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

This Newberry award-winning novel features two young runaways and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a fascinating mystery



The fountain in this scene is a central focus in ..”the mixed up files…”

From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is an exciting story about two kids who run away from their home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The book was published in 1967. In 1968, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won a John Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature. This award is given out to the most distinguished author of American children’s books. E.L. Konigsburg was an author and illustrator of children’s books and young adult fiction. She wrote many books throughout her life but her most notable book was From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. 

The story is told from the perspective of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who is explaining how Claudia and Jamie Kinkaid ran away from home to her attorney, Saxonberg. Claudia Kinkaid lives in Greenwich with her parents and three younger brothers. It was Claudia’s idea to run away. She was bored and felt like the rules she had to follow at home were unfair. She planned everything herself and saved her money before asking her brother Jamie to run away with her. Jamie was her favorite of her three brothers and he had a ton of money, so it made sense for her to ask him. The two got on the bus for school and hid in the back of the bus until the driver parked and left. Jamie was expecting to run away to the woods, so he was surprised when Claudia told him they would be staying at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once Claudia and Jamie made it to New York City, the story started to revolve around them investigating a new statue in the museum. The statue was sold to the museum by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler for only a few hundred dollars and it was believed to have been sculpted by the famous Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. Claudia became very interested in finding out if the sculpture was really made by Michelangelo, so she and Jamie researched everything they could about him and his artwork. Eventually they decided to find Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to learn the truth about the statue.

Even though they didn’t always get along, Jamie and Claudia still worked together to solve the mystery of the statue, and to find out whether it was really sculpted by Michelangelo. From the Mixed Up Files… is a great book for anyone looking for an adventure. This story is full of exciting and humorous moments along with fun characters that many readers can relate to. I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought that the way it was written from the perspective of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was very interesting. I loved both the characters and the story.  Anyone who is looking for a new book to read should try From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.