Children's Reading List: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


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

A friend recommended this book to me so I recently checked it out from the library to read it myself.

The story is about a young lady, Claudia, who decides to run away from the mundane routine of her boring life. She invites one of her brothers along, because he has money and she knows she'll need money to survive. Claudia's plan is to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They stay there undetected for a week and end up trying to solve a mystery about a statue that just might be a work of Michelangelo.

The age recommendations for the book are 9-12 and I agree with them. I will hold off on sharing this book with my daughter for at least a few more years. I thought the plot was engaging, but I am not keen on introducing the concept of running away from home to my daughter. Claudia and her brother are typical children, so they were at times rude and immature. In the end there was not any resolution between Claudia and her parents, no remorse on Claudia's part over having run away or what she put her parents through.

This book did receive the Newberry Medal of Excellence for American Children's Literature in the 1960s and is considered to be somewhat of a classic. I am glad I read it, but think that calling it a children's book is a stretch. There is minimal educational content in the book, while there are numerous examples of bad behaviors cast in a positive light.

Therefore, I give this book 2 stars out of 5.


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