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

4.5 out of 5 stars 736 customer reviews

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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.

From the Publisher

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped -- right into a mystery that made headlines!
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Product Details

  • 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: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (736 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE 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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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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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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A Kid's Review on July 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
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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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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