From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

We’re reading this book as our first Read Aloud of the year. Coincidentally there is a brand new book released in August titled Ban This Book: A Novel that centers on a school banning this very book and so I’m planning to read that next. Side note: We started reading Cat of Bubastes and hated it. I chose the mixed-up files as purely a palette cleanser and now have a decent unit on censorship in the works right in time for Banned Books Week. We’ll say I planned it, but its kismet. 🙂

This book, although published before even I was born holds up on the adventure scale even today. We’ve had some fun figuring out the inflation factor and researching security as it is now vs. 1968. Claudia craves adventure and concocts a plan to run away and stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She chooses her younger brother Jamie as an accomplice based on his thriftiness, money stash and the fact that he annoys her the least of all her brothers. I love Claudia’s passion for history and art as well as Jamie’s passion for gambling. 

I’m interested to see which issues the parents in Ban This Book are troubled by the most. Of course, running away from home is not cool, nor is gambling, or secretly living at a museum. I don’t think this story encourages any of those things although it is an entertaining cautionary tale.  

If you’ve missed this one, it is a worthwhile addition to your home library.


From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler By E.L. Konigsburg

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