|From the Mixed-up Files|
of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E.L. Konigsburg
"When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money. Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie bad some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she bad discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too. The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Without her-well, without her, Claudia might never have found a way to go home."
To honor E. L. Konigsburg, who passed away this week, I did a quick re-read of her Newbery winning book that I loved as a child. It did not disappoint, which is unusual because I so rarely enjoy the winning Newbery books. I remember when I read it as a child, I thought running away and living in a museum was the coolest thing ever. Now that I have actually visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was even easier to be impressed. I didn't see a lot of statues when I visited because I just wanted to sit in the Impressionists wing the whole time. It didn't matter that people were milling around, I could have sat there gazing at those paintings all day long, so I really related to Claudia and Jamie and their obsession with the Angel statue. However, it is interesting to read the book with adult eyes and feel the horror of 2 children on their own in New York City and to have such empathy for their poor parents. This is a fun story that encourages interest in the arts and good grammar! (You'll have to read it to find out ;) )