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

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Claudia Kincaid, age eleven, is running away from home. She already has it all planned out, in fact. She leaves her unappreciative family, her annoying little brothers, and her straight-A grades for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she will live in luxury, surrounded by some of the best art in the world. She does, however, bring one of her little brothers along, partly because he’s the least annoying of them and mostly because he saves his money, which she kind of needs to feed herself.

They really do set up shop in the museum, where they hide from security and sneak into school field trips’ tours. They learn all about all the different exhibits within the museum, from paintings to medieval weaponry. And their attention is caught by a mysterious statue nicknamed Angel, supposedly carved by Michelangelo himself, which leads to a whole mess of investigating.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a kind of fun, kind of quirky in its tone, kind of an art education, and definitely a coming-of-age story about Claudia, who is so real she feels like she could walk out of the book and show up at your school. But I think the best part of the book is that even though it has some wise messages, it doesn’t preach. This book is one that allows you, like Claudia, to come to your own realizations.



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