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

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

Book - 1967
Average Rating:
Rate this:
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler .

When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money.

Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie bad some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she bad discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too.

The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Without her-well, without her, Claudia might never have found a way to go home.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Atheneum, 1967.
Edition: first edition
ISBN: 9780689205866
Branch Call Number: j F KONIGSBU
Characteristics: 162 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.


Featured Blogs and Events

021: Capturing Time with Dara Horn

We had SUCH a blast chatting with novelist Dara Horn about fancy forks, trying to be Harriet the Spy, editing biblical texts, and her childhood fear of time slipping away. We also ask some not-too-spoilery questions about her gorgeous new novel, Eternal Life.  From Publisher's Weekly: At the heart of Horn’s funny and compassionate novel is a 2,000-year-old Jewish mother seeking reasons for… (more)

Ep 022: From the Mixed-up Files of Lawrence P. Library

Polli and Kate explore Magic (both Big and Darker), plus books to help you talk about race and books to help you sublimate your righteous anger. This month we discuss From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler through the eyes of two mixed-up adults who missed it as kids. Bookish News: Earlier this year, BookRiot launched a feminist book club called "Persist" that takes place… (more)

From Library Staff

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Well Claudia has and she has a plan. This excellent caper begins with Claudia’s perfectly devised scheme to hideaway in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Because if you’re going to run away, why not run away in style? Accompanied by her practical brothe... Read More »

Claudia is ready for an adventure (and is tired of doing chores) so she decides to run away to some place that is comfortable and interesting: The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Like in Chasing Vermeer, an art mystery finds our clever main characters!

An enduring classic, From the Mixed-up Files... is one of the best children's books of all time. With two self reliant, funny, and daring main characters this book has lots to offer. Check it out!

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 13, 2021

For kids

Jan 24, 2021

I don't know why I haven't read this book sooner!
A perfectly complex story, about two runaway children, who live in a Museum. On their journey, they discover a mystery of a statue, a childless grandmother, and a secret. A great book for ages 10+. I highly suggest this title, and will be looking for more books by E.L. Konigsburg!

JCLJoshN Dec 29, 2020

I don't know how I made it this far in life without reading this classic of children's lit, but I did. It's weird because I've always known about the book, it has a great title, and the basic plot (brother and sister run away from home to live in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art) is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved as a kid, especially with an art history mystery thrown in. I wonder if my parents kept me away from the book when I was in elementary school in New York because I definitely would have wanted to run away and live in the Met after reading this. (Or maybe the Museum of Natural History, which was my favorite place in the city for us to visit.) Reading it now, it took me back to that childhood. This is just a really great book to read at any age, whether you've ever been to New York City or not.

VaughanPLDianeB Sep 17, 2020

Overall, I enjoyed this story, especially when the plot became more involved with uncovering details about the Angel statue. Learning about Mrs. Frankweiler added more dimension to the story, and I appreciated the mature and often funny viewpoints of both children. There were a few references that haven't aged that well, though I suppose they present further topics for discussion. I'm partial to more realistic fiction, so I found it rather hard buying in to the premise that 2 youngsters can successfully hide in a New York City museum for a week. I suppose that can happen when an adult viewpoint is brought to children's fiction. All in all, a decent read and not overly lengthy -- worth checking out.

Aug 10, 2020

The book titled 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' by E. L. Konigsburg, is about a girl named Claudia who decides to run away because she’s tired of being a perfect A+ student. She and her brother Jamie run away to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they end up sleeping in the Queen’s bed and having baths in a fountain! They also discover a mystery that needs to be solved. I liked this book a lot. Claudia and Jamie aren’t exactly getting along at the start, but soon they find a way to cooperate and work together. It's a book about family, adventures and has a little suspense too. I would recommend this book to kids ages 8+ and rate it 4.65/5.
@GymGirl of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

IndyPL_JennieW May 09, 2020

I first read this book when I was about eleven, and it was one of my favorite books of all time. I loved Claudia and Jamie's adventure: the idea of running away from home to live in a museum thrilled me, and the fact that they discovered the answer to an artistic secret while they lived in the museum was simply the cherry on top of a delicious sundae. The details about how they keep fed and housed and clean while they're on the run fascinated me: it was like The Boxcar Children, but even better because of the added delight of exploring hte museum.

Rereading it as an adult, I did feel a bit bad for their parents, who must have been wild with worry. But as a child I was far too interested in Claudia and Jamie's adventures to ever think of that.

AndreaG_KCMO Feb 26, 2020

Clearly I am a fan of children's adventure stories, and this one stands the test of time. Although the siblings' survival budget of a couple of dollars a day in New York City is now laughable, their escapades and brother-sister dynamic still delight.

Jul 14, 2019

The first few pages almost ruined the rest of the book. Claudia is not likable in the slightest, appears to be very stuck up, and entitled. Also, her constant correcting of Jamie's grammar starts off fun but progressively gets more and more annoying. When they run away there are almost no repercussions and they completely disregard their parents' feelings. Overall this book was borderline frustrating and boring.

Feb 21, 2019


Jun 12, 2016

Just the right amount of complexity to appeal to elementary-aged kids without being overwhelming. Excitement and adventure.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Oct 06, 2018

kfriedline thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Nov 04, 2017

green_zebra_401 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 19, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Aug 19, 2014

kitpup7 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

orange_llama_57 Aug 18, 2014

orange_llama_57 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 8

Jun 25, 2014

tonging thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

red_dog_9187 Jun 20, 2014

red_dog_9187 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

yellow_cat_1443 Mar 30, 2014

yellow_cat_1443 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

blue_cheetah_4402 Jul 28, 2013

blue_cheetah_4402 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 13

View All Ages


Add a Quote
Jul 13, 2020

"The greatest adventure lies not in running away but in looking inside, and the greatest discovery is not in finding out who made a statue but in finding out what makes you."

Jul 13, 2020

"Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around."

Jul 13, 2020

"The adventure is over. Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough. Except the part you carry with you. It's the same as going on a vacation. Some people spend all their time on a vacation taking pictures so that when they get home they can show their friends evidence that they had a good time. They don't pause to let the vacation enter inside of them and take that home."

Jul 15, 2018

"Both Jamie and Claudia had acquired a talent for being near but never part of a group. (Some people, Saxonberg, never learn to do that all their lives, and some learn it all too well.)"

(End of chapter 4)


Add a Summary
LAURA (MS) CAO Jan 18, 2013

When Claudia and Jamie runs away from home, they face 2 problems: 1. Claudia wanted to feel diffrent, 2. They found a statue so beautiful they could not feel desired to go home until they find its real maker. What, in fact, should they do?


Add Notices
Feb 19, 2015

Other: Child nudity, stealing, and runaway children

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top