Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Or is it? Claudia is determined to find out.
This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
©2007 E.L. Konigsburg; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
"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....Such is the impact of timeless novels...they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale." (Amazon.com review)
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
I read this book as a child, loved it, and had wonderful memories of the excitement, mystery, and thrills that E.L. Konigsburg gave to Claudia and James. Like every other child that has read the book, I was jealous and dreamed of planning, saving, and running away to the Metropolitan Museum. When I heard that E.L. Konigsburg had passed away, I decided to reread the book. I hadn't thought about how different this rereading might be, 45 years later, but if anything I'm even more convinced that this is one of the best works of fiction ever, for children and adults. When I read this as a child, the poignancy of the ending went over my head, but as an adult and mother, this really stands out for me now. I'm not going to spoil it by spelling it out, but just want to say that this book is about so much more than running away, the Metropolitan Museum, and Michelangelo, and well worth listening to by children AND adults.
mom x5...married to best friend...cultivating a culture of book-loving.
We listened to this on a road trip with my 5yr old, 7yr old, 10 yr old and 13yr old in the car. Everyone enjoyed it! Great story and great performance!!
It was a fun adventure for kids. From a teachers perspective I appreciate how the author sprinkles a variety of educational content (from math, english/grammar to social studies and art) throughout the story. This way the book can be used as a read aloud and then referred to throughout the day when teaching other subjects.
There were so many great parts, so it is hard to pick just one. I guess, Saturday night when Jaimie was stuck hiding in the bathroom because the workers were there moving the statue. He was worried that Claudia wouldn't know not to leave the bathroom so he thought if he just thought "Stay Put!" really hard that maybe he could think to message directly to her. You will have to read or listen to the book if you want to find out if they got caught or not.
I liked how the children's perspective of each other changed from self-serving to team work. I also like how thier relationship with Mrs. Frankweiler turned out.
my grand daughter and I listened to this over the last word days. it had been a favorite of her step mother's, and although her life has been very different she was drawn to the story, identifying with many of Claudia ' s feelings and enjoying the adventure. I still had tears in my eyes during the last 20 minutes.
don't remember if i read this as a kid or i missed it but it is very fun and a little more advanced than i thought it would be. some serious issues but on the whole of a simpler time. a little bit of a kid's detective story and adventure. definitely some things that would have to be discussed with little kids in todays society (run aways and hiding out and parents side of things). still good and does show kids using imaginations and thinking.
Audio Book Junkie!
A Grand Adventure
I enjoyed listening to this book as an adult. As a child, it was one of my favorites. I dreamed of living the that museum and hiding in the bathroom stalls at closing time. What a grand adventure.
E.L. Konigsburg book, "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a brilliant book; a classic. My 10 year old son and I loved this book. This book was first published in the late 1960s and here in 2011 is being used in his school's AIG class in fun, creative, educational ways. Kids may grow up faster these days, but they are not growing up smarter. Claudia and Jamie are not only quick-witted and super smart, but they have moxie and grit you don't see in kids today (unfortunately in current day, moxie & grit have been replaced with whining and impatience). We want to read more E.L. Konigsburg works; we've been very entertained and educated. But for right now we are going to let all that we love about "Mixed-up Files" float around in us and fill us up for the time being. P.S. My mother would love Claudia's passion for grammar.
I thought I’d read this when I was a kid, but coming back to it, it seemed brand new. Maybe I conflated it with something else, but it wasn’t a trip down memory lane. Instead, it was a whole new experience. Claudia and Jamie run away to live at the Met in New York, and spend much of their time living on an early 1960s budget.
More importantly, my ten-year-old son liked it. He’s the one who assigned it four stars out of five, and that sounds about right to me. He says it’s “interesting,” and he enjoyed the balance between the adventure in the city and the details about art and negotiating their hiding places.
Me, I admired the voice. I certainly didn’t remember that Mrs. Frankweiler is our narrator, and I like the way that gives Konigsberg the opportunity to explain some otherwise inaccessible information to her fictional audience, her long-time attorney to whom she is writing the entire story. There’s a sophistication to the narrative that, along with forgiving some of the social and economic changes of the last fifty years, makes this a cut above most of the usual tweener books I know.
Still, this one doesn’t quite have the magic of, say, Holes or A Wrinkle in Time. I’m willing to suspend disbelief for a book, but it’s hard here to forget that these are two kids along in the big city with parents who are worried sick about them. Instead, I’m supposed to sympathize with their quest to learn about a new piece of art. My son’s experience suggests there are still kids who can do that, but I don’t think it quite works for a parent.
So, in the end, I’m glad it worked for a ten-year-old. Maybe it worked for me when I was the target age, but apparently I’ve forgotten (or I never tried it).
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
Oh this book is such a classic! Young girl who is the oldest sister decides to run away. She carefully selects her accomplice (second younger brother jamie) and then camps out in the Met. Good golly! How awesome! This was the original museum slumber party! I (re)read this book with my 13 year old and 11 year old twins - all boys - and we had a great time imagining what it would be like to: (1) not bathe except in a public water fountain; (2) pick up all the coins in said water fountain; and (3) eat junk food all the time. I believe I have the kids sold on running away, but they cannot decide if they would rather live in the California Museum of Science or the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Personal anecdotes aside, this book stands the test of time. Eternal themes of curiosity, loyalty, and good judgement reverberate through the pages of this well written, well paced story. This is an absolute must read for everyone, especially anyone over 50 who grew up in New York City!!
Funny, engaging, heart-warming
Jamie was easily my favorite character as he somewhat reminded me of my own brothers. A little stubborn, very loyal and supportive, a realist. Oh bologna!
Jill Clayburgh is the perfect Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This is precisely how I imagined her to sound. Clayburgh reads the "afterward" with a perfect tone for E.L Koningsburgh as well.
I can and have listened to this book all in one go. It makes me chuckle, reminisce about my childhood, appreciate my siblings and mother, and think about that moment when I felt more grown up, or "different" as Claudia says.
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