From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E.L. Konigsburg
“Angel” became part of Claudia’s story about finding herself, about how the greatest adventure lies not in running away but in looking inside, and the greatest discovery is not in finding out who made a statue but in finding out what makes you.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 6.21.23 PM.pngFrom the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is on Times’s best 100 YA list. This book is most definitely a middle grade/late elementary read.

Claudia Kincaid decides she is not appreciated enough in her family, so she decides to run away. She formulates a plan with one of her siblings, Jamie. Jamie has been hustling a friend while playing the card game War to make extra change on the side. He brings his coins on their adventure to fund their stay in New York City.

Claudia and Jamie stay a few nights at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia decides to stay longer than planned to solve the mystery surrounding a new statue. Claudia and Jamie investigate and find themselves in the house of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweirler, where they find answers and a ride home.

Is it a fun read? Younger readers will most likely enjoy the silliness of the story, while older readers, like myself, know this tale is no longer possible in a post-9/11 world. The author addresses how the story would be different in now, but overall the story reads a little dated. Besides not believing the kiddos “getting away” with this adventure, I thought From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basiel E. Frankweirler was boring.

I recommend From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basiel E. Frankweirler to younger readers (4th-6th grade) they would enjoy the sister-brother tale. Sadly, I do not think this is a story that needs to be revisited by older readers.


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