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

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

by E. L. Konigsburg, Beck


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2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money.

Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie bad some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she bad discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too.

The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Without her-well, without her, Claudia might never have found a way to go home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689205866
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 11/01/1970
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 352,550
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor 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 a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View from Saturday. Among her other acclaimed books are Silent to the Bone, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, and The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World.

Read an Excerpt

"I've decided to run away from home, and I've chosen you to accompany me."

"Why pick on me? Why not pick on Steve?" he asked.

Claudia sighed, "I don't want Steve. Steve is one of the things in my life that I'm running away from. I want you."

Despite himself, Jamie felt flattered. (Flattery is as important a machine as the lever, isn't it, Saxonberg? Give it a proper place to rest, and it can move the world.) It moved Jamie. He stopped thinking, "Why pick on me?" and started thinking, "I am chosen." He sat up in his seat, unzipped his jacket, put one foot up on the seat, placed his hands over his bent knee and said out of the corner of his mouth, "O.K., Claude, when do we bust out of here? And how?"

Claudia stifled the urge to correct his grammar again. "On Wednesday. Here's the plan. Listen carefully."

Jamie squinted his eyes and said, "Make it complicated, Claude. I like complications."

Claudia laughed. "It's got to be simple to work. We'll go on Wednesday because Wednesday is music lesson day. I'm taking my violin out of its case and am packing it full of clothes. You do the same with your trumpet case. Take as much clean underwear as possible and socks and at least one other shirt with you."

"All in a trumpet case? I should have taken up the bass fiddle."

"You can use some of the room in my case. Also use your book bag. Take your transistor radio."

"Can I wear sneakers?" Jamie asked.

Claudia answered, "Of course. Wearing shoes all the time is one of the tyrannies you'll escape by coming with me."

Jamie smiled, and Claudia knew that now was the correct time to ask. She almost managed to sound casual. "And bring all your money." She cleared her throat. "By the way, how much money do you have?"

Jamie put his foot back down on the floor, looked out the window and said, "Why do you want to know?"

"For goodness' sake, Jamie, if we're in this together, then we're together. I've got to know. How much do you have?"

"Can I trust you not to talk?" he asked.

Claudia was getting mad. "Did I ask you if I could trust you not to talk?" She clamped her mouth shut and let out twirl whiffs of air through her nostrils; had she done it any harder or any louder, it would have been called a snort.

"Well, you see, Claude," Jamie whispered, "I have quite a lot of money."

Claudia thought that old Jamie would end up being a business tycoon someday. Or at least a tax attorney like their grandfather. She said nothing to Jamie.

Jamie continued, "Claude, don't tell Mom or Dad, but I gamble. I play those card games with Bruce for money. Every Friday we count our cards, and he pays me. Two cents for every card I have more than he has and five cents for every ace. And I always have more cards than he has and at least one more ace.

Claudia lost all patience. "Tell me how much you have! Four dollars? Five? How much?" Jamie nuzzled himself further into the corner of the bus seat and sang, "Twenty-four dollars and forty-three cents." Claudia gasped, and Jamie, enjoying her reaction, added, "Hang around until Friday and I'll make it twenty-five even."

"How can you do that? Your allowance is only twenty-five cents. Twenty-four forty-three plus twenty-five cents makes only twenty-four dollars and sixty-eight cents." Details never escaped Claudia.

"I'll win the rest from Bruce."

"C'mon now, James, how can you know on Monday that you'll win on Friday?"

"I just know that I will," he answered.

"How do you know?"

"I'll never tell." He looked straight at Claudia to see her reaction. She looked puzzled. He smiled, and so did she, for she then felt more certain than ever that she had chosen the correct brother for a partner in escape. They complemented each other perfectly. She was cautious (about everything but money) and poor; he was adventurous (about everything but money) and rich. More than twenty-four dollars. That would be quite a nice boodle to put in their knapsacks if they were using knapsacks instead of instrument cases. She already had four dollars and eighteen cents. They would escape in comfort.

Jamie waited while she thought. "Well? What do you say? Want to wait until Friday?"

Claudia hesitated only a minute more before deciding.",No, we have to go on Wednesday. I'll write you full details of my plan. You must show the plan to no one. Memorize all the details; then destroy my note."

"Do I have to eat it?" Jamie asked.

"Tearing it up and putting it in the trash would be much simpler. No one in our family but me ever goes through the trash. And I only do if it is not sloppy and not full of pencil sharpener shavings. Or ashes."

"I'll eat it. I like complications," Jamie said.

"You must also like Wood pulp," Claudia said. "That's what paper is made of, you know."

"I know. I know," Jamie answered. They spoke no more untiI they got off the bus at their stop.

Steve got off the bus after Jamie and Claudia.

Steve yelled, "Claude! Claude! It's your turn to take Kevin. I'll tell Mom if you forget."

Claudia, who had been walking up ahead with Jamie, stopped short, ran back, grabbed Kevin's hand and started retracing her steps, pulling him along to the side and slightly behind.

"I wanna walk with Stevie," Kevin cried.

"That would be just fine with me, Kevin Brat," Claudia answered. "But today you happen to be my responsibility."

"Whose 'sponsibility am I next?" he asked.

"Wednesday starts Steve's turn," Claudia answered.

"I wish it could be Steve's turn every week," Kevin whined.

"You just may get your wish."

Kevin never realized then or ever that he had been given a clue, and he pouted all the way home.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 222 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the book From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It¿s about Claudia and Jamie, the main characters who run away from home because they think they are having too many injustices. They run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They run away with only $24 to live on. They sleep in dusty old beds and hide in the restrooms for many hours a day. They always have excuses why they were caught by the guard. But one time while Jamie was hiding in the men¿s room and he heard the water running. He thought that it was just another visitor but it was a janitor who was wondering why Jamie was there. Jamie, the second youngest can take on any challenge like hiding his things in historical figures. Claudia the oldest of four kids is very intelligent. She is the one who comes up with the plans for everyday, like how many hours to hide in the bathrooms and how many hours they get to sleep so they won¿t get caught by the night guard and how much they should spend on the two meals they get a day. I love this book because it is an exciting adventure about Claudia and Jamie. I haven¿t finished the book yet but I can¿t wait to read the adventure that awaits. It also makes me want to really go and visit the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York. And like I said I highly suggest it.
Snickerdoodle More than 1 year ago
The book From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Bail E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg, is a great book because it is funny and gives good detail about the adventures of Claudia and James Kincaid. Claudia loves secrets and Jamie loves challenges. Claudia felt injustice at her home, so she decided to run away. She chose her brother, "Jamie", to run away with her because he had a lot of money. They decided to stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They learned something everyday. When they saw a sculpture called Angel, they were so interested in it because its sculptor was unknown. The two children actually found a clue to whom really made Angel. They sent an anonymous letter to the museum owners to tell them about the clue, but, sadly, the Metropolitan Museum of Art already knew. Claudia and Jamie were so interested in the clue that they actually went to the house of the person who auctioned Angel to the museum. They found out everything at the house: (1) if the work was designed by Michelangelo, (2) if the work was designed, but not done by Michelangelo, or (3) if Michelangelo did not have anything to do with the sculpture at all. In the end, Claudia and Jamie came back home with a story to tell and secrets NOT to be told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It also makes me want to really go and visit the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York. And like I said I highly suggest it. and Take a Barnes $10 Off coupons code @
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! E.L Konigsburg is so thought out, it's awesome! I can't stop reading it!
zirzabar More than 1 year ago
I am reading this with my 5th grader...(who by the way HATES reading!!) Tomorrow we embark on the last chapter....(I remember reading this..vaguely...and yet it has brought up such wonderful feelings of hope and those magical feelings...ya know..the one's where you can not leave fantasy out of should guard them like a knight!!)....I LOVE this book and more importantly...HE loves it! Enough said....(but I want more to read with him like this...and so does he....) :) Thanks E. L. Konigsburg....we had our I may present the "Mixed up in the files of...?.Mrs....? :) .All dreamers and all dreamer want-a be's....will LOVE this!!! XXOOXX
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is an exceptional book! I read it in 5th Grade class about a month ago and I absolutly loved it!!!! Claudia and Jamie and Mrs, Basil E. Frankweiler seem SO real!!! E.L. Konigsburg, you did a great job with this book. I give it a 100%. I will always recomened this book to anyon e who needs a great, interesting, loyal, team like, amazing book.
The_smart_warriors_reader More than 1 year ago
It's a great book. I wish I could do what Claudia and Jamie did in this book. It'd be cool to live in a museum, especially this one. Add in a mystery, and you've got one of the best books ever. Over half of my class has read this, and they all love it. I've never met a person that didn't like it. A few parts I had to read over to understand because of the way the sentence was phrased. Everyone of all ages will like this book, even if you hate reading.
QuinnBookworm More than 1 year ago
This was my absolute favorite book when I was a kid. I can't even remember how many times I read it over and over again. Then I read it to my kids, and now I am waiting for at least one of the grandkids to take an interest in it. I only own four copies of it, so I have enough to go around! Highly recommend for children with active imaginations and a sense of adventure!
jmvarnad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read. Claudia and Jamie are two funny young people. I enjoyed their sassy attitudes. The characters in the book keeps you reading. Deciding to runaway from home Claudia and her brother finds themselves in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts hiding out. Then the adventures began.
SJKessel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kinigsburg, E.L. (1967). From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.162 pages.As a child, I always meant to read The Mixed-Up Files. I just never got around to it. The same was true when I was an adult. It took my students choosing it as a class read to finally getting around to reading it.And as I started the book, I wished I'd gotten around to it much sooner. From the first page I as entertained by Claudia's characterization.Appetizer: Claudia Kincaid, the oldest of four children, has decided to run away. But the detail-oriented girl refuses to do it in the ordinary way. She plots and plans, saves money and chooses one of her little brothers--who compliments her well--to join her in escaping to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Her and Jamie work as a team to mange how to get food, find a place to sleep and do laundry. When a new exhibit of a small angel statue is put on display, Claudia can't help but be drawn in by the mystery of the sculpture and wants her and Jamie to to solve the mystery of whether or not Michelangelo sculpted it.I like how practical the book is. Konigsburg makes a point of dealing with all of the issues about how the Claudia and Jamie spent their money (got more money), remained hidden from the museum security and spent their time. (Of course, including these practical issues also dates the text since the value of a dollar has inflated so much. It's hard to imagine a train ticket, a meal, etc. ever being as cheap as they are in the book. Plus, the siblings don't have to contend with any high-tech security systems that a runaway of today might face...not that I've given this thought and am considering running away to a museum. Not at all.)While the four students who chose to read the book (alas, this is the problem between having students pick between reading a novel and a picturebook, almost all of them chose the picturebook) enjoyed it, as a group we failed to address one of the biggest potential problems of the text. The fact that the main characters run away and the messages that sends (while Claudia and Jamie do feel a little homesick, the reader is almost entirely denied seeing the grief that their family experienced at their disappearance). The easiest argument is to say that the book provides the reader with a sense of escape and that no reader will actually be inspired to run away based on reading the book. And I don't really have any thoughts to add to that argument since there aren't any statistics on children who were inspired by 1960s children's literature to leave home and camp-out at a national museum.Dinner Conversation:"You never knew that I could write this well, did you? Of course, you don't actually know yet, but you soon will. I've spent a lot of time on this file. I listened. I investigated, and I fitted all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. It leaves no doubts. Well, Saxonberg, read and discover" (p. 3)."Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn't like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insect and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place. And that's why she decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City" (p. 5)."I want you, Jamie, for the greatest adventure in our lives."Jamie muttered, "Well, I wouldn't mind if you'd pick on someone else.""Claudia looked out the window and didn't answer. Jamie said, "As long as you've got me here, tell me" (p. 13)."This was all Claudia needed. Something that had been smoldering inside her since she first saw the statue, that had been fed by the Times article, now flared into an idea."Jamie, let's do it now. Let's skip learning everything about everyth
amygatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book in elementary school and I loved it. I liked it for the same reasons that I liked "The Ruby in the Smoke" - it gave me a mystery to ponder (regarding the statue Angel) and it also taught me about Michelangelo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This book was fun and it made me think, and this is a sure recipe for a good read. When I volunteered at an elementary school library, I learned that this book was used in the 4th grade curriculum to tie in the art and social studies curriculums, and that at the conclusion of the unit, students went on a field trip to the Met to tie together all that they had learned. I think that is a great example of how to use this book in education.
BrittN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:The mixed up files is about a sister and brother that run away from their home. They come to a famous museum and that is where they live out of. While they are there they began to look for the person who made this certain sculpture. They find out who made it and decide to learn more about her. Personal Reaction:I enjoyed this book. It was a great read and I would recommend it to any reader. It was so good I want to read it again!Classroom Extension Ideas: 1. I would use this book in a unit about museums. I would talk about where the brother and sister where and talk about sculptures. I would have the students make their own sculptures and then write a page about what museum they would want their sculpture to be in. 2.I would use this book in a unit about family. I would talk about how the brother and sister stick together and figure out the mystery. I would have the student write a mystery story that involves teamwork.
akingzett16 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fascinating adventure. I didn't know kids could pull this off. Well it is a book but it seems real!!!!
bibliophile26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A brother and a sister run away from their Conneticut home and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They become facisnated by a statue rumored to be a work of Michelangelo, and make it their mission to unveil the truth. I know that this is a classic children's novel and that it won the Newbery, but I didn't like it all that much. It dragged in places and the children came off as complete brats.
BNAGY51 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An ok book about 2 kids who run away from home and go to a museum in New York
jl221 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had read E.L. Konigsburg's The View from Saturday and loved it. So I was very interested in reading this book when I came across it in my son's Scholastic flyer. We ordered the book and began reading it this summer. This is the first publication and Newberry award winner by Konigsburg. In the story, a young girl, Claudia, and a young boy, Jamie, run away from home and hide out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It is not that they are particularly mistreated that they run away from their parents, but that Claudia desires to live some significant experience. Jamie is brought along because he has saved some money that can be used to support them while at the museum. The book relates their experiences from hiding out from guards, to sleeping in the exhibits, to bathing in a fountain. Ultimately, they are presented with a mystery as to whether a displayed statue was sculpted by the famed artist, Michaelangelo. This investigation results in them visiting the home of the lady who sold the statue to the museum, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Mrs. Frankweiler is an eccentric elderly woman who grows to understand the children's reasoning for running away and desire to hold on to something exceptional. She allows them to look through her files to discover the secret she has been keeping of the statue's origin. The book is written in the form of a letter Mrs. Frankweiler is writing to her attorney, ultimately requesting that her will be changed to include the children.I enjoyed reading this book to my son each night. As she did in The View from Saturday, Konigsburg captures the heart of the characters which makes them come alive. Konigsburg shares an afterward in this edition which includes a copy of the acceptance letter for its publication. In the afterward, she shares how different New York City is from the setting of the book in the 1960's, yet how many things would impact the characters in the same way.
zeebreez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Konigsburg, E.L. The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.Scholastic Inc:New York, 1967. This is an interesting story about two children, a brother and sister, who decide to run away from their home. They move into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While there they begin an intriguing search for the true creator of a mysterious sculpture. These children are so independent. They have every aspect of their escapade planned out. Another book that was written during this decade is "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle written in 1962. Age range: 9-12 years old.
nictheman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is about a person telling a story abou two kids who run away from home and go to live in a muesem in the city. later in the story they find a state of a angel who was supposably made by michaelangelo. they go on a quest to find out if it is really made by him. read this book now!!!!
alliecipa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a sister and brother- Claudia and Jamie- who run away from home and stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They decide to try to learn as much as they can while they are there when they come across a mystery. The Angel statue may or may not have been sculpted by Michelangelo himself but was only sold to the museum for $250! Their attempt to solve this mystery leads them to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who they hope can help them find the answers they want.
zanjo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Claudia and her brother run away from home and stay in the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they learn about history, art, and how to be thrifty. A statue of an angel is on exhibit and there is a question as to whether Michelangelo was the sculptor. Claudia and her brother set out to uncover the mystery. Would be useful in showing iconic depiction of New York and its finest cultural institutions as well as independence, thriftiness and mystery-solving. Despite the meaningful themes, the siblings bickering and weak underlying purpose made it a slow read.
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An adventure in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City! I would have chosen a library if I were running away, but to each their own I suppose. In Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller, siblings Claudia and Jamie run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The bathe in the museum fountain, sleep in a royal bed, and glom on to school groups taking tours during the day. During their vacation from reality, the children stumble upon a secret involving a beautiful sculpted angel with curious markings on its base. Claudia and Jamie must solve the mystery of the statue with the help of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.The story is so realistic and timeless that I felt I was right there with Claudia and Jamie, standing on top of the toilets waiting for the museum to close. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller is an engrossing and captivating read, full of page-turning good fun!
anniecase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The dialogue has become stilted in recent years (when was the last time you heard a kid say, "Oh, baloney!"), but without presenting any modern-day conveniences, the book still rings true for young children and is a creative and engaging story. It rightfully deserves its status as a classic.
TrishNYC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the very cute story of Claudia Kincaid and her brother Jamie who decide to run away from home and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Claudia is dissatisfied by her current status of being the oldest of three children and feeling a perceived loss of affection by virtue of this position. This dissatisfaction leads her to the decision to run away from home in part to escape the monotony of chores, academics and a life that she found unfair and boring. She convinces her younger brother Jamie to come along primarily because she knows that he has money, something that she realizes is essential if she is to survive New York City. This was a very enjoyable tale of the the search for fun and adventure that probably sets all young hearts racing. Claudia and Jamie sleep in beds from centuries ago, take baths in the fountain and basically get a daily private tour of the museum all while trying to make sure they do not get caught by the guards. Claudia stumbles across a mystery involving one of the museum's newest exhibits and sets on a quest to determine the work's provenance.For such a short book, it manages to create a vivid picture of Claudia and Jamie's adventure through the city. As you read, you imagine yourself experiencing the daily escapades of the kids. You are amused, intrigued and concerned for the kids as they experience living in a big city with no parental care. One thing that was clear to me was the fact that life in 1967 was very different from life today. I realized that some of my concerns were the concerns of a person living in 2010 and were probably troubles that were alien to 1967. I was also impressed by the simple but effective way that the author conveys the emotions of children. From their feelings of injustice being wrought on them by their parents or siblings, their need to feel special within a family, to their sense of fearlessness that can lead to recklessness. I really enjoyed this book.
srssrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a new novel at all, but I didn't read it until it was suggested to me by a student. I found Konigsburg story of run away children in New York City to be creative and engaging! Claudia an eldest daughter who is feeling unloved is the mastermind of the run away scheme. She has everything planned, when she and her brother will leave and what they will take, and most importantly where they will go. Of course, every child plans to run and hide at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art! From the day they depart for NYC instead of going to school is the point in which this story gains speed and interest. Exactly how will they eat, sleep and blend in at the museum? Not to worry, Claudia has almost everything figured out and she won't let you down as a main character for one minute! They few sketches scattered throughout the book add to it just a little bit. As a reader, you are constantly envisioning everything that is taking place in the plot, but seeing on the page, what your minds eye is seeing, just adds something to the story. The children are living in a museum and to see them with the art that is being described and discussed in the pages does add something to the text.
busymombookclub on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
favorite book as a kid - always give this as a gift