Book of the Month

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, By E. L. Konigsburg

Summary | Reviews | In the Classroom | Web links | Bulletin Board

Atheneum, 162 pp., ages 9-12
Newbery Medal Winner, 1968

When Claudia decides to run away, she plans very carefully: She'll be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in "Claudia appreciation"; she will live in comfort; and she'll invite her younger brother Jamie in order to finance the adventure. Together they take up residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and uncover a puzzling mystery that baffles even the experts!


"If there was such a thing as a recipe for a successful children's book-for which we can be grateful there is not-this one would doubtless violate all the rules… the reader has missed not only one of the most original stories of many years but one of the most humorous and one with characters wholly alive." -- Horn Book

"…the captivating story is fresh and crisply written with uncommonly real and likeable characters and genuine dialog and humor." -- Booklist

"…an exceptional story, notable for superlative writing, fresh humor, an original theme, clear-eyed understanding of children, and two young protagonists whom readers will find funny, real and unforgettable." -- Washington Post Books World

In the Classroom

Encourage your students to respond to From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by creating a display of their favorite scene. They could create either a diorama -- a cardboard box display with objects, art and figures; or a museum, a labeled collection of objects included in the story. Also, ask your students to write about their display-how it was made, what it's about, a description of objects, why they chose specific objects or chose to recreate a specific scene.

Related Hyperlinks for Web-based Learning

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This comprehensive site highlights the museum’s special exhibitions and collections. The Education section offers a variety of learning experiences with images of art and detailed descriptions of educational opportunities at The Met.

Education Place Teacher Views
Here you’ll find two reviews of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler plus related classroom activities posted by teachers on Houghton Mifflin’s Education Place.

Teacher Cyberguide
This site consists of five Internet activities to deepen students' appreciation and understanding of E. L. Konigsburg's, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

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Please share your lesson plan ideas, or read about how other educators are using From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in their classrooms on our Book of the Month bulletin board.

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