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

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

Book - 2002
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Having run away with her brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, [2002], c1995.
ISBN: 9780689853227
Branch Call Number: J FIC Konig 3701ma 1
J FIC Konig 3701ga 1
J FIC Konig 3701wd 1
Characteristics: 162 pages : illustrations


From Library Staff

List - Art in Fiction
OPLKids Apr 16, 2011

Twelve year old Claudia and her brother run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From the critics

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IndyPL_JennieW May 09, 2020

I first read this book when I was about eleven, and it was one of my favorite books of all time. I loved Claudia and Jamie's adventure: the idea of running away from home to live in a museum thrilled me, and the fact that they discovered the answer to an artistic secret while they lived in the museum was simply the cherry on top of a delicious sundae. The details about how they keep fed and housed and clean while they're on the run fascinated me: it was like The Boxcar Children, but even better because of the added delight of exploring hte museum.

Rereading it as an adult, I did feel a bit bad for their parents, who must have been wild with worry. But as a child I was far too interested in Claudia and Jamie's adventures to ever think of that.

AndreaG_KCMO Feb 26, 2020

Clearly I am a fan of children's adventure stories, and this one stands the test of time. Although the siblings' survival budget of a couple of dollars a day in New York City is now laughable, their escapades and brother-sister dynamic still delight.

Jul 14, 2019

The first few pages almost ruined the rest of the book. Claudia is not likable in the slightest, appears to be very stuck up, and entitled. Also, her constant correcting of Jamie's grammar starts off fun but progressively gets more and more annoying. When they run away there are almost no repercussions and they completely disregard their parents' feelings. Overall this book was borderline frustrating and boring.

Feb 21, 2019


Jun 12, 2016

Just the right amount of complexity to appeal to elementary-aged kids without being overwhelming. Excitement and adventure.

Apr 14, 2016

boring, could not find any interest in the 'search' of the story, never became interested in the characters...

aconley74 Apr 05, 2016

4.7 MG / GRace

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

Claudia and Jamie run away from home. They plan to hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But soon they discover a mystery that has to be solved.

Nov 16, 2015

Different kind of story , rather quirky , but keeps you interested and wanting to know what happens right to the very end. The ending few chapters were quite surprising . Liked this book and would recommend it .

Feb 19, 2015

Claudia is almost twelve years old and is dissatisfied with her life so she decides to run away. She recruits her younger brother to go with her because he has money they can live off of. They run to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia plans on learning while she is there. A new feature is displayed--a statue of an angel that may have been created by Michelangelo. Claudia decides she must find out for certain if he created the statue before she can go home. After many small adventures, the two children end up at Mrs. Frankweiler's home. She is the original owner of the statue. There they learn the true origins of the statue.

The illustrations are done in pencil. They are very dark and muddy making for faces that are at times unattractive.

The story is narrated by Mrs. Frankweiler as she writes a letter to her lawyer Saxonberg. She is telling the children's story as if she is beside them the whole time. The story flows well, but there are some things that made the story less than enjoyable for me. First, I found her brother, Jamie to be the more enjoyable, and at times, more sensible character. Claudia was whiny and demanding and not once worries about the family she has run away from. Some parts of the plot did not make sense to me. Such as...why would Claudia be wearing petticoats in 1967? Why was the title about Mrs. Frankweiler's files when her files were only five minutes worth of the story? I felt there was much more to Mrs. F's story that we never get. And I may be naive, but in what time period is it ever okay for brother and sister to undress in front of each other to get ready for bed and to get naked to take a bath together in a fountain? There is an illustration of the naked children in the book. The children steal regularly (food from tour groups, a newspaper, and money from the fountain). In the end, Mrs. F. alludes to the fact that Saxonberg is the children's grandfather. This is never explained.

At the end of the story I felt this was a selfish journey taken by Claudia. She gets everything she wants at the expense of others. She is never sorry for the worry she put her family through. She feels like more of a person because she learned about the statue. I did not feel the mystery about the statue was such a great mystery and I felt that all of the answers were way too easy. I would have liked to know more about Mrs. F. That would have made the story much more interesting.
An okay read that I would recommend for grades 5-7 due to more mature content. The book is on a reading level of 6.8.

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Oct 06, 2018

kfriedline thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

indigo_dolphin_1250 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 11

Nov 04, 2017

green_zebra_401 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 19, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Aug 19, 2014

kitpup7 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

orange_llama_57 Aug 18, 2014

orange_llama_57 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 8

Jun 25, 2014

tonging thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

red_dog_9187 Jun 20, 2014

red_dog_9187 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

yellow_cat_1443 Mar 30, 2014

yellow_cat_1443 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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LAURA (MS) CAO Jan 18, 2013

When Claudia and Jamie runs away from home, they face 2 problems: 1. Claudia wanted to feel diffrent, 2. They found a statue so beautiful they could not feel desired to go home until they find its real maker. What, in fact, should they do?


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Feb 19, 2015

Other: Child nudity, stealing, and runaway children


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Jul 15, 2018

"Both Jamie and Claudia had acquired a talent for being near but never part of a group. (Some people, Saxonberg, never learn to do that all their lives, and some learn it all too well.)"

(End of chapter 4)

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