14. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction · Tags: ,

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, 125 pages, read by Angie, on 02/14/2012

I am sure every child has thought of running away from home at some point or another and what better place to run away to than the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Much better than the woods or the streets. Claudia Kincaid decides to run away because she is tired of being treated poorly by her parents and she takes her brother Jamie with her because he has more money than her. The Met is a good place to hide for since it provides educational opportunities, a bathing spot (the fountain), additional funds (coins in the fountain), and sleeping spots (beds on display). Claudia and Jamie become fascinated by a new statue on display at the museum. They are determined to discover if Angel is really a lost carving by Michelangelo. The mystery gives their adventure purpose and leads them to Mrs. Frankweiler, who sold the statue to the museum.

This Newbery winner is a great adventure story that while parts of it are dated does seem timeless in its themes. I think kids today will identify with running away from home and wanting to solve the mystery of the statue. Claudia and Jamie are very resourceful and determined in how the manage to escape detection and hide out in the Met for a week. I think they are fabulous characters: Claudia is a great planner and very determined (her grammar correcting does get a bit old however); Jamie is quirky and I love his penny-pinching and gambling habit. Fun book that stands the test of time.