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

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

4.2 402
by E. L. Konigsburg, Broekel

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When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere -- to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a

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When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere -- to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I've decided to run away from home, and I've chosen you to accompany me."

"Why pick on me? Why not pick on Steve?" he asked.

Claudia sighed, "I don't want Steve. Steve is one of the things in my life that I'm running away from. I want you."

Despite himself, Jamie felt flattered. (Flattery is as important a machine as the lever, isn't it, Saxonberg? Give it a proper place to rest, and it can move the world.) It moved Jamie. He stopped thinking, "Why pick on me?" and started thinking, "I am chosen." He sat up in his seat, unzipped his jacket, put one foot up on the seat, placed his hands over his bent knee and said out of the corner of his mouth, "O.K., Claude, when do we bust out of here? And how?"

Claudia stifled the urge to correct his grammar again. "On Wednesday. Here's the plan. Listen carefully."

Jamie squinted his eyes and said, "Make it complicated, Claude. I like complications."

Claudia laughed. "It's got to be simple to work. We'll go on Wednesday because Wednesday is music lesson day. I'm taking my violin out of its case and am packing it full of clothes. You do the same with your trumpet case. Take as much clean underwear as possible and socks and at least one other shirt with you."

"All in a trumpet case? I should have taken up the bass fiddle."

"You can use some of the room in my case. Also use your book bag. Take your transistor radio."

"Can I wear sneakers?" Jamie asked.

Claudia answered, "Of course. Wearing shoes all the time is one of the tyrannies you'll escape by coming with me."

Jamie smiled, and Claudia knew that now was the correct time to ask. She almost managed to sound casual. "And bring all your money." She cleared her throat. "By the way, how much money do you have?"

Jamie put his foot back down on the floor, looked out the window and said, "Why do you want to know?"

"For goodness' sake, Jamie, if we're in this together, then we're together. I've got to know. How much do you have?"

"Can I trust you not to talk?" he asked.

Claudia was getting mad. "Did I ask you if I could trust you not to talk?" She clamped her mouth shut and let out twirl whiffs of air through her nostrils; had she done it any harder or any louder, it would have been called a snort.

"Well, you see, Claude," Jamie whispered, "I have quite a lot of money."

Claudia thought that old Jamie would end up being a business tycoon someday. Or at least a tax attorney like their grandfather. She said nothing to Jamie.

Jamie continued, "Claude, don't tell Mom or Dad, but I gamble. I play those card games with Bruce for money. Every Friday we count our cards, and he pays me. Two cents for every card I have more than he has and five cents for every ace. And I always have more cards than he has and at least one more ace.

Claudia lost all patience. "Tell me how much you have! Four dollars? Five? How much?" Jamie nuzzled himself further into the corner of the bus seat and sang, "Twenty-four dollars and forty-three cents." Claudia gasped, and Jamie, enjoying her reaction, added, "Hang around until Friday and I'll make it twenty-five even."

"How can you do that? Your allowance is only twenty-five cents. Twenty-four forty-three plus twenty-five cents makes only twenty-four dollars and sixty-eight cents." Details never escaped Claudia.

"I'll win the rest from Bruce."

"C'mon now, James, how can you know on Monday that you'll win on Friday?"

"I just know that I will," he answered.

"How do you know?"

"I'll never tell." He looked straight at Claudia to see her reaction. She looked puzzled. He smiled, and so did she, for she then felt more certain than ever that she had chosen the correct brother for a partner in escape. They complemented each other perfectly. She was cautious (about everything but money) and poor; he was adventurous (about everything but money) and rich. More than twenty-four dollars. That would be quite a nice boodle to put in their knapsacks if they were using knapsacks instead of instrument cases. She already had four dollars and eighteen cents. They would escape in comfort.

Jamie waited while she thought. "Well? What do you say? Want to wait until Friday?"

Claudia hesitated only a minute more before deciding.",No, we have to go on Wednesday. I'll write you full details of my plan. You must show the plan to no one. Memorize all the details; then destroy my note."

"Do I have to eat it?" Jamie asked.

"Tearing it up and putting it in the trash would be much simpler. No one in our family but me ever goes through the trash. And I only do if it is not sloppy and not full of pencil sharpener shavings. Or ashes."

"I'll eat it. I like complications," Jamie said.

"You must also like Wood pulp," Claudia said. "That's what paper is made of, you know."

"I know. I know," Jamie answered. They spoke no more untiI they got off the bus at their stop.

Steve got off the bus after Jamie and Claudia.

Steve yelled, "Claude! Claude! It's your turn to take Kevin. I'll tell Mom if you forget."

Claudia, who had been walking up ahead with Jamie, stopped short, ran back, grabbed Kevin's hand and started retracing her steps, pulling him along to the side and slightly behind.

"I wanna walk with Stevie," Kevin cried.

"That would be just fine with me, Kevin Brat," Claudia answered. "But today you happen to be my responsibility."

"Whose 'sponsibility am I next?" he asked.

"Wednesday starts Steve's turn," Claudia answered.

"I wish it could be Steve's turn every week," Kevin whined.

"You just may get your wish."

Kevin never realized then or ever that he had been given a clue, and he pouted all the way home.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 402 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the book From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It¿s about Claudia and Jamie, the main characters who run away from home because they think they are having too many injustices. They run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They run away with only $24 to live on. They sleep in dusty old beds and hide in the restrooms for many hours a day. They always have excuses why they were caught by the guard. But one time while Jamie was hiding in the men¿s room and he heard the water running. He thought that it was just another visitor but it was a janitor who was wondering why Jamie was there. Jamie, the second youngest can take on any challenge like hiding his things in historical figures. Claudia the oldest of four kids is very intelligent. She is the one who comes up with the plans for everyday, like how many hours to hide in the bathrooms and how many hours they get to sleep so they won¿t get caught by the night guard and how much they should spend on the two meals they get a day. I love this book because it is an exciting adventure about Claudia and Jamie. I haven¿t finished the book yet but I can¿t wait to read the adventure that awaits. It also makes me want to really go and visit the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York. And like I said I highly suggest it.
Kaitlyn Conroy More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I eever read. It is a excellent mystery book. It is good for grades 3 to 7. I hope this helps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those of us who are looking for a lagitament review on this book... here goes: This book is a wonderful summer read for when you just want to keep buisy. It is an easy read but still uses great vocabulary and has hidden themes. Adults and students alike will enjoy this book.
Leslie Witterschein More than 1 year ago
Its been one of my favorite books since i was in third grade. I am now in eighth and i still love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so diffrent and suspenseful
Kayley Holtom More than 1 year ago
Some people have noted that this book would not be good for a child under eleven. I just wanted to say that im thirteen and this book is still on my bookshelf. Granted, its not the ABSOLUTE best book ever written, but its defenitly one of best. I love the timelessness f it and it makes you feel like thisis a real story. So i would defenitly recremennd this book to anyone :) :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U R a tru genius Konigsburg!!!!! Cant wait to read more of your books! A must read for every reader ;0)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i have ever read in my life!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snickerdoodle More than 1 year ago
The book From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Bail E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg, is a great book because it is funny and gives good detail about the adventures of Claudia and James Kincaid. Claudia loves secrets and Jamie loves challenges. Claudia felt injustice at her home, so she decided to run away. She chose her brother, "Jamie", to run away with her because he had a lot of money. They decided to stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They learned something everyday. When they saw a sculpture called Angel, they were so interested in it because its sculptor was unknown. The two children actually found a clue to whom really made Angel. They sent an anonymous letter to the museum owners to tell them about the clue, but, sadly, the Metropolitan Museum of Art already knew. Claudia and Jamie were so interested in the clue that they actually went to the house of the person who auctioned Angel to the museum. They found out everything at the house: (1) if the work was designed by Michelangelo, (2) if the work was designed, but not done by Michelangelo, or (3) if Michelangelo did not have anything to do with the sculpture at all. In the end, Claudia and Jamie came back home with a story to tell and secrets NOT to be told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutley LOVE this book. It is really well written. It is appropriate for ages 9-14 probably.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So interesting!!!!!!!
Susan_in_AZ More than 1 year ago
Okay, a thirteen-year-old who has been forced to read this book will not like it. That's a given. I read this many moons ago when I was eleven and loved it. Still remember it clearly, even. Once one is a Grandmother who clearly remembers a book so many years later... well, you get my drift. Luckily, the lack of personal technology is what makes this story so great. If your kid is totally tuned into his or her devices, she/he may not appreciate what it means to be a runaway with little money and no technology. If the child is curious about such an existence, then it may work. Nevertheless, this is terrific literature wrapped up in a compelling plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book in third grade and now in sixth grade i still love i it . .! Its amazing . .!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books i have ever read
Pamela Stasolla More than 1 year ago
Read this book for accelerated reading and thought it was awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in about third grade and I still can remeber so many details, I recommend this book for all ages and I'm hoping you decide to read it. It has many great plot twists and it keeps you on your toes 24/7. I personally made so many connections with this book and I'm about to read it again, maybe it will be even better the second time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! E.L Konigsburg is so thought out, it's awesome! I can't stop reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did this really happen? This is so exiting and intresting! I've read it at least 4 times and I'm not even tierd of it!! So cool! Love it! Out of this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read that book when i was 6. I understood all of it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great my mom & i read it in bed every night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever!! I dont my language arts teacher likes this type of genre/style of books but she read it and she said that she loves and recommends it to a lot of people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Me and my 5th grade class read this book we loved it! Cannot wait to see the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gret book