It was delightful to revisit one of my favorite books from my childhood, this time on audiobook. E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was the 1968 Newbery Medal winner, and I've never met a reader who disliked it. Claudia Kincaid is tired of the boring routine of her life and her family's lack of Claudia Appreciation. She wants adventure... but it has to be comfortable. No roughing it for Lady Claudia! And so she decides to run away from home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She brings her brother Jamie along for the ride, because he can keep secrets (and also because he is rich, being a confirmed miser at age nine). But soon the adventure becomes more than just a fun flight, as the children become engrossed in the mystery of the museum's newest acquisition, a sculpture called Angel. Did Michelangelo sculpt her? The characters are just so real. I have a friend who swears Claudia is her literary twin-Claudia, with her love for planning and being in control, for fine things and (let's face it) extravagance in money matters. Jamie is quite different, much more practical than his older sister (and much tighter with the purse strings). They interact just like real siblings do, arguments and childish logic and all. Sometimes it's hilarious; other times it's poignant (but never sappy... you just can't get sappy about two characters so pragmatic and realistic as Claudia and Jamie). The story is narrated by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who is telling it to "my dear Saxonberg," the children's grandfather who also happens to be Mrs. Frankweiler's lawyer. Her excuse for telling the story is to explain certain changes in her will-but I think she just relished the adventure and the telling thereof more than anything. As a young reader I always knew she was quite a character, but rereading this as an adult gives me a new perspective on her. She reminds me of my grandmother in a lot of ways... a collector of antiquities, with rooms full of treasures and a lifetime of stories, a woman with a practical, humorous, determined outlook on life and relationships. And stubborn! What Konigsburg does brilliantly is to make the story more than just a fun tale about two kids who run away from home and stay in a museum. They set out to learn everything about the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but end up learning something else, too. Claudia said, "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 inside 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 you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow." Jan Miner reads this audiobook and her narration is wonderful. Her voice for Jamie is especially good. It's a quick read at just over three hours, and I relished every minute. Highly recommended!
About This Item
|Number of Pages|
E L Konigsburg; Broekel; E L Konigsburg
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
It was delightful to r...
Love this book
My favorite book as a child, and I just bought a copy for my niece for Christmas!
Summary:The mixed up fi...
Summary: The mixed up files is about a sister and brother that run away from their home. They come to a famous museum and that is where they live out of. While they are there they began to look for the person who made this certain sculpture. They find out who made it and decide to learn more about her. Personal Reaction: I enjoyed this book. It was a great read and I would recommend it to any reader. It was so good I want to read it again! Classroom Extension Ideas: 1. I would use this book in a unit about museums. I would talk about where the brother and sister where and talk about sculptures. I would have the students make their own sculptures and then write a page about what museum they would want their sculpture to be in. 2.I would use this book in a unit about family. I would talk about how the brother and sister stick together and figure out the mystery. I would have the student write a mystery story that involves teamwork.
I read this book in el...
I read this book in elementary school and I loved it. I liked it for the same reasons that I liked "The Ruby in the Smoke" - it gave me a mystery to ponder (regarding the statue Angel) and it also taught me about Michelangelo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This book was fun and it made me think, and this is a sure recipe for a good read. When I volunteered at an elementary school library, I learned that this book was used in the 4th grade curriculum to tie in the art and social studies curriculums, and that at the conclusion of the unit, students went on a field trip to the Met to tie together all that they had learned. I think that is a great example of how to use this book in education.
This is a story of a s...
This is a story of a sister and brother- Claudia and Jamie- who run away from home and stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They decide to try to learn as much as they can while they are there when they come across a mystery. The Angel statue may or may not have been sculpted by Michelangelo himself but was only sold to the museum for $250! Their attempt to solve this mystery leads them to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who they hope can help them find the answers they want.
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