE BOOK AS A CHILD! August 2, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My mother bought me this book when I was seven years old. She gave me a brief synopsis -- a brother and sister run away and live in the museum. Naturally, my curiosity was fully aroused and I just had to read this book! I did and loved it! I read it several times from ages 7 - 9. To this day, I can remember the goosebumps I had from reading about Claudia and Jamie remaining on the school bus, ready to sneak off to the train station. I laughed aloud at the thought of them taking a bath in the museum fountain. They were the most original, the most resourceful and by far and away the most interesting and captivating runaways ever to grace the pages of literature. I still have my old copy from my childhood. It is something I will always treasure.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Book Ever July 19, 2005
A Kid's Review
I am in the 4th grade and I had to read this book for school. It was the best book I have ever read. I really liked hearing about their adventures and trying to solve the mystery along with them. If you have a kid, I think you should buy this book for them.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale... July 25, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book for the first time what seems like 100 years ago, and its story has never left me. This is the chronicle of Claudia, who is certain that she is gravely mistreated at home. She convinces her younger brother to run away with her, and her point of destination is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Running away and living in that fabulous museum would be story enough, if you ask me. However, during their stay at the museum they stumble upon a secret involving a beautiful sculpted angel with curious markings on its base. The story weaves a engrossing mystery that is solved by the two children with the help of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. However, the solution to the mystery is not the point of the story. These children learn that some secrets can be beautiful and can change who you are forever. I loved this book when I was nine, and I love this book today -- some twenty plus years later. Read this book yourself, read it to your child, read it with your child. It will become part of who you are.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars cute story
Cute book about the adventures of runaways who live in a museum. It gives you a nice snapshot of NYC in days past also.
Published 2 days ago by BeckyW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the greatest children's books of all time.
Published 4 days ago by Charles S. Feldstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite books as a child, now having my sons read it!
Published 9 days ago by Michele
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read that I would recommend for grades 5-7
Claudia is almost twelve years old and is dissatisfied with her life so she decides to run away. She recruits her younger brother to go with her because he has money they can live... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sunshine on A Rainy Day
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
Even in this age with all the new technology, the book is fascinating. Claudia and Jamie are a wonderful team!
Published 11 days ago by Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
One of my favorite books as a kid, I loved it even now as an adult!
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic, enjoy!
For the nephews for Christmas. A hit, as it was when I got it for Christmas SEVERAL years ago.
Published 16 days ago by Maris Densmore
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, and NOT just for the kiddies!
Bought the HARD-COVER edition for my GRADE 4 granddaughter, Kindle edition for me so I could talk with her about it - so far, I think I am enjoying it ever more than SHE is! Read more
Published 21 days ago by Joan M. Bouchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So cute and very enjoyable
Published 22 days ago by teri Di Francesco
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanna grow up to be like Mrs Frankweiler!
This was picked as our book club book 3 years ago. I was disappointed that we were reading such a low level book but could never had anticipated how much I would love it! Read more
Published 22 days ago by thewrightreviewer
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More About the Author

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 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.

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