Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

A writing friend from America, Ernestine, and I did a book swap. I sent her a few of the books I've written and she sent me one of her books and a few other children and young adult books she thought I might have interest in. I've been reading quite a few children's books and teenage books lately since I've found my writing interests veering in that direction. Because of that I want to learn how things are done. When I first read many of these books I was reading as a reader, now I'm going back and reading as a writer.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg I'd never read as a child, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult! The story is about the delightful Claudia Kincaid who decides she wants to run away, but Claudia is not your normal everyday runaway. She enjoys comfort and has decided that she will runaway to the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. She decides to take her younger brother Jamie along because she knows he has a lot of money as he never spends his allowance. She didn't know he also had a pretty good side business cheating his friend at cards.

I love the wonderful sly ways Claudia and Jamie find to live an almost normal life in the Museum. They sleep on historic beds on display, hide their belongings in an Egyptian sarcophagus, and bath in the fountain in the restaurant when everyone has knocked off.

But the story only starts there, for this book is a mystery. Claudia cannot go home until she discovers if the Angel statue bought by the museum for a mere $225 was actually made by Michelangelo. It's such a lovely delightful tale of self discovery with characters to fall in love with.
Thanks Ernestine! And thank you E.L. Konigsburg. (I'm off to read another of Ms. Konigsburg's books Silent to the Bone)


bonita said...

Great! Glad you liked it! t's such a rich book. Interesting to see what caught your fancy. I was amazed at working math and art history into a page-turner.

Elspeth Futcher said...

I don't write YA books, but I do enjoy going back and reading those I loved while I was growing up. Many have fantastic plots and characters which show true imagination.


Helen Ginger said...

It does sound lovely. And your post makes me wonder how a little girl could authenticate a piece of art!

Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I read some of Koningsburg books when my niece was living with me, (she's a voracious reader of YA) but I haven't read this one yet.

Karen said...

this is one of my all time favorite books! I can't remember when I first experienced it, but I've not forgotten it.