Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tween Tuesday: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Tween Tuesday is a Weekly Meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen that highlights great reads for tweens! Join the fun and include the link to your Tween Tuesday post below.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary with some mystery

Release Date: first released in 1967, won the Newbery Medal in 1968

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About the Book: Fed up with her normal life, Claudia Kincaid decides to run away. But this isn't your typical running away, as Claudia and her younger brother Jamie run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They discover the museum during the daytime and hide in it's treasures at night. One day an art mystery lands at the museum in the form of a small angel statue. Could it have been the work of Michelangelo? Claudia and Jamie decide to find out-and they'll need the help of the eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to uncover the truth.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I decided to feature my all time favorite tween read as today's Tween Tuesday read. Yes, it's an oldie, but it's such a goodie!! I first read this book (or actually listened) in fourth grade. I checked out the cassette tapes from my library and listened to the book every night before bed for the three weeks I had it.

I wanted to be Claudia. I wanted to run away and live in a museum and uncover the truth about an ancient statue. Of course, there was no way this adventure would happen to me in real life. I was terribly painfully shy as a tween, but when it came to books, I could be whoever I wanted. And when I was Claudia, I was adventurous, brave, solving mysteries and hiding in a museum. I could live out the adventure through Claudia and Jamie. That's a very powerful thing for a reader-especially tween readers-and that's one reason this book meant so much to me.

I re-read this book for my children's lit class last year and it had the same charm and adventure that I remembered. Some of the references are outdated for today's reader (Claudia and Jaime get coins from the fountain and eat for very cheap and there's no way a stunt like the one Claudia and Jaime pull off could happen in today's high tech and security filled world) but that can easily be overlooked. I love the fact that while there's a mystery in the story, this isn't a mystery book, so it's accesible to all sorts of readers, even those who don't typically enjoy mysteries. Reader's will be swept away on an adventure and you'll never look at a museum the same way again.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy checked out many many years ago but yes, now I own a copy:)


  1. I just re-listened to it again after many years and I agree that it still holds its charm. I wanted to have an adventure like Claudia and Jamie did so bad.

  2. I loved this book when I was a tween! For my tween tuesday, I did "The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda." http://ireadtorelax.blogspot.com/2010/08/tween-tuesday-strange-case-of-origami.html

  3. Believe it or not I've never read this one! I'll have to some day.

    Here's mine! http://owlforya.blogspot.com/2010/08/two-for-tween-tuesday.html

  4. It still holds up to today's readers, though. Our tween book club at the library read it last summer and they loved it. They even made a storytube video of a reporter interviewing the characters after Claudia and Jamie return home.

    They had a little trouble with some of the historic stuff, like the Automat, but fortunately there's an internet full of photos, so they could see one. They thought it was pretty clever of Claudia and Jamie to eat at a restaurant where no one would notice them (no wait staff) and they could pay with change.

  5. Sarah, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! And the great thing about it is, I can still hand talk this book to today's tweens. They love the mystery aspect of living in the museum and solving what the symbol means. This is one book that has stood the test of time so well. GREAT choice. (I need to buy my own copy in fact.)

  6. Oh, I totally need to reread this one! I can't even remember much about the story. I've got my Tween Tuesday post up.

  7. I, too, LOVED this book when I was younger, and I wanted desperately to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

    Here's my Tween Tuesday post.

  8. This is one of my all-time favorites too! I also loved the idea of living in the Met (still do, actually)...just a great book. I feel like I must have read it at just the right age too, because I was completely enthralled with the whole thing. I am looking forward to re-reading it now!

  9. This was one of my favorites as a kid too. My fifth grade teacher read it aloud to the class, and I was entranced. Will have to read it again sometime soon!


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