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


Cover Art from:
Cover Art from:

Konigsburg, E. (1967). From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

ISBN: 9780689711817

This is a great classic book for tweens, it is a combination of adventure and mystery and is a really fun book. One reader on age twelve said “I think this book is really cute! My brothers really like it! They are 9 and 6. and I think that this is the perfect book for kids thir age and inbetween!” (Kid, 2012). While this is an older book tweens are still reading it and enjoying it.

The story revolves around two siblings who run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city. Claudia the older sibling plans to run away because she is being treated unfairly at home and decides to bring her brother Jamie with her. They pack some clothes in their instrument cases and take the train to New York city to their new home. During the day they blend in with the student tour groups that have field trips at the museum. At closing they hide in the bathroom while the guards are kicking out the stragglers and then they have free range of the museum all night. They take baths in the fountain and sleep in royal beds. They figure out a perfect system for living in the museum when they get drawn into a mystery at the museum. A mysterious new Angel statue has been sold to the museum and Claudia is determined to discover if it is authentic and her inquiry leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Throughout the story the siblings learn a lot about history and themselves and eventually decide to move back home.

It would be really fun to create a display of older classics for tweens and create a fun retro inspired poster about how they are titles readers parents may have read when they were tweens.  This display could also include titles by Judy Blume and other popular tween writers from the sixties, seventies, and into the eighties. The library could even have an adult and tween book club events were parents and tweens read one of the parents favorite books from when they were a tween and then everyone can share the books they’ve read. This is a great bonding experience for parents and tweens and is a great way to introduce tweens to books they may not have otherwise read.

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

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