|Plot Summary of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler|
|"Claudia is an elementary school student who is in need of a change of scenery. She decides to run away with her younger brother, Jamie, but does not want to have to "rough it" at all. So what better place to go than the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC? The two children spend quite some time living in the museum, and while they are there they must learn to budget their money, take care of themselves, and simply get along with each other! The discovery of a mysterious sculpture thought to be a work of Michelangelo's offers a new purpose for Claudia. She will not go home until she uncovers the mystery. And with the help of her brother and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, she eventually does. In doing so, she finds something to be proud of - something to identify with - and is finally ready to return home."
Jessica, Resident Scholar
|"When Claudia believes she's not being treated fairly at home, she decides to run away. But she's more creative than the average runaway--she decides to camp out in a museum. But because she doesn't have any money, she decides to take her younger brother with her. He has been saving the winnings from his card games for years, and is quite wealthy for a child.
Their adventure begins quite well. They eat in restaurants, fish money out of a fountain, and sleep in antique four poster beds. But when Claudia becomes curious about a mysterious angel statue whom the museum workers are debating about, things get a little out of hand. Claudia wants to solve the
mystery. Her brother gets sick and wants to go home. The answer to the mystery lies in the home of an eccentric old lady, Mrs. Frankweiler. Claudia and her brother go to her house, determined to solve the puzzle.
Megan E. Davis, Resident Scholar
|"When 12 year old Claudia Kincaid decides to run away from the suburban life she finds boring, she chooses her younger brother to run away with her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, right in the heart of New York City. Claudia has planned the entire thing precisely. One morning, she and Jamie simply board the school bus as usual carrying everything they'll need in Jamie's trumpet case. When everybody else gets off the bus, they simply lie down on seats in the back, hiding until the bus driver is long gone. Then they sneak off the bus and use some of the money Claudia's been hoarding to board a train for NYC.
There they walk to the museum (Claudia wants to take a taxi, but Jamie, having assumed the role of treasurer points out it's much more economical to walk the forty blocks). There, they simply go in. The guard takes them for members of a school tour. In the museum, they look around until close to closing when they go to the bathroom and hide in a stall, carefully keeping their feet up, so a guard won't see them.
Claudia and Jamie sleep in Marie Antoinette's bed. In the morning, they get up in time to hide once more in the bathrooms, until the museum has opened. They'll eat at a neighborhood Automat. When money begins to run short they collect money from one of the museum's fountains.
Eventually they will become fascinated by a statue on which has been acquired by the Museum, called "Angel." There's speculation that it was carved by Michelangelo. Soon they're on their way to see its donor, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler who lets them search for evidence of the truth in her very mixed-up files."
Ann Gaines, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kids growing up/acting up?
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Age 11-14
Age group of kid(s) in story:
- grade school
Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?
- searching for identity/meaning
Parents/lack of parents problem?
- rebelling against parent's expectations
- a kid
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 5 ()
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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