Thursday’s Book Review: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Art by Phil McAndrew from

After reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg with my nine-year old son, Hunter, he covered it in a book report for school.  He did such a great job, I’m going to use his report in place of writing my own review:

Claudia is 12 years old.  She wants to feel special so she runs away.  She loves art and likes literature.  She also likes planning things. 

Jamie is 9 years old.  He almost never spends his money.  He is good at cards and loves adventure.  He is Claudia’s brother.

Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is 82 years old.  She collects art from everywhere.  She also keeps files of everything.  She likes children.

Saxonburg is Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s lawyer.  He is also Jamie and Claudia’s grandfather.  The book is a letter to him.

The setting of the story is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s home.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art is where Jamie and Claudia run away to and find Angel.  It has two stories and many halls.  They sleep in a bed in the English Renaissance part of the Museum. 

Claudia wants to run away because she wants to feel special.  When she finds Angel she is determined to find out her secret.  Claudia studies the statue for a long time, but when she hears who donated it Claudia knows she has the answer.

At Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s three-story mansion they find the truth about Angel and tell Mrs. Basil  E. Frankweiler about their adventure.  Claudia and Jamie find that Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler collects almost anything.  When they first talk to her in her office they notice how many files she has.  Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler gives them one hour to find the truth in her files. 

I liked reading this book because it is a letter.  It made the book interesting.  I thought Jamie was cool because he always saved his money and bought cool things like walkie-talkies and a radio.

Claudia learns being different doesn’t have to be noticeable to other people.  Claudia learns she can be a hero to herself.

Hunter really did enjoy reading this book.  He liked the challenge of solving the mystery of Angel, the sense of adventure, and the humor in the interactions between Claudia and Jamie.  And, as he said, he thought Jamie was cool.

When I was looking for an image of the book to post, I found a gem in the website  It features different illustrators who share their interpretations of favorite children’s books.  I loved what Phil McAndrew did with Mixed Up Files.  Especially the drawings of Jamie’s compass and radio.  It was like taking a peek into my son, Hunter’s, head.

1 comment so far

  1. Andrea on

    Good job, Hunter! A+

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