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

by E.L. Konigsberg (1968)

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A Newbery Award winner from yesteryear.

Claudia and Jamie Kincaid run away from their safe Connecticut suburban home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Can they remain undiscovered?  How can they manage to live on their own?  What happens when they discover a mystery involving a visiting statue of Michaelangelo?  These are the elements that have charmed and fascinated readers for over 50 years.

Claudia and Jamie manage to survive using Jamie’s poker winnings.  He’s not only a cardsharp, he’s also careful and prudent and stingy with their money, which makes From the Mixed-Up Files a perfect vehicle for financial literacy.

Students and their families will empathize with Claudia when she wants a nice lunch.  And marvel and learn from Jamie when he shows her how to save money – and how to discover schemes to find or make a little more.

From the Mixed-Up Files will charm families when Claudia and Jamie finally meet the mysterious Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  And students and families will reap financial lessons as they re-live Claudia and Jamie’s every-day decisions on how to ride the train, where to eat lunch, how to mail a package – and how to husband their limited resources.

Readers will enjoy the siblings’ banter, spats about grammar, humor, and quick thinking. Both children and adults will be curious about the Angel statue, but also about the omniscient and understanding narrator, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. As one mystery leads to the other, the runaways discover the truth about the statue…and themselves.