Book Details




E.L. Konigsburg


Pushkin Children's Books

Publication date

4th June 2015



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

E.L. Konigsburg

Lovereading - -Year 5 (age 9-10)

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The Lovereading comment

June 2015 Book of the Month  This is everything a classic children’s book should be: it’s exciting, funny, has terrific central characters, a mystery to solve, and a truth – particular to childhood – to be revealed. Claudia Kincaid is fed up - as the oldest child, and a girl - with life’s injustices. So she runs away to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, taking her second youngest brother, Jamie, because he’s the best with money. It’s a marvellous adventure – they mingle with tourists, sleep in a medieval bed after everyone’s left, bath in the café fountain and scoop up change from its floor to boost their coffers! When a new exhibit is unveiled Claudia turns detective, determined to prove it the work of Michelangelo. Success will send her home a heroine, and that’s really important. The children’s search leads them to the statue’s original owner, the eponymous Mrs Frankweiler, someone who understands Claudia exactly and can give her what she needs. Andrea Reece

Piece of Passion from Adam Freudenheim, Publisher, Pushkin Children's Books 'From the Mixed-up Files… was one of my childhood favourites, and my own children love it too. It's a simply magical, perfect book for any child with an imagination of about 7-10 who's ever visited a museum (or dreamed of running away, even for a moment). I'm delighted to (re)introduce it to British readers – nearly 50 years on its appeal is a strong as ever.'

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Sophie Pennington, age 10 - 'I really adored this brilliant book! Every day I was reading this awesome book it brought a light into my day, I thought I can't wait to get home and read.'
  • Georgie Docwra, age 9 - 'Marvellous, mysterious and magical! I loved the unusual plot of this book and the way that it is written.'
  • Daisy Jefferies, age 13 - 'I loved this book. I just couldn't put it down. The ending was brilliant, a fantastic read!'
  • Hannah Minton, age 9 - ' amazing medal winning book...It will get you thinking about safety and explain what sort of important decisions that you will probably have to make when you are older.'
  • Celeste Phelan, age 13 - 'I would recommend this book to children 9+ because it’s a fantastic book with adventure waiting around the corner.'
  • Chloe, age 11 - 'This book was intriguing and different to any other book I have read before...I would give this book a 10/10 and recommend it to all my friends and my family.'
  • Holly Wilkins, age 11 - 'This is one of my favourite books, you get a vivid picture of what was happening.'
  • Lucy Griffiths, age 10 - 'I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any 10 year olds who like history, art and most of all adventure.' 
  • Elizabeth Bridgeman, age 8 - 'Libby loved this book! She found it engaging, frightening, exciting and very, very readable. It's not surprising that it has been re-released as a classic of children's literature.'


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

New York City girl Claudia, a mere month shy of being a twelve-year-old, has resolved to run away from home with her younger brother, Jamie. She knows that she could never pull off the classic spur-of-the-moment departure without a destination (inevitably involving having to eat outside with the insects, and cupcakes melting in the sun); so she plans everything to perfection, including their destination: the grand, elegant, beautiful, all-encompassing Metropolitan Museum of Art.

However, no sooner have Claudia and Jamie settled into their new home, than they are caught up in the mystery of an angel statue bought by the museum for the bargain price of $225. Is it in fact an as yet undiscovered work by Michelangelo, worth millions? Claudia is determined to find out, and her quest leads her to the remarkable, secretive Mrs. Frankweiler, who sold the statue to the museum - and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.


'Mischievous and metropolitan... A wild rumpus... Japes abound New Yorker One of the finest storytellers of her era and genre... [From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler] is a story of discovery and self-discovery' Washington Post

'E. L. Konigsburg is one of our brainiest writers for young people, not only in the considerable cerebral powers she brings to her books but in the intellectual demands she makes on her characters' The New York Times

'It sticks in the mind like a personal memory, like a secret childhood experience. A perfect, miniature adventure' -- Wes Anderson, writer and director of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'The Royal Tenenbaums and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler dominated my imagination in the way only a really good book can wholly inhabit the head of a child.....Re-reading it, is was, if anything, even more wonderful than I remembered" Hadley Freeman, Guardian

About The Author

The writer and illustrator E. L. Konigsburg (1930-2013) is one of the most celebrated writers of books for children and young adults. She is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor in the same year - a feat she achieved in 1968, for The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, respectively. Not only that, but she won the Newbery Medal again almost thirty years later, for The View from Saturday.

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