In 1968, E.L. Konigsburg had two novels nominated for the prestigious Newbery Award. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler one the Newbery Award that year, and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth became a Newbery Award Honor book. She remains the only author to have accomplished both the Newbery Award and a Newbery Honors book in the same year. Tonight, I read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This was a step in my quest to read all of the Newbery Award and Newbery Honors books.
This book is about Claudia and her brother Jamie. Claudia decides that she is going to run away from home, and she recruits her younger brother Jamie to go with her. They pool their money and set off on their adventure. They take the train to New York City, and they stay in the Metropolitan Museum of Art each night for a week. While there, they learn about the artwork in the museum and discover a mysterious statue. The provenance of the statue is uncertain and the kids decide to work to solve the mystery. Is it a Michelangelo or not?
One of the most fun parts of the book – and I agree with my friend on this – is when they decide they need a bath. They end up taking a bath in the fountain and collecting the change that people have tossed in. I also enjoy the consequences of their attempts to do their own laundry.
This story is a combination of a fun adventure and a mystery. The different twists and turns of the novel make it a fun read. The character development is fantastic. Each character has a clear and distinctive voice, and those voices are well developed. Overall, I loved reading it.
In addition. to putting together a Newbery display at work, I have also been working on a mystery books for kids display. I was excited to add this book to that display before coming home. Now, I need to read on in the other books in my TBR pile to see if there are others worthy of inclusion! Until next time, Happy Reading!