Saturday, July 15, 2017

MMGM (7/17/2017): From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

For MMGM, I am recommending a classic: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.




Here's the book's description:

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away . . . so she decided to run not from somewhere but to somewhere—somewhere large, warm, comfortable, and beautiful. And that was how Claudia and her brother, Jamie, ended up living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art—and right in the middle of a mystery that made headlines.
     Forty years ago, two motion pictures, and millions of devoted fans later, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler remains a modern classic, a favorite of children and adults alike. 

(Note: This description is from my 10-year-old copy of the book. Actually, the book is turning 50 this year!)

I read this book several years ago, and, just like people did 50 years ago (it was published in 1967 and later won a Newbery Medal), loved it! There are so many things I could say about it, but I'll try to limit myself. Firstly, the format of the story is very interesting. The narrator is actually Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, as she recounts the story of Claudia and Jamie for her lawyer. Her frequent interruptions to tell him something are amusing, and her narration is enjoyable. Claudia and Jamie are spectacular characters as well, seeming like both children (which they are) and intelligent adults (which they try to act like). The setting of the story, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (as it was during the 1960s), is very vivid, and its description shows why Claudia wanted to run away there. Claudia's internal conflict is set up very well, and Claudia is shown to change, as a person, throughout the course of the book. This book (which actually allowed Konigsburg to become the only person to win a Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor in the same year) is a classic for good reason, and even children and adults who wouldn't normally enjoy such a book will find themselves sucked in and happy from beginning to end.

10 comments:

  1. If it's 50 years old and still popular, it must be really good. I'll have to add this classic to my TBR list.

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  2. My students love reading this one! Thanks for the great review!

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  3. I also loved this book and so did my Kiddo. It even made her want to go to the museum. Thanks for your great review.

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  4. It's such an engaging and fun story. A classic that has stood the test of time like great books do.

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  5. It does hold up fairly well. It's one of the few Newberys from before the 1970s that I can get the students to read. We need more mysteries!

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  6. I adore this book. It's amazing that it's been fifty years since it was published! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks for your review.
    - Vi

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  7. Who wouldn't want to spend their time at the Met? Good choice. Thanks.

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  8. Funny, I've never read this book. Can't go wrong with a classic that include the Met.

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  9. I loved this book as a child, but I tried to read it a few years ago with a student who had a language delay when I was working as an SLP and it was almost impossible for her to understand. There is a lot of vocabulary and expressions that make it difficult. It is not a book for everyone.

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  10. I didn't enjoy this one when I read it a few years ago, glad to hear that it was a hit for you! And happy 50th bookday From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

    ~Sue Kooky

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