When I was little my sister read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg in school. For some reason I was always intrigued by the title of the book and the impressive name of the author. I wanted to read it, and probably could have at the time, but it took me until now (at least 25 years) to finally actually read the book.
Claudia is bored with her life. The sameness, her feeling that her parents take her for granted. She cooks up a plan to run away and take her younger brother Jamie with her. Somehow, she thinks, when she returns home she will be different. So Claudia and Jamie run away and spend an entire week living and hiding in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Somehow they manage not to get caught. And it turns out the routines Claudia was used to at home are almost the same while being a runaway because you can run away from home, but you can’t run away from yourself.
The story is told from the point of view of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in the form of a letter written to a mysterious person named Saxonberg. While at the museum, the kids discover a mystery in the form of a statue purchased by the museum for only $225 at auction from Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The statue is noteworthy because it may or may not have been carved by Michelangelo. Claudia becomes fixated on solving the mystery of who carved Angel and that eventually leads them to meet Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
As someone who would have absolutely loved living in a museum and learning everything I could from the exhibits when I was a kid, I really enjoyed From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s cute, sweet, and not entirely predictable like many middle grade novels.
4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2014: 8
Pages Read in 2014: 1810
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