From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it?

Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Here’s a two word review: Loved it.

Longer review:

I loved this book. Growing up, this was one of my favorite books. Plus, it introduced me to the works of E.L. Konigsburg, which I am very grateful for.

The best part of this book for me was Jamie and Claudia. The way they worked around each other, managed each other and worked as a team was funny, amusing and made me smile. Claudia changes very subtly in this book, but she does change, so that she grows to appreciate things and bring out more of her adventurous side.

This was a very fresh take on the whole “running away” scheme of things that I really enjoyed and I hope other kids try while they’re young, so they won’t regret not reading this when they’re older. I love E.L. Konigsburg’s writing style, and especially the way she wrote this story. 4.5 stars.

pg count for the paperback: 125


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