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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Paperback – April 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689711816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689711817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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

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.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to all teachers in Grade School.
Amy Meyers
The story is as funny and the children as charming as I remembered from the book.
M. Clegg
I read this book about 12 years ago, and it is still one of my favorites.
"brittldavis"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

214 of 222 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2005
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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140 of 144 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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131 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
"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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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Just Another Opinion on 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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on 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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