Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” as Want to Read:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  197,114 ratings  ·  7,532 reviews
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she inv ...more
Paperback, 178 pages
Published June 2nd 2003 by Walker Books Ltd (first published 1967)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  197,114 ratings  ·  7,532 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg

Twelve-year-old Claudia Kincaid decides to run away from her home in suburban Connecticut, because she thinks her parents do not appreciate her and she doesn't like it.

She takes refuge in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York City, with her brother Jamie.

She chooses Jamie as her companion partly because he has saved all his money. With the help of an unused adult train fare card that she found in a wastebasket
Laura 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
Wow, I haven't been this uncomfortable about two related family members bathing naked together since Out Stealing Horses.


Why? Why would the author write a scene of a prepubescent 12-year-old sister frolicking naked in a bath with her 9-year-old brother?

I'm three years older than my brother, and when I was 12, I can promise you, I would have been far more inclined to hold his head underwater for five minutes than I would have been to stand naked before him, splashing him.

Come on now. Make
Michael Finocchiaro
This was my son's first book he read entirely in English (he is a rapid read of books in French already!) so I felt I needed to read it too. What a pleasant surprise! We both loved Jaime and Claudia and their adventures while running away and camping out in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. It is a touching book with lots of life lessons; my favorite quote is "Happiness is excitement that has found a settling place, but there is always a corner of it that keeps flapping around." (P 155)
I have to t
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mature kids; adults who can get into kid's books
Recommended to Werner by: My oldest grandson, Philip
Shelves: childrens
My oldest grandson Philip is an avid reader, a trait my wife and I like to encourage. He'd encountered this Newbery award winner in his school library, and wanted to own a copy, so we gave him one for his 11th birthday last fall. When he discovered that I'd never read it (it was first published in 1967, by which time I was in high school, and focusing my reading on more "grown-up" books), he wanted to share it with me, so he loaned me his copy. (Last year, he likewise introduced me to another ki ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
99c Kindle sale, Oct. 23, 2017. This short novel is a classic of middle grade fiction, and the 1968 Newbery Award winner. Eleven year old Claudia decides to run away from home.
She was tired of arguing about whose turn it was to choose the Sunday night seven-thirty television show, of injustice, and of the monotony of everything.
You can tell this is set in an earlier time, before our media entertainment options multiplied. :)

Because her little brother Jamie is a lot better at saving money than
Bobby Simic
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aaawww. That's my initial thought after this book.

This was simply quirky and heart-warming and therefore the perfect Advent read! Not to mention that I found out about it from another book (and no wonder that Dash & Lily would know and love this tale).

12-year-old Claudia has a problem: she feels underappreciated in her family and treated unfairly, too. Her solution: running away. Well, actually running to (that makes much more sense to her). Thus, she decides to leave home and hide away in the M
Mar 25, 2011 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
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"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
We expected to like this book a lot, on the whole we liked it, we found it well written and it kept us guessing what would happen.

We enjoyed the start, the planning of running away was fun. The idea of running away to a museum really appealed to us, when I was small I so wanted to spend a night in a museum and look around whilst it was dark and quiet, so I was really looking forward to this part. We were both full of admiration that these runaways had remembered to take their musical instruments
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I defy you to tell me you didn't, at some point in your life, want to run away and live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. E.L. Konigsburg so perfectly captures the ultimate fantasy of any child who has ever visited this amazing place so brilliantly it almost feels like I got to go too. I DEMAND that you make your children read this and yell "YOU CALL YOURSELF A BIBLIOPHILE!" at you if you haven't read it yourself.


Re-read this for the first time in years as a bed time read aloud for my s
Emma Giordano
Sep 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
Oh my god, I have been trying to remember this book for YEARS. When I was in elementary school, my entire grade watched the movie adaptation of this book in the auditorium together. I could not remember the name for the life of me, and I'm so happy I stumbled upon it! I MUST read this soon. ...more
Rachel Hartman
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca Grace
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to get kids excited about art
Recommended to Rebecca Grace by: My mother
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
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
I enjoyed this one more than the kids, it's an odd little book. The central story does capture the imagination of a child like few can, but the trappings are so fussy and odd. I think the narrative device (the titular Mrs. Frankweiler has a first-person narration) confused the kids, and I don't think they really connected with the themes of secrets and adventure. There are some very complex ideas here. But all those things work beautifully for adults and after you read it as a child all those th ...more
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
When we get right down to it, this short YA novel from the late '60s has everything a bookworm needs while growing up. A little rebellion, a little running away, and a lot of time spent in a museum. You know, the kind of thing that absolutely leads to heroin and smack.

These troubled kids.

Seriously though, I liked the mystery and adventure and liked it even more because it was referenced directly in Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. A spiritual successor? Maybe!

Definitely worth the read.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
5 stars for this old favourite!

I love children's books that don't dumb things down. E.L. Konigsburg never over-explains anything, she simply expects the reader to follow along and figure things out. She totally nails the interactions between the kids without ever becoming too "cute".

Although this book is somewhat dated, it's still thoroughly enjoyable, and I would hate to see it fall the way of so many children's classics that are modernized through heavy-handed (and often random) insertions of
Liza Fireman
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, but she is not the one to run away without a plan, and she is not the one to run to the woods. It is too dirty, too hard, and she has some classy dreams. She decides to take her brother Jamie (yes, she did consider her other brothers, but decided that they are not right for this). And now, with a plan, she tells her brother that they are running away on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? since it is band day, and you will find Claudia's plan enchanting and really smar ...more
Ange H
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much as a child and it was a pleasure to revisit it all these years later. Who didn't fantasize about running away from home and having a wonderful adventure like Claudia and Jaimie? As an adult I love going to the Met, so the fact that they chose the museum to run away to appealed to me even more now.

I didn't remember much of the story, but one detail that always stuck in my mind was how the siblings took a bath in the fountain and used the coins that people tossed in to su
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  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!

If you like this and want more, visit my blog, Literary Cafe:
January 1967 Birthday Read

I want to go back to 1967, where it was free admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the daily New York Times cost a dime. And I want to be 12-years-old and live in the Met! This was another great read that I think I missed as a young reader. Brother and sister runaways, a little bit of a mystery, and a whole lot of art, this was a really fun read!
Alissa Patrick
3.5 Stars

I used to love this book as a kid- the story of two siblings who run away and stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was so magical to me. I'm happy to say it still holds up as an adult. I can't wait to read this to my girls when they're a bit older.
Dave Schaafsma
Finished reading this to the fam and we all liked it a lot but maybe the girl liked it best. But this is a Newbery-award winner, and sometimes those committees do get it right, this is a great book about adventure, risk-taking, secrets, developing intellectual curiosity. . . and art. Pretty funny, too. I read this decades ago when I was their age, and you get curious about whether the old classics hold up, and I have to say this one does! A classic worth that designation! Highly recommend!
Jeff Dickison
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely wonderful book. This is the story of a sister and brother who run away from home because the girl is victim to family injustices. They run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they encounter The Angel by Michelangelo. I just love the concept of 'coming home lost'. Do yourself a favor and read this and capture the thrill of being twelve years old again. ...more
Zoe's Human
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had discovered this as a child. I find it charming as an adult. At the correct age, I might have found it magical. It's a nice adventure. Somewhat didactic of course, but not overly so. I like what it says about differing values. ...more
Christian Guzman
Mar 04, 2016 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw (Leigh Botts, #1)
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
  • Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn, #1)
  • The Egypt Game
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1)
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • The Whipping Boy
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • A Single Shard
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)
  • The Westing Game
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Missing May
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Related Articles

Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. We talked...
371 likes · 59 comments
“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.” 263 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.” 159 likes
More quotes…