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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  175,211 ratings  ·  6,471 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)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  175,211 ratings  ·  6,471 reviews


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Stephanie
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
Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. 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 h
...more
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 r/>The
...more
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 hav
...more
Werner
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 she is, she invites
...more
Aldrin
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 fictional family, even ...more
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.
...more
Hilary
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
...more
Alex
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 Clau
...more
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
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
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
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
...more
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.
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 too 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. Still th ...more
Jane
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)
...more
Sara
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.
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
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
...more
Madelyn
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: www.literarycafe.weebly.com
Drew
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,
...more
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.
Britany
Aug 06, 2013 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
...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? I didn't remember much of the story, but for some reason the one detail that stuck in my mind was how they took a bath in the fountain and used the coins that people tossed in to supplement their income. The other thing I remember is the same feeling I had when I finished it this time: it ended ...more
Chris
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.
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.
Jill
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Rebecca
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
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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 Medal in 1997 for The ...more
“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.” 241 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.” 141 likes
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