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

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  130,808 Ratings  ·  4,858 Reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 8th 1998 by Yearling (first published 1967)
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Stephanie
Oct 11, 2007 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cleanse their reading palette of obligatory 5th grade reading
OK, I'll admit it: I freakin' hate the Newbery Medal. Any time I see it on the cover of a book, I'm 98.5% sure it sucks. All of the books that have been given this "honor" seem to have been written with the intent of teaching kids some crappy history lesson. There's no magic or mystery to any of them...reading these books is akin to eating dry toast when you know damned well you could cover the bread with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. I mean, if you really want to martyr yourself, do it creativel ...more
Lola Wallace
I first read this book when I was 7-going-on-8. I read it, and then I read it again. Then I read it again, and kept going until, according to my personal mythology, I had read it 11 times. And then I stole my school's copy of the book. I hadn't picked it up for many years since then, but this book is woven into my neural pathways every which way, and rereading it still makes me love it more.

The Mixed-Up Files drew me in with its details and paraphernalia
(the instrument cases! the transistor rad
...more
Aldrin
Mar 28, 2011 Aldrin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For his autumnal yet incandescent family tragicomedy, The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson drew inspiration from a handful of literary works remarkably possessed of whimsy and insightful wit. Chief among these is the late J. D. Salinger’s short but utterly perceptive book, Franny and Zooey, whose title characters are members of the Glass family, the basis for the dysfunctional Tenenbaums in Anderson’s film. The eccentric director, drawing further attention to his enchantment with Salinger’s fictio ...more
Bobby Simic
There are certain, special books that I don't want to give up once finished. I guess to prolong the separation and perhaps to somehow physically absorb whatever magic it possesses, I'll find myself pressing my palms against the book, sandwiching it. It doesn't happen very often. But it did happen with this book.

I had never read this book growing up. But I'm so glad that I finally got around to it.

What is it that makes this book so wonderful? Let's begin with Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler's clever na
...more
Rebecca Grace
Apr 05, 2008 Rebecca Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to get kids excited about art
Recommended to Rebecca Grace by: My mother
Shelves: children-s-books
I read this years ago as a child and just finished re-reading it with my 7-year-old son. It actually touched off a lot of interesting discussions about what has changed and what has stayed the same in the years since the book was first published in 1967 (my son piped up with all kinds of objections throughout the book, like "what about the motion detectors and the lasers around the art?"). Of course today admission is no longer free at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, no one is allowed to bring i ...more
Rachel Hartman
May 15, 2012 Rachel Hartman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rated this five stars a long time ago, out of pure nostalgia, without really remembering much about the book beyond "they stayed in the museum." Well, I just finished reading it out loud to my son, and I would just like to reaffirm: YES, five stars. No question.

The plot is so subtle, compared with so much of what is being published now! But wow these kids are individuals. Wow they talk like real humans and have a real and wonderful relationship with each other. My son described Mrs. Basil E. F
...more
Drew Cernava
Mar 01, 2016 Drew Cernava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a ridiculously charming little book.

I think the thing that made it such a great children's book even though I'm definitely not the target audience was because I really grew to care for the main characters, Claudia and Jamie. Reading about them getting into scrapes and going on adventures filled me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Claudia and Jamie had a wonderful sister-brother relationship that was portrayed realistically. While they teased and got annoyed by one another, they also grew c
...more
Christian Guzman
Mar 27, 2016 Christian Guzman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not planned on reading this novel, but I found this book on a random book shelf in my house, so I decided to give it a go. I feel like this is one of those books I should have read at least once sometime during my childhood, but I just never got to it. Well, I did in fact enjoy this book. I rated this novel four stars because although I did like it a lot, I just didn’t love it. It was pleasurable reading about the adventure that Claudia and Jamie had. This adventure/runaway ended up lastin ...more
Pamela
I'm not sure how I missed reading this Newberry gem as a youngster, being the wordy-nerdy bookworm that I was, and still am. But somehow, I overlooked this NYC dawning of age adventure centering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art and self realization. That is, until now. Better late than never, right? Proof positive, you're never to old to change course, make a new goal, revisit your childhood, and/or correct an oversight. I didn't relate to it as intimately as I did the The Boxcar Children. ...more
Jill
Sep 26, 2008 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children of All Ages
Recommended to Jill by: I found it on Amazon.com
From the Mixed-up Files of
Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
By E.L. Konigsburg

This is a delightful story for children of all ages. I'm wondering why I never discovered this book when I was a kid?

Claudia is planning to run away. She wants a different life, than that of the oldest child, with so many responsibilities. Her brother Jamie doesn't know it yet, but she has chosen him to be her companion. One reason she has chosen Jamie, is because he is good with money. Claudia usually spends her money on h
...more
Alex
"I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow."
Here's a book that's lost none of its charm. Siblings
...more
Rebecca Foster
This was one of the key books of my American childhood. All these years later, phrases were still familiar to me, such as Jamie’s frequent exclamation of “Oh, boloney!” I clearly remembered the delicious overall sense of adventure and secrecy. On this reread I found it a tiny bit dated, what with the impossibly low prices and Claudia wearing a petticoat. Some things haven’t changed, though. Konigsburg captures school group chatter and brother/sister banter perfectly. The museum and archive setti ...more
Will Oberndorfer
Oct 16, 2011 Will Oberndorfer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to discuss the book itself. I won't talk about its themes of escape, the search for truth, or journeys of self-discovery or any of that other junk. I won't even bring up the idea of Claudia as a feminist icon of children's literature. And the narration? Why bother? If it were up to me the audience would never learn Saxonburg's identity, but that's because I'm an asshole.

Instead, I'm going to talk about the bookmark I found about two-thirds into the book. It was a brown plastic tab
...more
TheKBSeries
Alright, here we go with another book from my past that was forced down my throat by the bare hands of an english teacher. I hated this book so much that I decided to just not read it and struggle my way through that time of the year.

After arriving to school the morning after i decided that, i panicked! The current chapter that was to be discussed abruptly fell into the lesson plans of the teacher that morning and i began to panick. I glanced around at the obedient students who plucked out thei
...more
Britany
Aug 09, 2013 Britany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claudia and Jamie Kincaid decide to run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. They take their instrument cases filled with clothes and Jamie's transistor radio. They live in the museum for about a week on about $28 and some change. They discover that there's more to life than what they thought and that some experiences make you into a better person.

Loved the relationship between Claude and her brother, loved how she constantly kept correcting his grammar and how he was in charg
...more
Wart Hill
Nov 12, 2014 Wart Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, young-readers
Ah, my childhood.

The first time I read this I was in Middle School and my teacher read it to the class. Same with Holes.
Ahmad Sharabiani
From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
عنوان: فرار به موزه نيويورک؛ نویسنده: ای.ال. کنیگزبرگ؛ مترجم: شهره نورصالحی؛ ویراستار: فریبا نباتی؛ تهران، پیدایش، 1387، در 216 ص، شابک: 9789643495459؛
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A book I’d throw into the categories of “Book With Titles that are Better than the Actual Story” and “Books with Plot Summaries that are Better than the Actual Story”.

I grew impatient with this book. Why did Claudia want to run away? If it was her family that was the problem, why did she take one of her brothers along? She picked the Metropolitan Museum of Art as her refuge, but she didn’t seem to enjoy much of the art there. The whole story is written as if Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is telling
...more
Leah
Oct 13, 2010 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What child doesn't dream of running away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art?

This was one of my favorite books as a child. The adventure of two kids running away to New York City and hiding in a museum was fascinating to me. In addition, they get to solve a mystery, which appealed to me even more strongly.

I agree with another reviewer who says that it was the details of the book that drew her in: packing their clothes in their instrument cases, the way they spent money, the wonder that Claudia fee
...more
Lisa Vegan
Jul 17, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of kids' lit, people about to visit the Met in NY or any museum
Inventive, imaginative, and a lot of fun to read. The story of a girl and her brother who run away...to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY City. A very charming book. Makes one yearn for a visit to the Met or any museum, preferably a behind the scenes one! And it contains seemingly helpful instructions on how to sucessfully run away. ;-)
Madelyn
Jan 12, 2016 Madelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I honestly have no idea why, but there was something about this book (I guess the adventure?) that I absolutely loved when I was younger.
Really cute story of two kids that run away to live in a museum, skirting the cops and sleeping in the priceless beds and having a series of adventures in the museum!
Josiah
Apr 24, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first books from the effervescent mind of the great E.L. Konigsburg, this novel stands up as well today as it did when it was first published.
Populated by strong, independent characters as in all of the author's stories, this book follows an interesting story thread of both unique survival and a pressing mystery, as Claudia and her brother hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Attempting to keep one step ahead of the police and their parents is not an easy task, but ul
...more
Tracey
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fiction, 4-star
So, what exactly would be the category for lingering behind and taking up residence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? I'll go with criminal trespass till I learn otherwise. So - when I commit criminal trespass, should I blame Thomas Hoving, or E.L. Konigsburg? I recently finished False Impressions, and just finished From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, so I'm already making plans. Enough time has gone by since the publication of the book - 1967 - that the guards must have gotte ...more
joanna Sondheim
Absolutely loved it when I was a kid, and absolutely loved it again as an adult. While the Newbery medalists of late have tended towards dry, very non-kid friendly fiction (I have never seen a child give even a second glance to The Higher Power of Lucky or Criss Cross, no matter the endorsement), this book absolutely deserves every bid of adulation it's been given. Claudia and Jamie's adventure feels just as fresh as ever, and while Manhattan has definitely gone through some major changes since ...more
Laura
Jul 22, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I loved this as a kid and forgot all about it. I found it again while rummaging around a local bookstore during the "Squawking Matilda" book signing. (How's that for promo Lisa?) The story was as sweet as I remembered, and I learned something new too. A couple of months ago, I visited Brookgreen Gardens in SC. It is the first and only outdoor sculpture garden of it's type in the US. A truly amazing place. An illustration from the book (set in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) reminded me of one of ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 14, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How in the world did I miss this book as a kid?! It would have been right up my alley when I was about 10 or 11 years old. What kid doesn't fantasize about running away to both have a grand adventure and teach their family to appreciate them more? And who wouldn't want to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art?! Honestly, the living in the Met part probably appeals to me even more as an adult. This is such a fun, well-written book.
Tracie
Aug 18, 2014 Tracie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, children-s
Here's a little sample of why I enjoyed this book so much...

Claudia: But, Mrs. Frankweiler, you should want to learn one new thing every day. We did even at the museum.

"No," I answered, "I don't agree with that. I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you
...more
Robin Stevens
Sep 29, 2015 Robin Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book at least five times, and it just keeps getting better. Spare, beautiful, accessible and funny, it has a huge amount to say about life, the universe and everything - and it's also an expression of the ultimate childhood fantasy. After all, who doesn't want to run away to the Met?! This new Pushkin edition is just the sort of lovely packaging that the book deserves.
Mike
Aug 27, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: kids-fiction, mystery

This may be the perfect one-sitting “juvie” or YA book. It has action, mystery, strong characters (and character growth), comedy, and quirkiness. Although short when compared to other well-regarded books, it says all it needs to in 160-odd pages. As the author herself says, it needs no sequel.

I read the 35th Anniversary Edition (with afterword-foreword by the author). It’s already 11 years past that and it still holds up pretty well. (Yes, the prices are waaaay out of whack.) If you want a small
...more
Roya
Mar 01, 2015 Roya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I've never read an actually good book winning the Newbery Medal and this was no exception. They might as well call it the Mediocre Medal of Children's Literature, (not considering the disturbingly large number of books which don't even live up to that.)
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
More about E.L. Konigsburg...

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“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.” 207 likes
“I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow.” 93 likes
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