Book Cover 3

From the Mixed-up Files of

Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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

Author: E.L. Konigsburg

When Claudia Kincaid made plans to run away, she never dreamed that she would embark on a mystery that would send her on the greatest adventure of her young life. Accompanied by her younger brother, Jamie, Claudia sets out to take up temporary residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. There, the children discover an angel statue believed by art critics to have been created by

Michelangelo. Determined to uncover the mystery regarding the creator of "Angel," Claudia and Jamie go searching for Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the former owner of the statue. Mrs. Frankweiler helps them discover something far more important than the mystery of the statue, and sends the children home "different on the inside."

Pre-Reading Activity:

Claudia and Jamie Kincaid discover the Italian Renaissance room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Invite a social studies or art teacher to speak to the class about the Italian Renaissance. How did this period change the way people looked at art? Have students go to the library to find information about Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Michelangelo, and other artists whose work might be exhibited in the Italian Renaissance room. Allow them to share their findings with the entire class.

Vocabulary/Use of Language

Ask students to look at words such as inconspicuous (page 30), impostor (page 55), and stowaway (page 24). How do these words refer specifically to the two runaways? Students also may enjoy searching the novel for new words pertaining to art such as sarcophagus (page 44).

Language Arts Lesson: Claudia is constantly correcting Jamie’s grammar. Ask students to spend a day listening to the way people speak. Instruct them to write down the grammar misuses that they hear. Use the students’ findings as a grammar lesson by asking them to share some of their examples of incorrect grammar. Give the class the opportunity to correct each example.

Math Lesson: Ask students to consider the amount of money that the Kincaid children had at the beginning of their adventure and the amount they collected in the fountain. Then, ask them to write down all of their expenditures. Which of their expenditures are absolutely necessary for their survival? Invite students to discuss their reasoning.


Home Standards Lessons Animations Math Novels

Cat Running  |  Downriver  |  From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler  |  The Sign of the Beaver  |  Under the Blood-Red Sun  |  Boat Float Lesson  |  PI Activity  Lesson  |  PI Activity Worksheet  |  Probability Lesson  ]

Last updated 09/13/04

Information adapted from the Children's Literature Web Guide at

Copyright © 2000-2001 Jerry W. Broyles.  All rights reserved.  If you would like additional information, please contact Jerry W. Broyles at