Dedicated to sharing great children's fiction - old and new - with kids and their parents.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
"...I didn't run away to come home the same." -Claudia
Mrs. Basil E.Frankweiler, the narrator of this story, is an eccentric old woman who sits in her mansion researching anything that interests her.Claudia Kincaid decides to run away from home.She can't simply run over to a neighbor's house for the night.Claudia plans for weeks to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.When she leaves, she takes her brother Jamie; he has the money she needs to survive.For a week, Claudia and Jamie live in the museum dodging guards at night, bathing in the fountain, sleeping in an antique bed, and eating their meals at an automat.They also see "The Angel", a statue purportedly sculpted by Michelangelo.Claudia's focus changes from escaping her hum-drum life to discovering the authenticity of the sculpture.Her research leads to the public library and, then, to Mrs. Frankweiler's house.Mrs. Frankweiler promises to reveal the true creator of the sculpture if the children can find the information in her files.Claudia and Jamie search for an hour and succeed in finding the folder that contains a signed drawing of “The Angel.”Mrs. Frankweiler swears the children to secrecy promising to leave the drawing to them in her will.
Claudia will gain the sympathy of her readers as she runs away to protest the monotony of her life.Then, she will capture their imaginations as she lives in a museum for a week while she solves a mystery.