From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Recommended by Margo Smart
Branch Manager, Fallbrook Branch
I’ve been in a nostalgic mood lately, and when that happens to me, a librarian, that means I start re-reading my favorite books from childhood. One of my most pleasurable childhood favorites is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by the delightful E.L. Konigsburg. An adventurous coming-of-age tale mixed with a touch of mystery, the story is narrated “off-camera” by Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, a wealthy, eccentric art collector. The story begins when Claudia is tired of the responsibility of being the oldest child and decides to teach her suburban parents a “lesson” by running away from home. She decides the Metropolitan Museum of Art in N.Y.C. will be the perfect hideaway and enlists her penny pinching younger brother Jamie to join her on the adventure.
The mystery of the book begins when the museum’s latest acquisition arrives, an angel statue believed to be the work of none other than Michelangelo. We follow Claudia and Jamie as they to solve the angel’s secret by following a series of clues. Eventually the children do return home, but only after meeting Mrs. Frankenweiler at her art filled mansion for some heartfelt revelations. What starts out as a story about defiance and youth turns into an engaging story about what makes each person different, and each a living work of art.